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Article Contributed by Amanda. When Amanda isn’t writing about love and relationships, she can be found cuddled up on the couch with her loving dogs, enjoying live music or training for her first triathlon.

Throughout time, relationship norms evolve with the ever-changing trends and societal expectations. The dating experience has changed dramatically in recent times; how we meet, how we communicate, and how we spend time together has advanced with the times. It’s apparent that dating takes place online nowadays and is often done in a casual way. Technological advances have changed how people meet, get to know one another and communicate throughout the course of a courtship. Take a deeper look here at some of the ways modern relationships have evolved in recent years:

  1. Embracing your Single Life – One thing more and more modern individuals are realizing nowadays is the importance of embracing being single and loving themselves first. After all, there is such power in the practice of  surviving and thriving on your own before you enter a relationship. A lot of individuals can utilize this time to focus on setting a list of “deal breakers” for potential new relationships down the line. These deal breakers are requirements and core values that must exist in a relationship or partner for an individual to stick around. This leaves room for both parties in a couple to express their personal expectations and ultimately determine if the relationship is worth continuing.
  2. Online Courtship – It’s no secret that an increasing number of single people are searching for their romantic partners online and through apps. Scientists at the University of Rochester have found that online dating ranks as the second most popular form of matchmaking in the U.S. today. Considering the vast number of apps and online dating sites available to the public, this makes a lot of sense. And these different apps and dating sites cater to individuals looking for just about anything in a partner. From the all-encompassing general sites, to searching by occupation, ethnicity or orientation, there is a site out there for everyone.
  3. Honest Communication – Nowadays more and more couples are merging their lives prior to getting engaged or married. This results in the need for relationships to rely on open communication more than ever. It’s important to preemptively have conversations about big decisions, especially when it comes to financial and professional matters. One of the best things a couple can do is talk about expectations and life circumstances, such as pre-existing debts and professional goals. The trend seems to be that more modern couples are actively discussing financial requirements surrounding future relationship steps as well, such as buying a home, planning a wedding or starting a family.
  4. Sharing Finances – Many couples nowadays are making big financial decisions and purchases together at various stages of the relationship, not just after they’re married. These purchases often include moving in together and splitting rent, buying a home, traveling the globe, supporting a dog or cat, splitting the cost of an engagement ring, hosting a wedding and starting a family. This trend is very different than the norm of older times, where individuals would do things in the “appropriate” order of living at home or alone until they got married, only to travel and buy a home after the previous steps were completed. No matter what decisions you are making, be sure to talk openly with your partner about your financial fears and goals.
  5. Sharing Roles and Responsibilities – There’s no doubt that it’s common practice nowadays for men and women to both contribute financially, emotionally and with tasks around the house. Rather than the practices of past generations, where a wife cooks and cleans while her husband is out at work, we now see both partners contributing to housework and breadwinning equally. A better option is to split responsibilities by preference; if your partner loves cooking while you despise it, offer to clean up after meals as an equal contribution. Just remember, as always, communication is key. Talking openly about your expectations for your partner will help alleviate frustrations later on.
  6. Planning a wedding together – When the time finally arrives to get hitched, play equal parts in the planning process. There’s no doubt that planning a wedding is a big task, and sharing the responsibility not only helps alleviate some stress, but creates an atmosphere that both you and your fiancé will love. Ask some tips from other newlyweds who just went through the planning process, such as how they determined a budget or what kind of a timeline they followed. No matter what you’re doing, whether shopping for your wedding bands or meeting with a vendor, keep in mind that all of your hard work will be worth it once the big day arrives.

As time goes on, relationships will continue to change and shape with technology. Who knows what the next craze in the dating world will be!

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