Dating can be exciting, fun, scary, and confusing. This is partly because the dating culture is always changing. But the way people find someone to commit to and build a romantic relationship has changed for each generation, knowing how to adapt and thrive is vital. Which is why avoiding instant gratification and avoiding minimal effort is needed. 

The way people find romantic partners has changed over the last few decades, and it’s still changing.

For example, a few decades ago people had to meet face to face. They had to learn how to make small talk and go up to a guy or girl and start talking. The younger guys probably had to also drive over to her parents’ house and meet her parents and pick her up.

If you go back even further, to the time of courtship, there would have been chaperones joining the couple on their romantic meetings. These couples would have only started to meet up after their parents had agreed to it.

Romance Never Changes

8 out of 10 millennials still think true romance is important

However, despite the changes in our culture, people’s need for romance has not changed. Some research suggests that 8 out of 10 millennials still think true romance is important. And most teenagers and 20-25 year-olds still want to get married.

In other words, dating may be changing, but people still want to find a romantic relationship. They date in order to find someone and fall in love. Even if love has had a digital revamp!


We could talk forever about the many different influences on the dating culture and their effects, but technology has been a big factor.

The digital age means we now have access to millions of people all over the world because of the internet and social media. This means we can connect with more like-minded people, even though this can also be overwhelming (Read One Big Reason Why Dating Feels Overwhelming).

But it also means people don’t need to make initial contact face to face. Dating apps and websites mean you meet online, start chatting online, and then maybe meet up later on.

Just like when we order stuff online, or want to check something out, we can just take out our phones or tablets and instantly get what we want with minimal effort.

This has negatively affected the way we date.

Instant Gratification

We are now used to getting what we want instantly. Technology, phones, and gadgets mean we can get things instantly that 50 years ago people had to wait hours or days for. Emails have replaced slow letters. Microwaves have replaced slower oven cooking. Bank transfers have replaced slow cheques.

One strategy to navigate dating is to remember relationships take time

When it comes to dating, people can have the same expectation. They can think that dating is meant to quickly lead to love and a strong relationship. But that takes time. No amount of technology can speed up the process of building a relationship. Ask anyone who had been married or dated for years, and they will tell you it builds up slowly over time, not on day one.

One strategy to navigate dating is to remember that relationships take time. Technology may be able to get us a date quickly and help us find articles and tips on how to date. But building a relationship is never instant.

In order to thrive, we need to remember that it takes time.

Minimal Effort

Not only is technology making things quicker, but it also makes things easier.

We no longer need to leave the house to get our shopping. We no longer need to go to the library to get information. We no longer need to plan as much, an app will bring a taxi to us or show us where to go with minimal thought from us.

We can end up approaching relationships in the same way too. Thinking that minimal effort will bring what we want. But while dating is meant to be fun, it’s hard work, and two imperfect people need to be intentional, compromise, and build something together.

Relationships take work and minimal effort will lead to people getting hurt

Our strategy has to remind us of this: relationships take work, and minimal effort will lead to people getting hurt and cause the relationship to be weak. That approach will ultimately not fulfil our desires.

New Phase 

A date can now be a chat over skype, or a 30-minute chat in a coffee shop (I wouldn’t suggest this though, Read What Should We Do On A First Date?). It looks very different to 20, even 10 years ago.

Dating is changing and seems to be more fluid. The boundaries seem more blurred than ever sometimes and people don’t always like to label a relationship.

But in order to thrive in this environment, we need to be prepared to be intentional. To think about who we are and the kind of person we want to commit to. Our best strategy would be remembering that building a strong and stable relationship takes time and work. Technology can never change that.

Anything in life worth having takes work, romance is no exception.

Imagine If…

Imagine if we embraced the changing world of dating in a way that didn’t lead us towards unrealistic expectations. If we used the benefits of things like technology but remembered it takes work and time to build the relationship we truly want.

Anything in life worth having takes work, romance is no exception. (Read The 3 Best Ways To Prepare For A Date)

What strategies have you heard that have helped you? Comments welcome below. 

Originally posted 16/4/2018