There has been an increase in receptivity towards online dating services or apps among the millennials. Research (YouGov SG, 2017) shows that 43% of millennials in Singapore have used an internet dating service or app at some point, while 55% of Singaporeans know at least one couple who met online. Of those who were surveyed, 75% of them did not think of a couple who met online any differently (YouGov SG, 2017).
This is indeed a shift in perspective, as compared to the early 2000s, when finding a partner online seems like a freakish thing to do (Rocca, 2019). Why is there a shift in mindset? Firstly, with the prevalent use of the Internet nowadays, where the ordering of food, booking of transport, shopping of clothes and necessities, and even connecting with our friends are done mostly online or through the various apps, it seems like a natural progression to find our partners online. Secondly, given the fast-paced society Singapore is in, most of the millennials are busy with work commitments (Choo, 2019). They just couldn’t find the time to date through the traditional method, where one is introduced to a potential partner through his/her friends or family members (Choo, 2019). For some, their social circle may be largely limited to their workplace. In certain cases, it may, hence, be difficult for a female to find a partner in a female-dominated working environment and vice versa. Dating apps, hence, make it easier for singles to connect and expand their social circle (Choo, 2019).
We may have heard of success stories, where couples met through an online dating app and eventually tied the knot. However, there are also cases where some were being scammed of their money; some met people who were only interested in hooks-up; some thought they found their perfect partners, only to find out later on that they were married with kids later. So, how can we get involved in online dating, knowing who is the true love of our lives?
Five stages of Relationship
Before answering that question, we need to first understand that all relationships go through 5 stages – romance, power struggle, stability, commitment and bliss stage (Muzik,n.d.). For this article, we will be focussing mainly on the romance and power struggle stage.
Stage (1) – Romance
This is the stage when we fall in love with someone. Some may describe this “falling-in-love” experience as heart-thumping faster; butterflies in the stomach; feeling extremely high doing nothing and excessively thinking and missing the other person when not together. This feeling of falling-in-love is euphoric. According to Chapman (2010), we often refer to this kind of love as infatuation, where we are “emotionally obsessed” with each other. When we are in this stage, we seem to believe that if we are really in love, this in-love feeling will last forever. However, Chapman (2010) points out that the average life-span of a romantic obsession is at most two years. Once the romance stage ends, the power struggle stage starts to kick in.
The average life-span of a romantic obsession is at most two years.
Stage (2) – Power Struggle
When the in-love state wears off, those little traits that we once overlooked when we are in love become huge mountains (Muzik, n.d.). We used to only see our similarities and may even find our differences as appealing and attractive. Yet, during this stage, our differences became obvious and we are confronted with the need to negotiate differences and resolve conflicts.