Take a right swipe at love

Sunday Mail - - NEWS - RE­BECCA DIGIROLAMO

MORE than a quar­ter of South Aus­tralians have met a part­ner on­line, with swipe apps and chat rooms the sec­ond and third most pre­ferred so­cial me­dia match­mak­ing plat­form by Mil­len­ni­als.

The new re­search from Aus­tralian on­line dat­ing group ehar­mony re­leased last week comes as experts pre­dict “e-ro­mance” will out­strip tra­di­tional ways of meet­ing by 2040.

The ehar­mony sur­vey of 1000 Aus­tralian daters found 28 per cent of South Aus­tralians have found a part­ner on­line – slightly higher than the na­tional av­er­age of 25 per cent.

Mil­len­ni­als were more likely to date on­line, through a swipe app such as Tin­der, or via chat rooms, com­pared with 75 per cent of their par­ents and grandparents who say they’ve only ever met their part­ners in per­son.

The sur­vey also found Mil­len­ni­als were three times more likely to com­mu­ni­cate with their part­ner via in­stant mes­sen­ger and text each other twice as much com­pared with Baby Boomers.

Baby Boomers pre­ferred to meet in per­son than text or phone.

What the two gen­er­a­tions did share, how­ever, was a pref­er­ence for hu­mour above ap­pear­ance as the most im­por­tant fea­ture in a part­ner.

Shared hob­bies and in­ter­ests came sec­ond for both co­horts and sex­ual chem­istry was third. Psy­chol­o­gist and ehar­mony re­la­tion­ships and dat­ing ex­pert Jac­qui Man­ning says on­line dat­ing is not the only way younger South Aus­tralians are meet­ing each other but it is the most com­mon way.

“It’s some­thing that is now part of our dat­ing world,” she said.

“Young peo­ple have grown up with texts and mes­sag­ing apps so it is their nor­mal way of con­nec­tion – it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.”

Flin­ders Uni­ver­sity re­la­tion­ships experts Dr Priscilla Dunk-West said on­line dat­ing had be­come a far less stig­ma­tised prac­tice com­pared with 10 years ago.

“It’s just what you do now,” Dr Dunk-West says.

And while younger South Aus­tralians are dom­i­nat­ing on­line dat­ing and swipe apps, she says older gen­er­a­tions re­cently di­vorced or wid­owed from a long-time part­ner are also em­brac­ing the new-age ro­mance.

On­line dat­ing com­pany rsvp, which tends to at­tract an older clien­tele, said more than 300,000 Aus­tralians were join­ing its site each year.

“On­line dat­ing is al­ready be­com­ing the most com­mon way peo­ple are meet­ing in com­par­i­son to tra­di­tional meth­ods,” rsvp chief ex­ec­u­tive Dave Hey­sen said.

“We’d pre­dict that over the next 20 years, 70 per cent of users would've met their sig­nif­i­cant other on­line.”

Pic­ture: SARAH REED

RIS­ING STAR: Ana Sa­ma­ras, 16, mod­els one of her win­ning de­signs at Par­tridge House.

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