Dating In The Modern Age

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Meeting people is easier now with the latest dating apps, but that doesn’t change the basic instincts of searchers, argues SMU’s Norman Lee.

Dating In The Modern Age

Although many dating apps are readily available across Asia, traditional factors such as education, age and race still influence who people choose to interact with in real life. (Photo: AFP)

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Singapore: Times are changing for Singapore’s dating scene. More and more people are meeting through the latest smartphone applications.

It seems that more people are able to date casually, while fewer people are getting married, and those who do are less likely to stay married for life.

The 2016 marriage and divorce statistics released by Singstat showed a 1.2 percent decrease in the number of marriages and a 1.2 percent increase in the number of divorces compared to the previous year. The average length of marriage that ends in divorce is 10 years, and 29.9 percent of divorces involve marriages between five and nine years.

Could it be that people have too many choices—real or perceived—that lead to the rapid dissolution of relationships?

Modern Dating Tips For The Digital Age

Two weeks ago, Channel NewsAsia published a commentary on finding love and expanding your social circle through dating apps.

Research shows that both men and women value a variety of qualities, including warmth, friendliness, intelligence and a sense of humor. These are the qualities that we will find in a potential long-term partner or someone we will marry.

In casual, short-term relationships, however, both men and women place more emphasis on – you guessed it – physical attraction.

But men prioritize physical attraction over other qualities in their long-term and short-term partners to a greater extent than women. Men also seem more willing to participate in casual encounters than women.

Dating And Relationships In The Digital Age

The Clark and Hatfield experiments, published in 1989 and 2003, are perhaps the most famous in evolutionary social psychology. They found that although they were equally receptive to dating a stranger, men and women differed significantly in their susceptibility to going home with someone they had just met.

Men were surely the most willing creatures. Variations in this study across the world found the same broad pattern.

Instead, women seek partners with access to resources rather than social status and other characteristics. They value these qualities more than men, both in short-term and long-term relationships.

It seems that in modern society, even though women have made great strides in education and the workplace, not much has changed in the qualities that women value.

Dating Is For Everyone

This is particularly true in Singapore, although the gender pay gap is smaller than in other developed countries, including the US, Germany, South Korea and Japan.

In a cross-cultural study published in 2011, we asked participants to allocate a limited “partner dollar” budget to creating their ideal partners. Compared to their American counterparts, Singaporean women tend to allocate a greater proportion of their budgets to the social status of a long-term partner.

Haven’t these traditional expectations of what we want in our male and female partners changed over time?

Popular culture and other social forces undoubtedly play a role, as evidenced by a large body of empirical work, but as hundreds of studies in psychology, biology, and anthropology also show, there is also a deeper cause that goes back millions of years: Evolution.

Let’s Not Pretend We Are In Love

From an evolutionary psychological perspective, mate preferences have evolved to adaptively guide humans to choose mates that can help secure mates and reproductive success.

Because women’s fertility peaks at ages 23 to 24 and declines rapidly after 30, men have evolved to have characteristics that reflect youth and sexual maturity, such as smooth skin, soft hair, large eyes, and a low waist-to-hip ratio.

While men’s physical characteristics show similar signs of aging, their fertility declines more slowly over the course of their lives. Thus, there is less evolutionary pressure on females to identify breeding mates.

Where men differ most, however, is in their ability to acquire and provide resources. Since women have historically depended on men for survival, from an evolutionary perspective, an individual with a higher level of access to resources—as indicated by his or her social status—would be preferred.

Dating In The Modern Age

In fact, like their preference for height, females require potential mates to have at least as much social status as females.

Also, because females are the more valuable sex for reproduction and the cost of pregnancy, they evolved to be more selective about who their mates are.

All of these forces may not be conscious, and many would flatly deny that evolution still shapes many of our decisions.

Of course, women don’t zero in on any man with a fat wallet, and men aren’t blind to everything they see either. But time exhibits patterns that research and ethnographies continue to document. Evolutionary preferences will affect our choices in the long term.

Single. Dating. Engaged. Married.

Importantly, since evolutionary change typically occurs over hundreds of generations, our psyches have not had enough time to adapt to the unprecedented rapid technological changes that have occurred in recent times.

While our brains have a great deal of flexibility built into them and other factors influence our decisions, there are also patterns and constraints imposed by the psychology that evolved to serve our ancestors in a rapidly disappearing physical world. When it comes to dating, people have the same preferences for a partner.

But if technology continues to accelerate the flow of information, increasingly powerful applications can provide access to a greater number of potential partners, filtered by the criteria people want. Relationships can become more temporary and less stable.

At least they are not constantly looking for other options – and are more willing to settle down with their dream partner.

Don’t Leave’ Review: A Love Story For The Modern Age

Norman Lee is Associate Professor of Psychology at Singapore Management University. His research interests include mismatch between partner preferences and contemporary conditions and mechanisms of adaptation.

We know switching browsers is difficult, but we want your CNA experience to be fast, secure, and the best it can be. Today it seems that finding a partner can be difficult, especially since for the last two years we have tried to keep our distance from everyone. If you’re looking for love in the modern world, don’t despair because the following tips will give you a game plan to find the perfect partner. In no time, you’ll be able to kiss your days off goodbye.

If you have friends and family who have someone in mind to set up with, this blind date is worth a try. Blind dates can be a fun way to meet potential partners without putting in too much effort. You can learn a lot about a person during a date, including likes, dislikes, and behaviors. If you’re not sure where to go on a date like this, try to choose a public place where you feel comfortable with others. You can also set a date to do something fun like painting or cooking. This is the best way to find out if you are compatible with the person you are dating.

With everything digital in the world, meeting people online has never been easier. By registering on a website or app, you can meet people to date who can help you find someone who is looking for a relationship and meets your needs. Nowadays it is very easy to find a suitable dating site. Finding your soul mate is not easy, but the information available on SFGate.com assures you that a dating platform can help you find love in today’s world. There are many free platforms, but there are some with memberships that ensure that those who register on the site are actually looking for a relationship and not just for fun.

Pdf] Single, Dating, Engaged, Married: Navigating Life And Love In The Modern Age Kindle

Socializing, in general, can help you meet tons of potential friends. The best thing about this plan is that you will find people with common interests because they visit the places you visit. For example, if you love art, going to art fairs will help you meet people with the same passion. If you like comics and sci-fi, you can get a larger group of people to choose from by finding out about events with similar themes. Just like you’re looking for love, so are others, so you need to get out there and start looking for someone who enjoys the same things you do.

Determining what you are looking for in a potential partner can help you eliminate any bad options for you. There are many factors to consider such as culture, hobbies, habits, religious beliefs, family expectations and living conditions.

Discovering these aspects can help you make a quick decision

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