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Is Tinder Really Killing Romance?

One historian claims it is

tinder killing romance
Lucy Worsley, a BBC historian, said that Tinder is killing romance, according to the Daily Mail. Here are a few of her comments published in the Daily Mail article:

“How could Jane Austen have written her novels about the slow, exquisite torture of love in an age of Grindr and Tinder, when bored singletons search for one-night stands with a few clicks of their mobiles?”

Who’s to say Jane Austen’s characters wouldn’t have been into one night stands? But it wasn’t part of the culture in the early 19th century. And who’s to say that “singletons” use dating apps out of boredom, or that they’re all looking for one night stands? Many women on Tinder very adamantly state in their bios that they’re not looking for hookups. Whether they really mean it is another topic for discussion, but they seems pretty serious when you read them.

“Austen’s heroines worked hard to find The One by overcoming obstacles of social class, parental disapproval and the law. But these days it’s far too easy for romance to flourish.”

That’s because laws and social customs were excessively restrictive relative to today’s standards. And I don’t think it’s easy for romance to flourish. Maybe it’s easy to get a date, but that doesn’t mean genuine connections are easy to come by.

“Many of us grew up expecting to fall in love, get married and have children – in that order. Although lots of people’s lives no longer follow that narrative, so many of our books and films still assume it’s the right way to live.”

But how well did that paradigm work? The sexual revolution of the late 60s/early 70s led Americans to reevaluate their interpretations of love, sex and family life. As a result, the divorce rate soared in the 70s and 80s in what was arguably an indictment of the traditional “fall in love, get married and have children” way of life. Maybe we don’t have it figured out in 2015, but perhaps going through the growing pains of figuring out how Tinder and other forms of online dating integrate into society is worth it to establish a new paradigm, and new traditions that will be turned on their heads in another 100-200 years.

Also, since when have books and films provided accurate representations of how couples meet and fall in love? Part of the problem in the early 21st century is that romantic comedies in the movies and television shows such as How I Met Your Mother portray couples getting together in ways that would probably never happen in real life.

“As we see in period dramas, it’s when there are terrible obstacles between couples that romance thrives best.”

I don’t know about that. Romeo and Juliet killed themselves. Leonardo DiCaprio drowned at the end of Titanic. The two guys from Brokeback Mountain succumbed to social pressure and broke up in the end. Maybe a more accepting, drama-free culture shouldn’t be taken for granted.

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About Jordan Murray Jordan is a journalist who has written extensively about dating and lifestyle for multiple publications.

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