Life Love
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‘Till death do us part: It’s quite the romantic sentiment, no? Based on a recent survey by online dating website EliteSingles, though, this age-old vow is decaying and altering the entire structure on which we base our relationships. This brand spanking new survey, titled Future Love, has discovered a number of revealing trends that we will each adopt in regards to our love-making.

For instance, only 50 per cent of the 445 singles polled (from Canada, the UK, Ireland and South Africa) believe in “the one,” and aren’t all that keen on marriage. Not only that, but 40 per cent of those polled prefer to live separately. Of that number, half of them based their solo living quarters on keeping the spark alive; because nothing says “I love you” quite like “get the eff away from me.” Regardless, though, the conclusions reached in this survey do seem very pertinent to the unconventional ways many now conduct their relationships.

Here are nine future relationship trends as determined by the survey:

Partnership vs. self-realization

We’re only growing more and more selfish, this survey reveals. Well, let’s go with “independent.” The battle between our innate desire for a stable relationship and individual goals will continue to increase. Many will elect to either stay single and grow as an individual, or grow with a partner and potentially sacrifice their individual success. Apparently you can’t have both, which is a tad too black and white for most—I mean, look at Brangelina.

From the ‘support marriage’ to the ‘experience marriage’

Though not romantic in the least, relationships and marriages were once pursued for survival and financial security (for the morally corrupt, some still marry for the latter). That being said, this is not the way we currently base our marriages, and the survey predicts these predilections will continue to evolve. My prediction: marriage will soon die out and common-law relationships will become the norm. You heard it here first, folks.

From life partners to temporary companions

Much like the timeline of our careers, relationships will follow a similar path and make the transition from life-long to temporary. Relationships will consistently be threatened by other serious, exclusive relationships. As someone who is single and has an inclination to mingle, I can say this has already begun. We elect the sample platter over the entrée, so to speak.

Importance of relationship quality

Coinciding with the trend above, temporary partners with place more importance on relationship quality. People will give up on their relationships quicker because it will become commonplace to leave for something better (this is terrifying to consider).  If the relationship forecasts a serious deficiency in this quality, it’s on to the next. Simple as that.

Singledom loses its clichéd age

Finally! With the growing number of singles at every age — be it the result of divorce, death, separation, or by choice — the pity-party on singles will be less attended based on its commonality. Maybe now my aunt will stop setting me up with every single employee at her hair salon.

Changes in social conditions = greater independence

Consistent with the increase in life expectancy, greater diversity in lifestyle is also predicted. This means that more and more people will choose to enjoy longer phases of their lives alone. Basically, this means we will begin dating and committing to others at a much later age. Not unlike the contrast in marital age between Gen X and Gen Y.

Booming couple therapy

Based on the increasing demands and complexity of temporary relationships, the existing stigma on couples therapy will be nullified based on the volume of couples seeking it.

Online dating will continue to grow

We’ve already experienced the initial boom in online dating. The survey’s results discovered the taboo around online dating websites will continue to shrink, making it as acceptable a way of finding a partner as that of any other traditional method. Which, to me, seems to be the convention now, not necessarily a prediction. I will say though, that free dating services (I’ve yet to try paid) are rife with disappointment. Sorry!

Increasingly specific partner requirements

People will grow increasingly specific with their potential partner “checklists.” Again, this is because our relationships will become temporary, so there’s less pressure on “making it work”. These so-called checklists are already being applied within dating websites as they help organize people’s searches to locate the most compatible profiles. I, myself, have way too many items on my checklist. Which is probably why I’m currently eating a cup of Ramen Noodles with Judge Judy.

Let’s hear from you: Do you agree with these trends, or do you think they’re too drastic? Sound off in the comments!