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Can online dating save the world?

Can online dating save the world? You probably think not, but Japan says not so fast..

When you think of the last time you logged in to Match, Hinge, Tinder, or eHarmony, the last thing you probably thought you were doing was saving the world. In Japan, that is exactly what the government is hoping for. In fact, they have just introduced a state-run dating app to try and reverse their country’s growing population crisis. And, by growing crisis, I mean that the country’s population is shrinking. Believe it or not, the population of Japan has been on the decline for the last thirteen years. It isn’t just Japan. Countries all over the world are seriously concerned about waning population growth. However, Japan is the only one building a dating app to try and fix it. 

They call it “Futari Story,” and the Japanese government is investing over $1.2 million in the project. The hope is that giving people a government-sanctioned dating platform will inspire the 70% of Japanese singles who claim to be interested in marriage but have been more and more hesitant to seek out a partner to step out of their comfort zone and start dating. Without it, there is a serious fear that the nation could see as much as a 30% drop in population by the year 2070.

How does Futari Story work?

First, the app is not free to use. That’s something I find a little weird when you consider that $1.2 million is not a very high start-up cost, and… oh yeah, they are trying to save the future of their country. There are a couple of reasons that they could be charging. It could be as simple as trying to recoup development costs. But, it could also be that they consider your willingness to pay as a sign that you are serious about meeting someone. 

Signing up for the app isn’t going to be as simple as hopping on to Tinder, Bumble, or Match. There’s a lot of personal information that goes into making sure that you are who you say you are. Along with the basics like your height and education, you’ll also have to submit your occupation, and a tax certificate to verify your income. The only dating site that does that in the US is MillionaireMatch. Keep in mind, that all of this information will be visible to anyone who sees your profile on the app. 

Once you submit your data, the dating app takes a turn that separates it from pretty much anything available in the West. Anyone interested in using the app must attend a mandatory interview with the app’s operators. Once they pass the interview, they must sign a pledge declaring they are looking for marriage, not just a hook-up. I wonder, is the pledge legally binding? Sometimes a great first date ends in some fun, but nothing more. If you don’t continue dating, could you be arrested for breach of contract? 

The government is even offering additional support when needed. “If there are many individuals interested in marriage but unable to find a partner, we want to provide support,” a Tokyo official said, according to The Asahi Shimbun newspaper. Unfortunately, they did not specify whether there would be an additional charge for the extra help. 

Japan is just one of several countries dealing with the potential of a severely declining population over the next few decades. Many are just paying people to have babies. Here are some of the biggest programs around the world:  

  • Germany – The government will pay you 250 per child
  • Norway – The government pays 6,000 Crowns per month until the child is 2. After that, it drops to 1k per month until the child is 18
  • Finland –  Pays couples €10,000 per year for the first ten years of a child’s life
  • Iceland – Pays 80% of the parents’ salaries in bonuses for the first 18 years
  • Russia  – 250k Rubles for the first child and 188k for additional children
  • China – 3k-20k yuan per child, and a cash bonus if women get married before turning 25

Why are fewer people meeting?

Of all the countries we just talked about, Japan is the only one that has figured out the smartest place to attack the problem they are having with their population’s decline. It doesn’t make any sense to pay people to have more babies if you forget about the growing loneliness crisis that is attacking most of the world.  You may have seen it mentioned in the news over the last few years. There is a loneliness crisis. More people feel isolated and alone. A lot of people feel like it is too hard to meet people. And, many people have become a lot more tribal about their beliefs. The result is that people feel divided into different teams, and they don’t know how to communicate with people who do not agree with them on 100% of the things in their lives. There are a lot of reasons this is happening. I have a whole theory about it involving the Sony Walkman, but we can talk about that in another post.

Regardless of whether it’s social anxiety, political divisiveness, societal changes in a post-COVID world, or even just the fact that things like dating at work are no longer as socially acceptable as they used to be, humans still need other people in their lives. We are pack animals. Even introverts who love to have their alone time live happier lives when they have the right partner to share their life.

This is the twentieth year that I’ve been helping people with online dating. When I started, I was a single guy. For me, online dating made sense. It is the one place you can go where you know that everyone you encounter is actually looking for a partner. It removed a lot of the anxiety that I had about approaching someone in public. And, because I have been a remote worker since 2002, it isn’t like I could ask out one of my co-workers.

But, that doesn’t mean online dating is a quick fix for finding love. While I had several great relationships with women I met online, I used dating sites and apps for several years before I met Aileen, my wife. It is the lessons that I learned along the way on how to communicate with people online, how to present myself in a way that gives people a good sense of me without feeling like they are sitting through a sales pitch, and even things like how to pick the best profile pics and what kind of messages are most likely to get responses, that have become some of the core principles of my coaching. It is amazing to see how small tweaks to how people online date can be the difference from never getting a response to finding a healthy relationship.

You don’t need a program that pays people to have babies or even a government-funded dating app. You just need to be open to meeting someone great, and then you need to know how to introduce yourself without stepping on your own feet. That’s where I come in. If you’ve been struggling with online dating, or you aren’t even sure how to get started, let me help with our online dating profile writing services. Give me a call at 888-447-7634. If the phone isn’t your thing, you can also reach me HERE. The point is this. You deserve to have someone in your life. More than half of all new relationships in the US now begin online, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t be in one of those relationships.

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