Ten years ago, there was no such thing as swiping right. So there’s a good chance that dating will be a whole lot different in two decades’ time.
BBC Ideas predicts that a lot of our dating experiences 25 years from now will be virtual. So instead of schlepping outside in sub-zero temperatures to go on that awkward Tinder date, we’ll be able to don a VR headset and meet our date in some exotic location—all in the comfort of our pajamas.
There’s also a good chance that many of us will be in committed relationships with people who we’ve never met—or who don’t even exist. Sound crazy? It’s not as far away as you think. Last year, a Japanese man married a hologram of his favorite anime character and it’s already possible to design your own virtual world with customized sexual environments and partners. The Future of Sex report predicts that, by 2045, one in ten young adults will have had sex with a humanoid robot. (Depressingly, research has also shown that people are more likely to be emotionally honest with a machine rather than another person.)
On the more positive side, future technology might also help us make fewer bad decisions when it comes to dating—or at least save us from embarrassment. Engineers are currently developing glasses equipped with face-analyzing algorithms that help you identify when someone finds you attractive. And you’ll also likely be able to purchase 3D printed body parts of your lover, to help with long-distance relationships, and use brain-to-brain interfaces that help one another orgasm.Read more about the future of sex.