© 2024 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Is romance dead? How dating apps, societal norms and pandemic isolation changed relationships

Lucinda Schreiber

For many Millennials and Gen Zers, finding a romantic partner to settle down with is less of a priority. According to U.S. Census Bureau data from 2022, 34% of folks 15 and older have never been married, an 11% increase from 1950. The median age for married individuals has also gone up, from 23.7 for men and 20.5 for women in 1947 to 30.1 and 28.2, respectively.

While there are plenty of cultural changes between the 1950s and now (Did you know that women couldn’t have their own credit cards until 1974?), there are also several neurological and emotional factors in why fewer people are looking for romance — opting to find companionship elsewhere.

In this episode of St. Louis on the Air, Dr. Dixie Meyer discussed how changing social norms have impacted various generations’ motivations around romantic partnership. The St. Louis University professor and director of SLU’s relationships and brain sciences research laboratory also shared how the pandemic provided conditions for researchers to study stress in relationships and families, and the psychology and biology that affects how relationships are formed and fostered.

For more on the different ways people find love and build relationships, as well as research that proves the concept of “happy wife, happy life,” listen to the discussion on Apple Podcast, Spotify or Google Podcast, or by clicking the play button below. 

Is romance dead? How dating apps, societal norms and pandemic isolation changed relationships

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is produced by Miya Norfleet, Emily Woodbury, Danny Wicentowski, Elaine Cha and Alex Heuer. Roshae Hemmings is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr. Send questions and comments about this story to talk@stlpr.org.

Stay Connected
Miya is a producer for "St. Louis on the Air."