However, exactly how you find that special someone has changed through the ages, and so has what happens when you succeed. Is it a case of marriage and life-long fidelity, or just about getting a good fuck right here and now? The norms for what is permissible and fair move all the time, and the same is true for the ways we make our interest known and win the heart and body of its object.
The time when you wrote romantic love letters in neat handwriting on perfumed paper is long gone, and the practice of serenading beneath the balcony has also fallen out of fashion, I believe. We have developed new means of communication, and this is reflected in our hunt for love. Today, internet dating and mobile dating have become common, but what new ways of dating could the future offer?
Facial recognition software keeps improving, and coupled with augmented reality in e.g. smart glasses, you will soon be able to attach an identity to strangers you meet on the street or at social events. Information about their interests can be used to break the ice: “I can tell by looking at you that you are a Capricorn/wine connoisseur/Star Wars fan.”
Maybe the person’s identity can be linked to in-depth reviews from former partners, so you can learn if the he or she is worth hunting. Here, as with other crowdsourced reviews, you have to be careful with false reviews that cast the ‘product’ in an unreasonably good light.
Even now we have software that is better than people at judging other people’s moods and even telling if they lie or speak the truth. This can help you through the difficult first date where both parties try to sell themselves and win the other over through more or less sincere compliments. On the other hand, it can also make a date quite awkward if you continually have to check what the software says – particularly if your date is aware of it – so it may be better to agree on a ‘smart-free’ date. Then you can live a while in a romantic dream and avoid the ugly truths about lies, bragging and superficial urges.
A new electronic trend is health wearables, which can tell the user a lot about his or her health. In connection with dating, wearables can also tell something about your prospective partner’s health if he or she allows. A drop of blood can e.g. tell if your date suffers from infectious diseases or even how genetically compatible you are, in case you might want children later in your relationship. It could also be revealed that you are more closely related to each other that you imagined. Who knows, perhaps the neighbour’s pretty daughter is really your half-sister? It might be nice to have that settled before it gets embarrassing.
Virtual reality also opens up new possibilities in dating. Why date and have sex with a real person when it is so much easier to do it with a perfect partner in a virtual world? It could be quite kinky if the possibility were present that the virtual partner actually might be a real person like yourself. You may be making love to a program – but it could also be another human being who maybe does, or maybe doesn’t resemble their perfect avatar, if they are even of the same sex. Who knows, it might even turn out that you are unfaithful to your spouse with your spouse in a virtual guise.