Get to know your partner online – totally normal today. But how have the digital media changed the search for partners? A new study shows that the internet has made her more flexible. But also more superficial.
We got to know each other «modern». That’s what it was called when you met a partner on the Internet. That was 15 years ago. Today modern has long been normal. Because a big shift has taken place: Having a dating app on your smartphone or being a member of an online dating agency is no longer unusual.
Anyone who talks about getting to know each other on the net no longer does so in front of their hands – and they don’t get any irritated comments. At most one: “Ah, you too!” The couple is then put into the imaginary “met online” drawer, and one sums up: “There are more and more.”
But does online dating change our attitude towards love life? That’s what the Parship partner exchange wanted to know from 1000 people from German and French-speaking Switzerland between the ages of 18 and 69. The results of the representative survey are available exclusively to the SonntagsBlick Magazin.
The majority of respondents are in a partnership (64 percent). One in five met online – in social networks, on apps like Tinder or through traditional dating agencies like Parship. The proportion is particularly high among the 30 to 39 year olds. Of course. You’re busy at work, have a fixed circle of friends, and the Internet is an obvious and efficient way to do this. If you do not include couples who are in long-term partnerships and where online dating was not yet popular, the result is even more drastic: 46 percent of those who have been partnerships within the last two years have met online. So every year more couples get to know each other in this way.
So everything is easier? No not true. Younger people and women in particular are more skeptical about finding a partner using digital media. They believe that it used to be easier to find your dream partner. In the survey there are several indications that strengthen the thesis of the well-known sociologist Eva Illouz: The digital supermarket of love offers absolute freedom of choice – and devalues the individual. It is precisely this choice that endangers the possibility of entering into a committed relationship.
The survey shows that women more often have the feeling that they have more competition, that appearance plays a greater role today, and that the demands are higher. There is more pressure to find Mr. Perfect. Younger people (U 29) indicate that they have several dates. Women and young people are also critical when it comes to the length of a relationship: They have the feeling that partnerships are more superficial and short-lived – and that they are more easily ended. Stella Zeco from Parship notes that criticism comes more often from people who have met their partner offline. These people would have had prejudices rather than their own experiences. This can also be observed in relation to the length of partnership and is clearly confirmed by the figures. Because of the couples who met online, 54 percent have been with their partner between 5 and 15 years – and thus longer than the offline couples surveyed (32 percent).
In general, many of the respondents have prejudices against online dating. There are fears, says Parship psychologist Barbara Beckenbauer: “The commonly postulated assumption that the search for partners and partnerships have become more superficial and fast-paced because of digital media shows more the concerns of the respondents than that it corresponds to reality.” Aha, we do date online, but we are skeptical.
It is quite possible that the low-threshold access to a large number of singles, who also show themselves from their best side, unsettles many, because it threatens to undermine their desire for exclusivity and long-term relationships. “Of course there are also people who take advantage of this opportunity and abuse the trust of others. But that has always existed, even before the Internet, ”says Beckenbauer.
However, the respondents also see points that have definitely become easier thanks to the Internet: The search for a partner is easier and more efficient today. The 50 to 59 year olds see an advantage in this. In general, the choice of potential partners is greater thanks to digital media. In addition, you now know more about your partner, as you can quickly and easily get smart beforehand.
In all studies, however, one thing is always clear: people looking for a partner simply want to find someone they can be happy with. How is ultimately not so important.