Commitment, Relationships, and Online Dating for Generation Y (Master’s Thesis)

My research was intended to ascertain the relationship between online dating and Generation Y, in terms of what type of relationship they were looking for, their views on marriage and divorce, and what type of website would meet their needs best. Through my survey, I was able to learn what kind of format Generation Yers would be more comfortable with when it comes to meeting someone to date online, be it a mobile application, social networking website, virtual community, etc. By asking questions about how Generation Yers use their current social networks, I was able to see if the social networks play a role in helping them find and develop romantic relationships.

The first section I had in my survey asked participants about their definitions of commitment, hooking up, and dating. I wanted to see if all Generation Yers had similar definitions when it came to those words and I wanted to see if their definitions matched up with those outlined in my literature review. Additionally by asking about commitment, I hoped to find out what type of relationship they are interested in, to better understand what functions they would like their ideal dating platform to have. In the relationships section of my survey, I asked about previous relationships they’ve had and the role, if any at all, social media played in facilitating those relationships. Following that was the section on marriage and divorce, where I asked respondents about their ideal age to get married as well what they saw as the script for an ideal marriage in order to assess whether or not Generation Y is even interested in getting married. I further examined divorces among friends and family and how that has influenced their opinions on the union. The last section on online dating asked questions about characteristics they would like their ideal dating website to have as well as assessed their views on online dating in general in order to find out if they are interested in using online dating in the future and what factors would contribute to their decision to subscribe.

I wanted to see if the characteristics described in the literature review to define Generation Y, such as hard-working, dedicated, self-absorbed, demanding, and unable to carry on with the challenges of day-to-day life, contribute to how they felt about commitment, love, and marriage. In the end my main focus was to assess the relationship between Generation Y and online dating and determine what kind of platform would help them fulfill their wants and needs.

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