Dating : Modern Dating: an observation

Dating : Modern Dating: an observation

To start off: I speak in “us”, “our” and “we” on occasion, because at the end of the day, we’re all in this together. Whether we want to accept it or not.

Here are some things I’ve noticed about dating, and dating apps in general, that might be summarized best with a comment from a conversation I had with my dad:

“The issue here is that you’re trying to force something to work that, inherently, does not work.”

While there are success stories from people who have found love and stability via these means, I’m keying in on the fact that those are far and few between heartbroken reports of ghosting, catfishing, benching, breadcrumbing, half-night stands, and all of these other trendy coined terms to describe the slaughter going on out there in the dating world today.

It has become easier and more “effective” to build rotations of 4+ people and networks of individuals that require little to no emotional investment or effort, are a text away from hooking up, with almost Amazon-like speed deliveries of a person from the internet to the flesh, to satisfy instant, and likely fleeting, carnal needs. First sign of trouble or friction? Next! Get back on that app and keep swiping, keep avoiding, stay expecting. Chasing that perfect “hit”.

(Sure signs of abuse are exempt here, once you know, you go.)

Let’s say you develop genuine feelings, and somehow decide to date a person seriously moving forward. Can you guarantee that they’re not using the app while dating you? No! Can you guarantee that they meant it when they said they’re not on the app anymore? No! Among other scenarios that can play out here, the point is, TRUST has likely been lost in the foundation of the relationship, wherever it may end up…Unless both parties make it their business to respect and maintain it. Therefore, most relationships are already set up for failure, and at this rate, none of us should really be surprised that it turns out that way.

Which leads me to the next point: most responses to dating failures seem so numb and devoid of true passion and deep reflection, that there is no real fight remaining for relationship building and sustaining as a purpose.

Relationships require time and attention, and it’s far too tempting nowadays to siphon that time and attention into superficial things like social media, likes, and that perfect selfie. Why? Because these “things” likely light up the reward systems in our brains like the addicts we’ve become, making the addiction to gratification and stimulus more important than our boring, monotonous, real-life connections to one another as human beings. Why settle down with one person and pay attention to building and growing slowly with them, when you can indulge your senses on the buzzes and vibrations of validation, flashing lights, fancy animations, jazzy notifications, bells, and whistles, and haptic feedback from your smartphone to dive back into the endless possibilities of the digital double life?

Also, recognizing a genuine connection in its infancy, and having it suddenly disappear without a trace no longer has the emotional protection and m support of a strong and morally grounded community to catch it and guide it back to where it needs to be either nurtured or ended with maturity. This may be a side effect of the absence of delayed gratification… massive-scale learned helplessness, or even the evolution of snack-sized wisdom in memes failing as substitutes for bonding over discussion and rumination on real issues and the reasons behind them.

Instead, it’s seen as “Oh well, that’s that. Tough beans. Just move on.”…Insert a collective, giant, proverbial shoulder shrug.

Modern dating has become a careless, free-for-all with no common standard of operation nor agreement, lacking measures of excellence. And most importantly, no real marker for when to stop and unplug! Too often I’m seeing people accept these destructive behaviors as natural, to the point where it is evolving into something common and acceptable. It’s being rewarded…and what is rewarded, continues.

And here is my last point: Many of us are failing to call a spade a spade.

How many people have intentionally removed themselves from sex and dating long enough to truly reflect within upon the behaviors and beliefs they’re bringing to the table that mimic.. parents, role models, or TV? How much of this is learned and replayed through us, ruled by emotions only, without logic and reason? Versus a tried and true collection of “Yes, this works because it works, and I’ve spent time with my peers and colleagues to elaborate upon why it works…and observed the results that show that it works.”

How many are unconsciously seeking to satisfy some repetition-compulsion to repeat past trauma in new relationships to gain a sense of control and power where they once felt helpless and weak? Do we have the courage to address these topics?

How many people are willing to admit that they’re wrong? And that we’re probably going about this the wrong way?

How many of us are willing to do the real, ugly, painful work so we can finally have healthy relationships with each other?


TL; DR: We’re on the fast track to becoming a bunch of instant gratification addicts, trying to force things to work in modern dating that inherently, don’t work.

Read also  Dating : I don't know when I'm going on dates...

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  1. Very well written.

    The problem I see is that it’s tough for a lot of people to meet anyone without the apps. We’re having to work longer hours, maybe multiple jobs and deal with other commitments. It’s tough to get out there and socialize, especially if you don’t indulge in going to bars or other social meeting places. Then if you’re a single parent, there’s little hope of meeting anyone because when you do manage to get out, you’re probably taking the kid(s) with you.

