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Modern Relationships: Have They Changed for the Better… Or Worse?

Have relationships evolved over time? You bet! Modern relationships are fast-paced and you don’t hear about courting as much. So what exactly are they now?

Modern Relationships

One thing that you’ll usually hear your grandparents *or even parents* complain about is how the young’uns do their dating nowadays. You know that line that starts with “Back in the day, we did this and not that” that will usually be followed by a litany of comparisons on how “disgraceful” modern relationships ended up. Well, sorry, Grandpa, we ain’t havin’ no courtin’ nowadays.

What’s new in modern relationships

It’s no surprise that the rules of dating and relationships have changed. With changing lifestyles and the introduction of technology, the way people choose and acquire a potential partner will not be the same the way our parents did it.

But to those not too old to have gotten a glimpse of old school relationships yet young enough to embrace the modern times, here are the things you observe about modern relationships. [Read: Weird dating trends millennials will have to explain to their kids]

#1 Courtship is almost non-existent. The meaning of courtship has different meanings depending on what culture you belong. Generally speaking, it is the period of romantic activity often initiated by men prior to asking for the woman’s hand for marriage.

Others consider courtship as that period of limited dating before becoming an item. Nowadays, you start as friends, you date, and you become a couple. No more formal dinner introduction to parents and chaperoned dates. Maybe the closest thing to courtship we have now is “hanging out.” [Read: How to court a woman: 15 classy ways to do it like a gentleman]

#2 The Definition of a “Relationship” has become blurry. Before, you either were single or dating. Nowadays it is common to hear young people call their relationship in some kind of category from a list so long that we can’t put it here.

While it sounds baffling to people from the older generation, young couples pay less attention to the rules and labels that governed typical romantic relationships. Maybe that’s why “it’s complicated.” [Read: 23 types of relationships to define your love life]

#3 More people are turning to online dating to find a partner. In this day where dating apps such as Tinder, OkCupid, or Hinge are the thing, finding a date in those 2000s era dating websites is even considered obsolete. This actually makes sense given that almost everyone owns a smartphone. We spend a lot of time in the digital world.

Compare that to the time when people met their life partners in the form of a childhood friend or a co-worker on your first job and online dating was thought to be reserved for people with poor social skills.

Nowadays, online dating is considered normal and is even applauded for its convenience. [Read: 10 annoyingly common misconceptions about online dating]

#4 Breaking up with someone has become easier. While this fact is not totally good news, it is one of the implications of easily finding partners through dating apps.

Years ago, couples broke up face to face in restaurants or in the privacy of their apartments. Now you easily break up with someone over text. Horrible, yeah. Well, this awful convenience leads to point five.

#5 Young people date more partners in their lifetime. If you start young, you collect a lot along the way. However, with the advent of online dating and portable dating apps, it also makes it easier to find a new partner and move on to the next. Modern relationships have become like buying a car that needs a test drive before committing one’s self to it. [Read: Why does dating get so hard when you reach your 20s?]

#5 Being single is absolutely fine. Back in the day your parents would definitely worry if you remained single past your thirties.

In modern relationships, being single is not only normal, it’s even a personal choice. Maybe that’s because women nowadays have careers too and not just wait to get married.

#6 More couples delaying marriage at a later age. Try to ask your parents when they were married and try to ask a young professional when they intend to settle down and you’ll get what we mean. People from the older generation consider the early 20s as the ideal age to marry.

Younger people, especially college-educated professionals, often focus on their careers. They are content to have a romantic relationship for the meantime before considering tying the knot. [Read: Emotional maturity: 30 clues to know if someone has it]

#7 Marriage has become optional. As mentioned, it’s not as if people don’t want to get married. Not only that they tend to move it to a later time of their life, their view of marriage has become more secular than those from the older generation.

We all know that people from the older generation had a conservative view of marriage and tend to get married first before moving further. Nowadays, it is common to see unmarried partners living together and even having kids before deciding to get married. [Read: 9 almost-relationships of the modern dating world]

#8 Sex is more awesome. The trend for modern relationships is that they have sex early in the relationship, they have sex often, and they have kinkier sex.

Changing social attitudes towards sex is primarily the reason for this difference. With sex being marketed all over the media and the liberalization of views towards sex, people have become more experimental.

#9 Same-sex dating and marriages. It has happened. Love wins. While we are still years away from full public acceptance of same-sex unions, it is pretty common to see two males and two females holding hands and showing their affection in public.

Maybe this has happened years in the past in small numbers and in utmost secrecy but what’s new in modern relationships is that more same sex couples find the courage to be open to make their relationship public.

What stayed the same

#10 Modern relationships still value financial stability. While you can still date a struggling, broke artist with all his artistic integrity, you will not date them for long if they still struggle and are broke two years after.

While money isn’t everything, even modern day relationships are still realistic enough to place an importance in financial security as a deciding factor in choosing a romantic partner. Because “adulting” means you also pay the bills. [Read: What to do if your partner makes less money than you]

#11 Most people still meet their future partners through a common friend. While online dating is taking over the dating scene, nothing beats the reliability and the romantic flair of meeting someone through a common friend. This set-up is effective because it ensures that both parties have a lynch pin to keep hanging out and get to know each other.

[Read: When to walk away from a relationship: Baby boomer vs. us]

 While some things stayed the same, a lot has changed. To summarize what modern relationships have become, it became fast and convenient.

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Paul Timothy Mangay
Paul aka Morty is a keyboard-pounding cubicle-dweller based in Manila where he occasionally moonlights as a writer for anyone in need of his mediocre word-strin...
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