Is the single life the new norm for millennials? If the statistics are anything to go by then the argument is quite convincing. Only 16% of U.S. adults aged 18 to 29 were recorded as married in 2014, and a huge 64% of the same age group were single and had never been married. Remember the days when it was socially accepted – and expected – to be married with 2.5 kids by the ripe old age of twenty three? Well, things have changed.
Take a look at some other interesting facts. There are 40 million Americans using online dating websites, and Tinder – one of thousands of dating apps – is currently number one on the lifestyle chart on iTunes.
So people are using online services to find love more than ever, whilst remaining single for longer. Doesn’t this prove that the system is flawed? We talk to the UK’s version of Carrie Bradshaw, Chrissie Wunna, who had a lot to say on the topic.
“I could honestly write an entire book on my dating horror stories” says Chrissie, who’s become somewhat of a dating guru via her blog chrissiewunna.com. “I once went on a date where the guy passed out in utter fear and I had to put him in a taxi home. I’ve been stood up before, on my own, in a hotel room. I’ve been in relationships before where my partner has forgotten to tell me that he had a wife and child. It has been crazy. So if I can still approach love with an open heart, then anyone can”.
Since first spilling the beans on her life in 2008, Chrissie has lived her life openly online and it’s come with it’s own set of problems. “I’m not a fan of online dating” she states, “which is odd as I embrace all things social. Yet, it works for a lot of people. Maybe because I have an online presence(…) it just doesn’t suit me that well”.
So is online dating a waste of time for those who are looking for a real commitment as opposed to a meaningless back and forth via text? “I personally don’t believe that finding love is as easy as ‘swiping right.’ It takes the romance out of it”.
She suggests maybe the problem is that we focus too much on the digital aspect of dating. “I’ve watched my chick friends monitor exactly when the guy they like is currently online and posting, and they wonder why he hasn’t replied to an inbox message immediately. To me, that’s focusing on the wrong thing”.
Chrissie is enthusiastic about being out in social situations where real interactions count more than just direct messages and pictures. “Getting out there and being in the moment, around people, making eye contact across a crowded room, being flirty via body language (…) is so much better. I’m a passionate girl, so how I feel around them, when they’re stood there right in front of me, is what I regard as the real stuff”.
She openly admits that there are some amazing pros to matchmaking online, but is curious about their effectiveness. “It introduces you to thousands more people with a simple click of a button, so if you’re treating love as a numbers game, it is almost the perfect way to be seen by as many people as possible and to also see as many people as possible in such a small time frame.”
But ultimately the game is a loveless in her eyes. “It runs love like a business”.
So what’s a single lady to do in 2017? With social media taking up more and more of our time and face-to-face dates becoming harder to come by, Chrissie’s advice is to do what suits you.
“Stay completely and utterly true to who you are. If you’re naturally selfish – that’s fine – be that way. Communicate it. If you’re naturally giving – that’s great -be that way. Express it. It’s really important to me because the worst thing you can do is deliver a version of yourself that isn’t true to who you really are. It’s an act you can’t keep up”.