More choices, more relationships, and more socializing open up new kinds of opportunities that wouldn’t have existed without dating apps and websites.
A 2012 study found that the Internet has allowed users to find partners more easily, especially homosexuals and middle-aged people who operate in a “thin market.” The big question is whether marriages that originate online work out in the long run. Some studies suggest that American marriages that begin online are slightly less prone to collapse than those who met offline. Nonetheless, there’s an inherent problem with how these online relationships begin – at least, from a Nietzschean perspective.
Nietzsche also said that instinctive judgments are misleading because they “pronounce their Yes and No before the understanding can speak.” Furthermore, to act impulsively is decadent and hedonistic, and these are “signposts to nihilism.” So does the rise of online dating in our culture signal an embrace of self-indulgence?
And does it come at the expense of long-term relationships?
This ignores the fact that romantic passion dissolves over time. But most arrive at the same conclusion: it doesn’t last forever.
The fundamental problem with modern Western coupling is the ideal that romantic love culminates in marriage – and will last forever. Research about how long romance lasts tends to vary.
But from a Nietzschean perspective, strong-willed people enjoy the intoxication of loving, but have the big picture in mind: they realize the main criterion for choosing a long-term partner ought to be the ability to hold a decent conversation.
Nietzsche suggested that intellectual attraction would provide a deeper and more durable foundation for relationships than sex appeal.
The research is mixed, but a few dominant themes emerge, including findings showing that “swiping right” might not be the best way to find a true match.
Tinder certainly isn’t killing romance – at least, that of the ephemeral kind.
But what might someone from the 19th century think about this unique fusion of technology and romance?