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Why is finding love harder than ever before?

Today's generation of single people are finding it harder than ever to find fulfilling long-term relationships

And many of them are living alone for much longer. How has this happened and what can we do about it? In this article we examine why people are finding love harder and harder to come by, and what can be done about it.

Choices

In today's society where we are offered so much and expect so much fulfillment from life, there's a whole generation who are actually missing out on having satisifying, long-term relationships. How did this come about?

We live in a society where we are bombarded with choices, and we're constantly told that more choice is better. We expect and demand more from our lives and our careers; yet all the time we're wondering whether our current choices are the best ones. We're constantly weighing choices we've made, and if the grass seems greener on the other we don't hesitate to change our direction.

Independence

What's more in this post-feminist age we all value our independence far more than we used to. The old values that marriage brought us such as stability, companionship and security don't matter so much to this generation of single people. We're much less willing to compromise - only the very best will do. When relationships get tough and start going wrong we're less likely to work hard to put the relationship right; instead we're more likely to just say NEXT!

Patience is not a virtue

There are so many ways to meet people - singles parties, speed dating, online dating, dating agencies, so much choice! On huge online dating sites there are hundreds of thousands of possible dates! But often the more people you're thrown in with, the fewer people that you actually meet. Patience is NOT a virtue valued by today's singles. We've reached the stage where more and more young people are actually missing out on the pleasures of intimate, long-term relationships.

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The checklist

There's a tendency for people today to have a checklist of attributes that a potential partner must have. If they don't tick all the boxes right away, you're going to move straight on to the next person. The idea of taking time to get to know somebody is old fashioned.

The trouble with checklists is that very often they are based on superficial attributes, such as hobbies, interests, and looks. But in reality successful long-term relationships are rarely based on these things. It's shared values and chemistry that are crucial; you can work through differences in hobbies and interests, and even get past looks.

It's all about compromise, but in today's world we're not used to compromising. We seem to think of compromise as settling for second best. But compromise and settling for second best are very different things. Give up your wish-list or pare it down to just the two or three things that are completely non-negotiable.

Chemistry is the vital ingredient in relationships, but if your checklist is too long it will get in your way you'll never know if chemistry can develop. You'll have to learn to look beyond the things you might have thought were important and focus on finding chemistry and common ground outside your checklist.

Have patience and relax a little. Enjoy the process of getting to know somebody, even if they don't tick all your boxes right away. Love at fifth sight is a wise saying in today's hurried society - but most of us never get to a fifth date because we're trying to get through as many dates as possible. Take your time, stop worrying about whether your current date is your best choice, and enjoy just "being" - then maybe love will have a chance to develop.