The future of dating report was an eharmony study done with Monash University predicting the effect online dating will have on families and relationships over the coming decades:
- By 2038, they estimate more babies will be born to parents who met online than offline, and within the next decade 34% of newborns will be so-called ‘ebabies’
- Additional research also identifies the ‘Tipping Point’ – the year when more Aussies meet on rather than offline – as 2040
- They also foundthat online dating is now the most popular way for Aussie singles to get together (29.4%), well ahead of meeting at a bar, pub or club (around 6%)
- Just under half of Aussies (48%) agree that the digital world makes it easier to find someone compatible
Within 18 years, babies born to parents who met online will be more common than babies born to couples who met via traditional means, according to a new report by eharmony and Monash University.
“Online dating often gets a bad rap for encouraging casual dating and swipe culture. But our report with Monash University, demonstrates that there are countless people who look to technology to find life-long partners and start families. It’s ever more prevalent, particularly since the challenges we’ve seen recently via the COVID 19 virus, and its restraints upon normal socialising.” says Sharon Draper, Relationship Expert at eharmony, “This new research clearly indicates that more and more Aussie families will originate from dating platforms like eharmony and that can only be a good thing. “That said, if you’re new to online dating and you want to find a serious relationship, think carefully about the type of person you want to attract. Avoid endless cycles of casual dating by looking for a person who shares your values, personality traits and, most importantly, your goals.”
Meeting through technology will increasingly be the norm, with projections suggesting 2040 as the year when more Aussie couples will meet online than offline. Some of the report’s key findings include:
1. ebabies and the future of starting a family Using a nationally representative survey of over 2,000 Australians and projections from current trends in online dating, the authors of the report pinpoint 2038 as the year when more than half of babies born will be born to online couples. Furthermore, by 2030, over a third of babies will be ebabies, which is huge leap forward considering just two decades ago online dating was very much in its infancy. In fact, even just a decade ago, few couples openly admitted they met online.
Interestingly enough, the report also finds that couples who met online in more recent years (2014-2020), on average have 2.3% more babies than those who met face-to-face (1.38 vs. 1.35). This suggests a key group of singles use technology to seek family-inclined commitments.
The report then considered current trends, finding that based on the share of births that are ebabies, an estimated 20% of all babies born in this millennium are ebabies. Further, the report reveals that 21% of online couples that had a baby did so within a year of meeting. Aussie couples who meet online most commonly have one child (21%), with over one in eight (13%) welcoming two children. Men are also slightly more likely than women to have children with a partner they met online (38.9% v 35.4%).
2. Defining the ‘Tipping Point’ In the second part of their report, the Monash team estimated the year when more couples will meet online than offline.
Using a combination of nationally representative data and statistical probabilities, they conclude that 2040 will be the so-called Tipping Point, when just over half (50%) of relationships begin online. This growth in online dating has particularly accelerated over the past few years, with over a third (34%) starting between 2016 and the present day, making it ever more mainstream. Interestingly enough, whereas historic research suggests that one in five couples met in the pub back in the early-1980’s, nowadays only 6% do so.
Table 1: Method of single people meeting between the years of 2015 & 2020
|1||Dating apps (29.4%)|
|2||Via a mutual friend (17.1%)|
|3||At work (15.9%)|
|4||At a bar, pub or club (6.3%)|
|5||At school (6%)|
|6||Via social media (4.8%)|
“We also identified alternative ways that tailored matching between two parties online may change in the future.” The team of researchers were able to forecast future relationship trends with the Markov model, which measures probabilities and can be used to recognise patterns in a bid to make predictions, such as those in the findings.
In recognition of the huge benefits of online dating, almost half of Aussies (48%) believe it makes it easier to find someone compatible, and a similar number think it allows for ‘better matching’.
Two thirds of Aussies (69%) agree online dating has become more normalized – meaning the stigma has long since gone – and an inspired one in two Aussies (51%) say the internet makes it easier for introverts to find love.
“It’s really important that people recognize the many benefits that online dating can bring, with many singles looking to technology to find real and meaningful relationships.” said Romain Bertrand, VP International at eharmony, “At eharmony, we match singles according to high compatibility which means they are more likely to have long-lasting relationships, and even families if they so choose.”
In a sea of catfish and other equally complex creatures, when it comes to digital dating etiquette, we asked the experts at Love Honey on how to navigate the nuance of it all. More specifically, the social etiquette around sexting.
The art of Sexting – The Do’s and Don’ts
“I think sexting can be really great, especially if at the moment you can’t see your partner or are in a long distance relationship.” says Lovehoney Ambassador and Psycho-Sexologist Chatelle Otten. “But it’s not just for long distance relationships, it can also be for more casual relationships where both parties are wanting to further a connection.”
There is a vulnerability and risk involved when sexting as private messages could somehow become not private, so some choose not to and that’s completely fine she adds, “Before you decide to do anything evaluate the circumstances first – how well do you know the person? Do you trust them? Are you sure they ill keep the communication private? What if they turn out to not be trustworthy? Will the consequences be devastating or a minor inconvenience?”
Assess the risks and as yourself how well you really know the person you’re sending stuff to and Chantelle says it all comes down to not letting yourself feel pressured, coaxed. You have to be comfortable with it, you tell the story – how much you where, what story you tell, how many buttons you do or undo, sexy lingerie to brighten up your partner’s day at work or even nudes!
- Have your own style of sext – There is no one correct way of doing this. Try to adapt to the person you are messaging and match them; that way, you are both more likely to be on the same page. If you are unsure about what to type, try to ask questions, which then gives the other person room to do more talking and also make you feel more comfortable when you reply, since you can judge their mood and style of talking better.
- Be spontaneous – A cheeky message can make a boring day into an exciting one with a naughty prospect awaiting. Sexting is also hugely effective foreplay, so that when you see each other later, the tension is so high you cannot keep your hands off each other!
- Use sexting to test new ideas and limits – When wanting to try something new in the bedroom, it can be hard to bring it up. Sexting is a good way of testing the boundaries and seeing how receptive your partner is to a new idea.
- Know it’s okay to embellish the truth – It’s fine to enjoy sexting and knowing you’re turning your partner on, but not necessarily engaged from your own end. If your partner asks what you’re wearing and really it’s a pair of snuggly pyjamas, it’s fine to describe your sexiest underwear, it is totally fine to make up a scenario to reply with instead. It’s fantasy, after all!
- Keep your sext life private – Have the courtesy of keeping messages private and known to only yourself. Sexual habits are a private and sensitive matter that not many people particularly want airing out for all to see. Be courteous and respect their privacy, especially if any of what you discuss is seen as being out-of-the-ordinary.
- Pressure an unwilling partner – Just because you might be in the mood for dirty talk or pics, your partner might not. Don’t take it personally and don’t persist or pressure them.
- Unsolicited private part pics – don’t send anything full-frontal unless 100% sure the recipient wants to receive this type of content or you have been asked.
- Use unappealing language- There are certain words that a lot of people find unappealing. Overly explicit terms and even some general words like “moist” are often best avoided when trying to get someone in the mood.
- Send to the wrong person – double check the recipient before hitting the send button. Simple but you will be thankful!
As an added precaution, and again this is about what you feel comfortable with, if you want to be extra safe you can look to hide or leave out any distinguishable features from your pictures or videos i.e. identifiable birthmarks, tattoos, unique jewelry etc.