Technology has revolutionised our society in many amazing ways. With it has come some new attitudes and approaches to life too, like instant access to information and interaction with more people. It’s important to know how these new attitudes affect romantic relationships, and if they’re worth keeping or ditching.
This issue raised its head when I was watching a tv program called ‘Married at First Sight’. It’s literally what it sounds like. People get married to a complete stranger that they have never met, but they’ve been matched through the power of experts, technology, and science.
The concept of the show is strange, but it’s fascinating to hear about why some people signed up to get married like this. What was a bit worrying for me though, was that many of them believed that technology and science can bring them their perfect partner.
This approach reminded me that technology has a profound impact on how we now approach life and romantic relationships.
Lots could be said about this, but I have said many time before that I do not believe in ‘The One’ myth, that there is one perfect person out there for us and all we need to do is find them (Read more in the introduction of my book for free now).
I think that hinders us building healthy relationships and robs us of a better ideal and approach to relationships. (Read Unhealthy Relationship Expectations We Should All Know)
This show reminded me that technology has a profound impact on how we now approach life and romantic relationships. It’s worth thinking a bit about how some of these beliefs shape our romantic relationships in good and bad ways.
The Technology Affect
We can list some of these effects, and say that due to technology, we can now:
- Contact more people
- Contact people whenever we want
- Get information instantly
Contact More People
Due to social media, webcams, the spread of the internet, apps, etc., we can meet and interact with more people than ever. Dating apps and dating websites mean we can talk with more people in a week than our great ancestors in small towns and villages probably did in a whole year.
The good thing in terms of romantic relationships is that you can meet more potential partners than ever. If you’re in a church with no suitable single people to date for example, you can now chat with people online that you wouldn’t meet otherwise.
The downside is that unfortunately, more people doesn’t mean more suitable partners.
If we think technology makes partner selection as quick and easy as online shopping, it can hinder us
Dating is exhausting, technology can definitely bring more introductions than ever before, but it cannot guarantee to set you up with someone suitable quickly. More introductions and more dates mean more possibilities, but more time and energy too.
This downside isn’t a problem necessarily, but it will be a problem if we think technology, dating apps and websites, will somehow deliver the perfect partner. If we think technology makes partner selection as quick and easy as online shopping it, can hinder us.
Contact People Whenever We Want
Another thing technology has brought is the ability to contact the person you like or are dating, whenever you want. You can send a text, email, social media message, give them a call, send a picture, face time, etc. As long as you both have a phone and a signal, you’re good to go.
This can be good, especially if you’re in a long-distance relationship for example (Read Can Our Relationship God The Long Distance?) or apart for a while because of work or whatever. It can mean you can still keep in touch.
The downside is, that this can create emotional intensity and investment before we are aware of it.
This communication, little and often, eventually adds up to lots of emotional energy and investment before we even realise it
Sending a text or picture takes a few seconds, but before we know it, we’ve sent six texts or so to the person we like or are dating or are married to, and checking our phones constantly for the reply, getting excited when they reply and worried when they don’t.
This communication, little and often, eventually adds up to lots of emotional energy and investment before we even realise it. This can become a problem. For example, if you haven’t made it clear you are an ‘official couple’ and the communication suddenly ends.
Get Information Instantly
I remember hearing someone a lot older than me saying he saw a t-shirt with the words: ‘Go easy on your parents, they did their homework without google’. It’s true that things have changed a lot. We can now access so much information whenever we want through our phones, laptops or tablets.
We can, for example, find more advice on relationships now. More websites and online courses are available, (some good, some not so good) and there is more support out there.
But people are complicated, no two couples are the same
However, this instant access can make us sometimes feel that good relationships should be instant too. After typing ‘my’ requirements into an online dating app, the search results and ‘perfect partner’ should come quickly.
But people are complicated, no two couples are the same. Technology doesn’t bring quick ‘one size fits all’ relationship solutions because we’re all different and complicated. Problems and issues take time to sort out. Couples learn to grow together through those times, there is rarely a quick solution.
Technology: Keep or Ditch?
Technology is amazing. And whether you’re a technophobe or tech-expert, there is no going back. We’re in a technological revolution and it changes the way we communicate and impacts romantic relationships.
Technology and the attitudes it builds impacts every area of our lives. Knowing the effects, and knowing what elements are worth keeping and worth ditching, are important as we navigate through our modern romantic relationships.
Imagine if we actively countered one of these negative effects that technology brings to relationships. If we committed to doing one of these things this week, it could make our relationships much stronger.
How has technology helped or hindered your romantic relationship? Comments welcomed below.
Originally posted 16/1/2017