The Evolution Of Modern Dating*

in , , , , by Nikki LLL Blog, October 12, 2018

Romance: Then and Now...

If you compare the dating world of the past to dating in 2018, you might be forgiven for believing that romance is well and truly dead. With an abundance of dubious dating apps, ‘Netflix & chill’ and social media hook-ups, it’s no surprise that many of us feel rather disheartened with the idea of looking for love. 

According to a recent study by eHarmony, however, all is not lost: their Happiness Index study (a study of attitudes towards love and romance with more than 2,000 participants) found millennials to be the most romantic generation of all. To investigate how attitudes towards romance have evolved over time, I’ve teamed up with Angelic Diamonds, retailer of custom engagement rings

How do we define romance? 
Back in the past, there were no dating apps around to help start a conversation and ‘ghosting’ [ignoring someone by not returning their texts] was unheard of. 

You might have heard your parents or grandparents talk about when they first got together — they went on a few cinema dates, perhaps attended a dance and went out for dinner before deciding that they were in relationship. All of this might make you think that it was much more romantic back then. 

But, the older generation had their dating sites in the form of lonely hearts ads (the first one being published in 1695) - and it’s likely that people still had the experience of being stood up. So, maybe it wasn’t that different after all. Perhaps it’s the way that younger people define and recognise romance that makes them seem less affectionate than the generation before them. 

A survey of romance in the UK found that the top five gestures that people considered romantic were: 

Holding hands (46%)
Cuddling (44%)
Giving a surprise gift (43%)
A romantic walk (32%) 
Giving flowers (31%)

Differences became apparent when different generations were questioned on their attitudes towards historically chivalrous acts. A huge 93% of over-45s believed there was still a place for them in the 21st century, whereas 37% of 18-24 year olds disagreed. 

In particular, ordering for someone at a restaurant was frowned upon and taking off a hat when entering a room was also considered outdated.

Attitudes towards romance by age group
Different age groups express love in their own ways. Studies show that:

90% of 18-24-year olds say that they hold hands when they’re out for a walk, 70% make sure that they go on date nights together, and 68% enjoy making romantic gestures such as writing love notes.
79% of 25-34-year olds enjoy making romantic gestures — more than any other generation.
35-44-year olds are 15% less likely to go on date nights than younger millennials. Holding hands during walks was the most common romantic gesture among this age group.
45-54-year olds are less likely to buy their partner small gifts between birthdays and more likely to hold hands during a walk.
Over 50% of over 65-year olds like to go on date nights and 40% like making romantic gestures. They were the least likely to buy gifts for partners outside of birthdays.

All participants agreed that letting their partner know how much they are valued was extremely important, with 65% of all age groups admitting to kissing every day and 68% saying ‘I love you’ daily.

Love in 2018
If you’re searching for love yourself, there are many things that you can do other than following the current trends for your generation.

It’s always nice to show your romantic side. One study revealed that 76% of Britons would enjoy having more romance in their lives but 57% said that they didn’t make romantic gestures because they didn’t want to be seen as cheesy! It might depend on where you live, too. If you live in the capital, definitely pull some romance out of the bag to woo your other half — an astounding 86% of Londoners said that they’d appreciate more romance in their lives. Similarly, when dating site, Zoosk, conducted a study of 9,000 of its users, it discovered that when users call themselves a ‘romantic’ on their profile, their matches increase by 24% above the average match count. And, when the phrase ‘hopeless romantic’ was said, matches were boosted by 38%.

When looking for date locations, you needn’t spend too much on an expensive meal or drinks. Three-quarters of people surveyed in one study said that ‘snuggling in front of the fireplace’ is the most romantic date, followed by ‘candle-lit dinners’ (58%) and a ‘picnic in the park’ (45%).

And as for things to avoid, people voted that mobile phone addiction, in particular at the dinner table (49%), was the biggest passion-killer. Closely followed by bad personal hygiene (45%) and rudeness (33%). So, no Snapchat or Instagram posts over dinner!

As we’ve seen in this post, the definition of love and romance has changed a great deal. But, this doesn’t mean that we’re any less romantic in ourselveswe simply have different ways of showing it. Don’t be afraid to let your soft side show and display some affection. Especially towards me, pls xo
*Collaborative post
**Stock images
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