The death of dating

Do acquaintances overlook physical appearance because they know each other’s personality and unique attributes?

Is dating less of a “competitive market” when it’s among friends rather than at a bar or a house party?

When the sample size of potential partners is so large it’s easy to have the mind-set that there will always be something better at the next swipe.

In fact, the ethereal nature of online dating and hook-up culture could be seen as the death knell to romance, long-term relationships and everlasting love.

Justin Garcia, a research scientist at Indiana University, has gone as far as to call the proliferation of dating apps ‘the second major transition’ in four million years of heterosexual mating (the first being the early human settlements that came with the agricultural revolution). Whereas previously it was only possible for a singleton to talk properly to two or three people in a bar on any particular night, now you can interact with hundreds of potential partners from the comfort of your own home.

The sting of rejection is less painful on the internet than face to face, as the plethora of choice proves the old adage that ‘there’s plenty more fish in the sea’.

A recent article in Cosmopolitan detailed, “Why First-Date Dinners Suck,” listing similar reasons: the date category is antiquated, the time frame of the event is too long if there is no chemistry, and eating is too “intimate.” Dating online can be more miss than hit, even when you see the photo beforehand, so there is a risk that the dinner will feel even longer.Working with two psychologists, Hunt looked at 167 couples who participated in a long-term study at Northwestern.They asked each couple how long they’d known each other before they started dating, and they recruited people to watch videotapes of the couples and rate each individual’s physical attractiveness.As online dating surges in popularity, few millennials have the time, money, or desire to sit with a stranger over a long meal.Only 7 in 10,000 messages in a recent Ok Cupid IAC survey suggested “grabbing some dinner” and a somewhat less scientific survey this reporter conducted of several dozen actively dating 20-somethings found that dinner has become a highly taboo first date.

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