    Then there’s the general social fear. You can’t really try to meet people at the grocery store or laundromat anymore. Most people want to be left alone, probably because they’re busy but also because it’s difficult to tell who’s good and who’s bad.

    I agree that the apps are flawed. However I blame the dating situation more on the pressure put on people from having to work so much, or work odd hours. There’s a reason so many people are living with their parents into their twenties and thirties. Because the cost of living keeps going up, while wages simply can’t keep up. Social media is the only way to be social for a lot of people, and that includes dating.

  2. This is super well written and it had a lot of truth to it.

    Dating apps are people at Amazon speed on a superficial level and there’s a lot of damage done while using them although they may be fun in the moment.

    I def agree with many points you’ve made. I use it too and I can attest that I have desensitized myself from many things

  3. You totally echoed my thoughts and reasoning behind taking myself of those apps. I cannot force something that has to happen naturally and I’m in for the real deal. Dating apps have given everyone the illusion of unlimited options that so many people these days back out due to any slight inconvenience or differences. I understand expectations and standards but no two people are going to be a 100% perfect fit. People these days choose to find someone new rather than build a good foundation. Everyone is so busy chasing the ‘perfect person’ that they don’t realize that no one is perfect. You have compatibility, honesty and mutual interests where you work to BUILD the ‘perfect relationship’. It doesn’t fall into your lap all perfect. I don’t know how to meet anyone genuine anymore when everyone is too busy swiping.

  4. I’m rooting for the apps. Online opens up a whole world of people you’ll never meet by « chance » in person.

    I think the real issue is not instant gratification, but, the inability to communicate effectively. This can also be blamed on things like social media and texting.

    Meet. TALK. Get to know someone. If you can’t have a simple conversation with someone on the phone or in person, move along. We all make time for the things we want. No one is too busy if they are serious.

  5. Thing is this isn’t solely related to online dating or the use of dating apps, this happens physically as well, because cheating and hookups or a lack of trust and loyalty is just so common place and is a general practice now, even when searching for something long term it can be very hard to find

  6. I don’t really understand why anyone would choose to meet people this way, unless they have no choice.

    I’m not very social bc of my health problems, so I use online dating.

    Like it or not, it’s pictures and a short blip. That’s not enough to gauge anything else besides the possibility of attraction to how they look and some degree of interest in how they might sound.

    It’s so inorganic and calculated, you’re not really selecting and coming together over being drawn to each other through meeting first, or knowing each other first.

    Hence a high failure rate or a lot of settling.

    What are the odds that you’ll find someone you have interest in meeting online and then have chemistry right off the bat in order to know that you want to continue to get to know a prefect stranger?

    And you’re throwing out your proverbial net to seek success where the probability of it is so low.

    I think that taking things slow and possibly starting as friends is the best way to approach online dating. But it seems like most men (I don’t date women) are looking for casual sex. Or to jump right into the middle of a relationship.

    Even if it feels like I could really like this person, that’s pretty risky. You might like them less the more you learn about them.

  7. Honestly, with the exception of ghosting this whole article could be applied anytime to the last 100 years with pretty minimal editing. It’s an easy and standard critique to make, but it’s actually not saying much: blame new technology for vices inherent to human nature.

    OP, I agree that modern social media is more addictive than anything in the past. That being said it’s a difference of degree: choosing instant gratification over long term growth is such a fundamental aspect of the human experience that it’s not saying much to point it out.

    Also, it’s easy to critique but it’s harder to suggest an alternative: yes greater choice leads to things callousness or carelessness. But in your heart of hearts would you rather we not have choice? That we simply marry our high school sweetheart? Dating apps are a tool and tools mandate tradeoffs. It’s smart to articulate the trade-offs, fine. But if you don’t like the tool don’t use it.

    You talk about being numb in response to failures, about not reflecting after breakups: that’s such bullshit. Do you not read this sub? Do you not see the post after post of ‘what did I do wrong’ and ‘how could I have changed things.’ People are genuinely thinking and feeling about what happened and they don’t need someone telling them that they need to reflect harder.

  8. I decided willingly to get out of the game and stop being on dating apps. It was really hard, it was awful and in the end, really destructive.

    I’ve been really single for 6 months now and reflected a lot and yes, conclusion is that we are using these apps for all the wrong reasons. I didn’t want to be an object, I didn’t want to be instant gratification, I needed to fulfill my own life and be ok with myself before dating. Are most people ok with themselves or just trying to fill a void on these apps?

