The world of dating has changed drastically in the past decade and the jury is still out on how much romance benefits from that change. Dating apps such as Tinder mean that people can connect more easily and find matches they may never have been able to without online dating. On the other hand, you have catfishing, ghosting and the oversimplification of people's lives to a few pictures and acronyms like ‘DTE’ and ‘LTR’. Whether you love or hate the advent of digitised dating, the phenomenon is here to stay and will be evolving drastically as the years progress. This is what futurists are saying it will look like in the coming decades.

Virtual Reality Dates

The Imperial College Business School has predicted that by the year 2040, seven out of ten relationships will start online. This might seem to remove an element of intimacy, but thanks to faster data transfer and advancements in wearable technology, full-sensory virtual dating could be possible in 25 years.

You wouldn’t be alone in thinking that this is surreal – virtual dating would mean that all five human senses could be digitally simulated in unison to create a full-sensory, immersive virtual experience. Imagine being able to meet someone on the other side of the world without either of you leaving your living rooms. You could hold someone’s hand, smell their perfume, see them up close and really meet them before even being in the same room together. This would even open up a global dating platform and redefine what we consider to be long-distance relationships.


Biotechnology and DNA

Some futurists are claiming that our DNA has the potential to unlock the secrets to the laws of attraction in our relationships.

From an evolutionary perspective, all animals are hardwired to seek the optimum amount of genetic variation in our partners, to produce the strongest possible offspring. While this doesn’t sound very romantic, it speaks volumes to the important role DNA could play when it comes to understanding attraction.

Increased affordability of DNA research is allowing more extensive research to take place in this field, subsequently offering deeper insight into DNA as a key in unlocking the secrets of attraction. An MIT study has pointed out that over 26 million people have submitted DNA to uncover their family histories – now it’s simply a question of whether or not people would do the same in order to find their perfect match.


Behaviour as a matchmaker

While pictures and videos place an ever-growing role in online dating, people are flocking towards apps that can match you with other singles whose profiles display similar interests to theirs.

Future decades are set to take this a step-further with behaviour-based matchmaking. Rather than giving your own self-identified labels and interests, your behaviour would be monitored, digitised and used to find potential matches. The hyper-connectivity between the device you use every day, including wearable technology, could offer a deeper insight to what you want than you realise.

What makes your heart race? What do you spend most of your time reading about and watching? All of these questions could unlock deeper truths about attraction and algorithms could be playing Cupid with these insights as early as 2040.


AI as the ultimate advisor

In the coming decades, technology won’t just be a major factor in deciding who to date, but also how to you go about dating and making life decisions.

Experts have predicted that by 2040, improvements to data-processing will be so efficient that they will enable AI to analyse a great deal of complex data at incredibly high speeds. This would render AI capable of giving feedback, research and advice in real-time to people thanks in part to the Internet of Things.

Have you ever had an assistant who can tell you how your date is going at any given moment? Someone who can give you live advice on the perfect topics of conversation, icebreakers, or which jokes are going to be a hit? AI could utilise body reactions, alcohol levels, hunger, sleep cycles, environmental factors like temperature.

For many people, this might seem to remove volition from life and deprive people of self-determination. But if used conscientiously, this data could help people in their relationships by identifying problems, offering empirically based and personalised resolutions. It could even offer guidance on when and how to make life’s big milestones happen, such as knowing the best time to get married and have children.

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Jesse Brand

Digital Copywriter

Jesse Brand,
Digital Copywriter

Jesse is a national award-winning poet, musician, writer and knower-of-all-things digital. After winning the Australian Poetry Slam and publishing his first book, ‘Cranes Falling in Unison’, he toured internationally with literary festivals and spoke on some of Australia’s biggest stages. When he isn’t immersed in the creative arts, Jesse spends his time working with global brands on major campaigns and developing new ways to create compelling content.