Dating nowadays is quite different than in the past

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With powerful forces -- such as the Internet and a 24/7 work world -- exerting influence on our passions, surprising trends are springing up on the romance front.

In a landscape of dual careers, Internet romances, and globalization, the long-distance marriage is growing in numbers. S., long-distance marriages increased by 23% between 20, according to census figures analyzed by the Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships.

In 2005, roughly 3.6 million married people in the U. lived apart for reasons other than marital discord, the center estimates.

On average, couples live 125 miles apart, but some dwell on separate continents.

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Since then I have come across this phenomenon dozens of times, almost always in working-class couples, and usually younger ones. But what they mean is more like my “steady lady” or my “steady man.” It could mean the person they are living with, or the father or mother of their child.It could mean that someone has actually proposed, or bought a ring, but usually not.But what it definitively does not mean is that they are choosing a wedding date or checking out venues or pricing caterers or otherwise making any kind of concrete plans for marriage.Support from friends, other family members and the church or synagogue can help too.But if family members are still overwhelmed and having problems, it may be time to consult an expert.

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