The way we live and love changes as time goes on, evolving with trends and societal expectations. It seems that everything has changed in the modern dating world, ranging from how we view single-hood, to dating, engagements and even marriage. How we meet, how we communicate, and how we spend our time together has advanced with the times and technology. It is no secret that dating today largely takes place online and in a more casual setting. Technology has changed how people meet, view one another and communicate throughout the course of a relationship. We’ve taken a deeper look at some of the most prominent ways relationships have evolved in recent years:
1. Relationships start online
More and more people are searching and finding their romantic partners virtually than ever before. Scientists from the University of Rochester report that online dating is now the second most popular form of matchmaking in the U.S., falling only behind introductions via mutual friends. This makes perfect sense, considering the number of apps and online dating sites everywhere you look online. No matter what you are looking for in a partner, there are programs catering to niche communities from all different walks of life. Singles have a vast amount of sites to try out, ranging from the all-encompassing Tinder and eharmony, to the specific FarmersOnly, VeggieDate and Single Parent Meet.
2. Moving in together before getting engaged/ married
Despite the taboo of old traditions, a lot of modern partners are taking the step of moving in together or even buying a house together before marriage. These couples argue that shacking up before legally committing themselves to one another serves as a test run to ensure they can happily share a living space for the rest of their lives. Not only is it a test run of living together, it allows them to bond and evaluate values and daily practices in the most intimate setting. There are also a slew of financial benefits that come with living together, such as splitting rent and bills rather than paying two different sets.
3. Open communication
With couples merging their lives prior to getting engaged or married, relationships rely on open communication more than ever. It is important to have conversations about big decisions, especially about financial and professional facets of life. The best thing a couple can do is talk about expectations and life circumstances, such as openness to relocating and pre-existing debt. Luckily, we see modern couples actively discussing timing and financial requirements surrounding taking next steps in their relationships as well, such as buying a home, planning a wedding or starting a family.
4. Looking for the engagement ring together
Not only are more open conversations happening in relationships, but also a lot of financial decisions are being made together. One big step that couples are talking about more frequently than ever is the prospect of getting engaged and planning a wedding. The days of one partner dropping subtle hints and the other planning an engagement quietly are long gone. Many couples are now more open about wanting to get engaged at a certain time and browsing for engagement rings together online.
5. Sharing Finances
Along with moving in together to save money by splitting rent and bills, many couples are making big financial decisions and purchases together. These often include moving in together and splitting rent, buying a home, travelling the world, buying/adopting a dog or cat, splitting the cost of an engagement ring and hosting a wedding. This is vastly different than the norm of older times, where individuals would live at home or alone until they had a wedding, only to travel and buy a home at that point in the relationship.
6. Sharing roles and responsibilities
Traditional gender norms are being left behind – it’s more common than ever to see men and women contributing equally to a relationship financially, emotionally and around the house. Rather than the ways of past generations where a wife cooks and cleans the house while her husband works, both partners now contribute to housework and bread-winning equally. Split responsibilities according to availability and preference; if one partner hates vacuuming but enjoys scrubbing the kitchen clean, allow one another to handle those tasks. As always, communication is key and being open about expectations will help alleviate issues down the road. No matter your relationship or beliefs, the most important thing is discussing and agreeing on a philosophy that works for you and your partner.
7. Initiating courtship
Another interesting aspect of modern relationships that is often shared more equally these days is initiating a relationship. While in the past, a woman would wait to be asked out by a man, that is no longer the case. Women are just as likely to ask men out on a date and also just as likely to pay for the bill on these dates. Rather than the roles being strictly initiator and subordinate, these roles are often shared as well. This comes along with open communication and living together, where both parties are able to express their wants and contribute equally.
8. Embracing “single-hood”
Another thing more and more individuals are enjoying today is embracing being single and loving themselves first. There is beauty in the practice of surviving and thriving on your own, and setting a list of “deal breakers” before entering a relationship. These deal breakers best serve as a set of requirements and core values that must exist in a relationship or partner for you to stick around. This will allow both halves of the couples to express their own expectations and ultimately determine if they are a good match or if they’ll say “buh bye”.
It’s no secret that traditions are an important aspect of any relationship, providing a sense of comfort and belonging in a family and relationship. However, modern traditions we see today no longer exclude personal beliefs and values as they have in the past. There is an overwhelming new strength found in embracing single-hood and sharing roles and responsibilities in relationships. Ultimately, the beauty of relationships nowadays is the option of doing things in the order that feels right for you.