Love On Tap – Will Marriage Soon Be Outdated?

I get asked all the time if I think marriage is outdated? While I don’t, I do think that it is quickly losing its appeal. I go back to February 7, 2002 when I was approached by a local newspaper who wanted to do a story on me. The focus was their reporter who could not keep a relationship. They wanted me to figure out why he was unlucky at love. Now 15 years later, it’s a whole new game.

What stands out most to me during that process was at the time I was questioned about dating sites? {Dating sites were relatively new, but starting to catch on.} I remember the exact quote I gave-

“Not to take anything away from dating services – because that’s fine, especially if you’re very busy. But for me, dating services take the human element out of things. It’s almost as if you’re going to a fast-food restaurant, ordering something and getting it your way.”

It’s funny because just 3 years later I found my wife on a popular dating site. It’s true. I was working 18 hours a day between non-profit, private practice and teaching. I had little time for a social life, except for the end of the night coffee crew that afforded me a hour to decompress. So, how was I to meet a woman?

Today dating, social and social media sites are the norm. Just last month while I was providing EAP consulting I learned that a few of my clients where doing just that. Without going into specific’s, they were saying that it was not unusual to have up to 5 different dates a week.

So getting back to if marriage is outdated? I honestly don’t think that it ever will, but when you have love on tap and multiple options, it does for many act as a repellent. The thought process is if one is good, four is better. Certainly not in every case. But the increase of popularity of these sites and on tap conveniences make it very appealing for many.

Some of the things I am commonly hearing is the first sign of conflict it is time to replace. Relationships can be for incredible growth for those who commit to them. But, if one is not ready to do the work, what is the incentive to stay when they hit their first bump in the road? Or, I like the excitement of the new experience. The newness is addicting. And honestly, I totally understand.

Granted for me, by the time I tried dating sites, I was in my late 30’s and in a good place for myself. I wasn’t playing the numbers game or not coming out of a bad relationship. I was truly ready to settle down and a dating site made sense for me given how little time I had. Fast forward 15 years later my wife and I have been together most of those years.

I’m not so sure that marriage is outdated or if our attention span has all but disappeared. We have become a society that is inundated us with newness almost every minute of the day. And for those who are growing up with all these modern conveniences and never having to rely on interpersonal skills to meet people, they can totally rely on love on tap. Because if you have access to the internet, you can literally have a date within minutes every hour, every day.

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