How has the notion of dating changed over the years?

Posted in Lifestyle

Even just in the last ten years the idea of dating has changed so much that people I know who have come out of long-term relationships no longer feel that they know how to date. In the early to mid noughties, hell even the late ones if you told your friends you were on a dating website you’d probably be met with concerned and shocked faces, it wasn’t the ‘done’ thing and people assumed these sites were there for creepy older men who had odd fetishes or those people who have been left on the shelf so long that they were desperate. Now i’d be surprised if a single person wasn’t on some sort of dating site (or app) with thousands popping up on a weekly basis.

I am a complete workaholic and have a very close knit of friends and family which means that I don’t have a lot of spare time, so online dating can be a great option when you’re looking to find someone to meet up with. Personally I like to talk to someone for long enough online to know that it’s worth going on a date with them, for example that we have similar interests and there would be enough to talk about for a few hours over drinks. Even a date for me is quite a commitment and I don’t want to be left feeling like I’ve wasted my night which is why I struggle to understand how being completely ignored after a date is acceptable. A few times now I’ve been on dates which have gone well (some more on a friends level and others potentially more) to then be left weeks later being completely shunned by the guy in question. Have people’s values and ideas about dating changed?

Recently an article was published talking about some findings that My Voucher Codes had found after a survey they conducted, and they found that 52% of men didn’t think that traditional values of courtship between couples still applied, surprisingly though 58% of women didn’t think the values still applied. What I’d like to know is what are considered these traditional values? Although I wouldn’t class myself as a feminist at all I would always offer to split the bill if we went out for dinner and I’d always offer to buy him a drink if I was getting one, if he then says he will get it then go for it. The findings showed that 35% of men felt that the price of meals should be shared 50/50 which I think is a fair statement but it was the next bit of data which concerned me.

57% of men- and a whopping 71% of women- didn’t feel the need to call the day after the date. Now I’m not specifying a call but is it just me who thinks it’s right to send a quick message the next day even if it’s a quick ‘Had a great time it was nice meeting you’. I’m not expecting a guy to start declaring his love for me and asking me out again but a recognition that they felt I was worth spending an evening on is enough for me. Maybe I’m asking for too much and a few seconds on a message is just too much to ask for but I think it’s only right.

While some of the results are unsurprising and something which I’ll happily admit to such as 33% of men and women admit to looking up their date online beforehand and 29% of men and women are happy to arrange a date via social media rather than calling, I still think that technology is to blame for our blahzay attitude around the opposite sex, and women are just as much to blame as men.

Dating almost feels like another job now with forms to fill out on numerous dating websites, conversations to keep flowing and finding time in my busy schedule to organise meeting people and sometimes I just think is it worth it? But seeing friends and other people I know getting engaged/ married/ pregnant/ buying houses together I wonder how my life would be different if I’d met that special someone. Maybe my standards are too high, or maybe I want too much who knows.

Do you think our values and traditions when it comes to dating have changed?
*This post was sponsored by My Voucher Codes but all opinions and views are my own
March 2, 2016
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  • I certainly think that our values to dating have changed over time, although thats purely from what I've observed from a far as I'm very out of touch with dating myself xxx

  • What dating sites and apps don't show is the chemistry you have with someone. Yes some sites can give you an idea of compatibility but that isn't everything. As Cher says "It's in his kiss"!

  • I'm not sure values have changed, but dating methods have. I found myself single after a super-long relationship and brief marriage when I was in my (very) early thirties. I was like a fish out of water at first. Calling someone after a date??? I was practically laughed at! Little did I realise the done thing was to send a text.

  • Oh yes it has changed. Times have changed when it comes to anything these days.

  • I have a friend who still thinks the guy should always pay on the first few dates, which really surprised me as I consider that an outdated tradition. Guess everyone's different!

  • Mobile phones and social media have definitely changed the way we date and how we date. I'm like you, I want a text the next day at least if I'd been on a date. Just out of politeness really. Meeting a person is so hard as well in today's world that online dating is the new norm, but it's much harder to figure out people until you're face to face which can be a bit disconcerting. x

  • Its true, it seems as though everyone is online these days and it is not necessarily a bad thing but the statistics really are quite shocking. I have to confess that I have freezed people out before when I haven't been interested which is rude I know but technology has made it easier to do so.

  • I am in my forties and as single mum. I would like to date but it is really difficult to meet someone – in the traditional way or otherwise! Kaz x

  • I would want someone to text me the day after a date too! If I remember rightly, me and my partner were texting daily! xxx

  • For me, dating was always meeting someone and spending time together and it was never physical. I think i only date someone i like in the first place and life is really different in these days to how it used to be. I dated my hubby for 6 months before we got engaged. We are traditional though.

  • I think dating has changed massively, thanks to technology!

  • It's so, so common to meet online now as that is where so many of us spend an inordinate amount of time. I definitely think it has less of a stigma than it ever has. It's so normal now!

  • With everyone much into technology, dating websites is just another medium to meet a partner. We live in such a fast paced world now people don't have time for the old fashioned way. I have had many friends who have found their Mr right through dating sites.

  • Its crazy how much has changed in so little time. I remember back when I was single that using dating websites was seen as a little cringy – now everyone's doing it!

  • Its crazy how much has changed in so little time. I remember back when I was single that using dating websites was seen as a little cringy – now everyone's doing it!

  • tell me about it I have been someone's wife for 18 years and now I have been single 8 months and friends tell me I must have iphone apps to now date men I mean what really you flick threw pictures and read profiles and choose a man

  • I loved reading this … I too was shocked at those statistics and found myself agreeing with every point you made – maybe I am a traditional girl at heart but this has made me so glad I'm no longer in the world of dating

  • Whitney Harries

    When I was younger and I saw people older going on dates and my parents going out to romantic dinners or the cinema or even out for a few drinks together, I always used to think how cute it was and how I can't wait to be old enough to date and love someone. For me I always had a picture of the perfect man – I guess we all do right? And none of the ones who I have actually dated meet that standard and even my current boyfriend doesn't, although I do love him, he's not the guy I wanted from a little girl (if that makes sense). This is where I think people are too scared of what people think – maybe they don't have the looks but being with them is to die for, yet friends are huge influences and if they turn their noses, you'll fret! I agree with you X

    Whitney |

    • I didn't realize how much I actually wrote until I sent it and scrolled up at the other comments! Sorry! X

  • I have friends who are single and dating seems so hard these days, I wouldn't know where to start if I was single again x

  • I think some things have changed over the years, I'm glad I dont have to worry about dating.


  • I totally agree that its a chore! I prefer the old fashion way which is rare these days

  • As someone who has been with the same person for 22 years, the idea of dating now is just horrifying.

  • Haha, we both know what I think about Tinder! It's definitely almost like a full time job now, finding people and then maintaining conversation etc.


  • I was first introduced to online dating in uni when my fiancé at the time broke up with me, and it was a completely foreign concept to me, however with perseverance I managed to find my current boyfriend (and hopefully life partner) Tim. Honestly wouldn't change a thing.

  • Yes, the dating scene will change with the times. From the days of dance cards to tinder and whatever the future holds!

  • Dating has changed so much in one generation especially with Internet dating. There is also changed in that it's now more acceptable for a woman to approach a man. When my parents dated this was certainly not a common practice. It was thought so badly of and your reputation was tarnished. In a way changes are for the good but sites like tinder have taken romance away

  • I think it's changed so much over the years.

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