Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Men scrambled to show their lady loves how much they care. And some bachelors might have gone out on the town in search of a potential significant other.
But a new study from the Pew Research Center revealed that more people are using dating websites and apps to meet their sweethearts. More than 15 percent of American adults say they have used a dating app or website. Sure, that’s only 15 percent — but in the millennial age group (those ages 18 to 24), the number of people using the Internet to find love has tripled in the past three years.
Perhaps more interesting, adults ages 55 to 64 are also now using online dating sites and apps. That number, actually, has doubled.
More than 41 percent of Americans know someone who has used online dating apps or websites, and an astounding 29 percent, or nearly one in every three people, know someone who has met their spouse or long-term partner through these methods.
In the age of Tinder, Hinge, Bumble and a slew of others, the taboo of online dating seems to be all but gone. But the question must be asked for millennials using these apps: What type of relationships are you looking for?
In a world in which the divorce rate has skyrocketed in the past two generations and millennials are more likely than not to be children of divorce, the inclination to settle down young is just not a reality anymore.
There is a very clear stereotype about these apps: that people on them are looking for just one thing. For young people today, “the hook-up culture” is a reality. So much so that the Love and Fidelity Network has started a campaign at colleges throughout the country called #BringDatingBack.
Yes, it has gotten so bad that college students now need to be “told” to date. Posters around campus remind students of the benefits of meaningful relationships.
The Pew study says more people are using dating apps — not that more people are meeting online or forming real relationships.
And in the same study, 31 percent of those surveyed agreed “that online dating keeps people from settling down, because they always have options for people to date.”
Our culture needs to take a good hard look at what we’re selling to our young people. The hook-up culture is detrimental to both men and women and is not setting them up for success in a marriage.
Fidelity is becoming an old-fashioned value, and that sad fact is hurting our culture in the long run.