    Now that I’m ok with myself and who I am, I’ve been observing other people behaviour regarding dating and it troubles me. People have a new relationship every month or so, they go onto the next one, no one makes the effort of being patient. I’ve been told many times that it should be easy and what is easy? He should text me everyday, ask me out at every occasion, look at my stories, comment my status on Facebook… instant gratification and the lack of effort is grand! Relationship are hard to maintain and people don’t really care about the effort.

    So now how do you meet people? I got myself out of apps, decided that I didn’t want to date actively cause it was causing me anxiety. I associated love or likeness to anxious and destructive feelings. But being accepting of myself and my quirks changed my perspectives of modern dating. I stopped seeking, I started getting interested. No more instant chemistry or instant love. I’m just into the person, not into the feeling.

    Dating is a pain, but I refuse to play the game. I refuse to be labeled and put into a box. I’m looking for genuine moments. And love. Mostly healthy love.

  9. I find it hard to meet people in person with my job and other things so I use the apps but not like I’m meeting anyone on there either…

  10. It’s not just the apps. Modern dating in general lacks a sense of purpose, accepted forms of feedback, and culturally established boundaries.
    People get their relationship information mostly from the internet, which at the end of the day is a wide range of expert and not-so-expert opinions that may have little bearing on any individual’s real life – but can be very convincing. Everybody then comes to the table with their own prejudices, desires and expectations, and few can properly communicate them to one another or adjust them to suit the reality of a situation.

    In this generation, few can afford to buy their own homes, everyone is overworked, the nuclear family seems like a relic, and there is a lot of encouragement for people to follow their own path in life, wherever it may lead.

    As a result it is hard to not only find someone who wants to build a relationship long term, but has the resources (emotionally & lifestyle-wise) to be able to do so.

  11. As much as I’d like to agree with you, the only couples i know in long term healthy relationships under the age of 25 met through tinder. Even if they’re the exceptions, that alone makes me suspicious of anyone who wholely condemns dating apps.

    I don’t use them personally, but for some folks they work.

  12. It’s funny and absurd also how many people on these apps are complaining about how you can’t meet any people irl anymore… yeah well.
    Your text summarized exactly my frustration right now.

  13. This is the #1 growing problem of todays society as technology will keep getting better and more accessible gratifications. Hopefully the kids who grew up with the internet will have the understandings of its dangerous applications as our parents could not.

  14. I believe one problem with modern dating is options. A lot of people leave if you don’t give them what they want in the moment or they hear something they may not like or agree with they move on. Its like they believe in mental safety in their opinion over the value of being able to communicate with others.

    Honestly, on the dates I’ve gone on in recent years, I’ve felt like a lot of women were trying to establish mental authority of thought/knowledge/intelligence/freedom/whats right/whos in control. It made me not want to try to talk with them. Those feelings were a lot for a first or maybe second date or even just texting.
    This is obviously biased as I am only into women but the point remains the same. I felt a lot of them had opinions that were overly stated to the point that it was domineering and if I didn’t agree with everything without question, while being humble, having a six pack, being intelligent, being funny,
    making a ton of money, travelling to so many new countries, leaned left, actively participated in the community, held 17 patents, hold my own on the basketball court, having impeccable grammer, knowing the difference between they’re, their, and there, make their friends jealous, willing to accept their ex is still actively involved in their life, have a massive schlong, only having eyes for them, being ok with their polyamorous love while giving up everyone else in my life for them and understanding that I was to have no expectations from them, they moved onto the next option. It feels like a lot of people are into the dating game now to make a statement and « win ». It’s quite frustrating that many people follow the « I think, therefore I’m right » mentality without looking at themselves.

    Youre right about forcing things. People get the idea that « this new and cool, totally awesome person is the one! We must commit! » When they find someone they lust over. There’s merit in allowing yourself and your partner to be comfortable. I hate that I have to say that about modern dating. It’s too fast.

  15. All you can do is put yourself out there, we all will get hurt, but you keep the heart and feels open and move onward and upward 🙂

  16. Yeah if it doesn’t work just keep searching. Do something about the lack of love in your life no matter what. You’ll lern from your failures. So far I learned that you should always be brutally honest if you meet a new person, and if it doesn’t work don’t be afraid of moving on. There’s no other way than keep trying. And that post sounds like a depressed 15 year old wrote it tbh.

  17. There’s a lot to digest here, thank you for giving me these thoughts to mull over. You make some great points (some that, I think, I’ve been subconsciously coming to terms with but never fully consciously acknowledging)

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