Americans are also waiting until later in life to get married, and other living arrangements—such as cohabitation, single person households, and single parenthood—have grown more common in recent decades.
At the same time, marriage still holds wide appeal for those who have not tied the knot.
For as long as romantic relationships have existed, people have sought assistance in meeting potential partners using whatever options were at their disposal.
Matchmaking and arranged marriages have existed for centuries, and printed personal ads are nearly as old as the newspaper industry itself.
Some of these differences include: the ability to search from a deep pool of potential partners outside of one’s existing social networks; the ability to communicate online or via email prior to arranging for a face-to-face interaction; and matching algorithms that allow users to filter potential partners based on pre-existing criteria.
The number of Americans getting married has been steadily declining, and today a record-low 51% of the public is currently married (in 1960, 72% of all adults 18 and older were married).The first change involves mobile technologies, particularly smartphones.When we conducted our first study of online dating, the release of the i Phone was still two years in the future.Some 61% of men and women who have never married say they would like to get married eventually, while just 12% say they definitely do not want to marry.Research into whether online dating actually produces more successful relationships or romantic outcomes than conventional (offline) dating is generally inconclusive, although these sites clearly offer a qualitatively different experience compared with traditional dating.Today more than half of all American adults are smartphone owners, and dating—like many other aspects of modern life—is increasingly conducted on the go.