Dating is complicated; it’s difficult to navigate, confusing to work out and quite often scary to try and get through. If you know what you’re doing, I applaud you, you’re doing better than the majority of us. Especially in 2018. Modern dating is impossible, and honestly, there’s a lot that seems to have gone wrong.
1. When it comes to effort, we’ve gotten lazy
Apps like Tinder have made it far too easy to leave the work to someone else. Almost everyone’s idea of putting in the maximum is remembering to reply to a message within 24 hours. I bet you’re thinking the same thing yourself: replying to every message immediately is a big commitment. What happened to taking people out on dates, heading to dances, or fancy dinners? Or, at the very least, calling people and talking on the phone.
Even if you are a fan of texting, it shouldn’t count as the maximum effort. Fair enough, I actually like messaging people, I think it’s nice and relaxed and is a good way to get to know somebody before meeting in person. I don’t, however, think that texting someone back quickly counts as being “too interested” in them, as I’ve been told before. Getting a message back once a day is a new stage of dating, it doesn’t replace the honeymoon stage of drinks and coffee, where each party should put a little bit more effort in.
2. Technology has raised our physical standards
Not in a good way, however. Yes, having high expectations is good, and you shouldn’t lower your bar for someone else. But ‘swiping’ apps have made it too easy to set physical expectations super high. Don’t like the immediate look of someone? You don’t even have to give them a second glance.
Bear in mind, when you see someone’s picture online and decide they’re not attractive enough (don’t feel guilty, we all do it), you aren’t seeing the way their face would light up when they laugh, or how passionate they might get about their favourite topic. Internet dating has made it so easy to judge people in one dimension, and often to set our standards a lot higher than we would in person.
3. We Don’t Show Our Real Selves
Do a quick google search for anything related to a ‘dating app profile’ and you’ll get article after article telling you what to do and what not to do when it comes to online dating. Ask your friends for first-date advice and they’ll tell you how to dress your best, and hide the parts of yourself that you don’t like. Modern dating has gone from being a purely social activity to a competition; we have to be better than everyone we’re ‘competing’ with for affection.
This is driven by the way we date – it’s a given, nowadays, to see more than one person at a time for at least the first few months. If you commit to one person too early while modern dating, you might ruin your chances with someone else, or so I’ve been told. This has turned it all into… a competition. We can’t let anyone know what we’re really like until after the first few months (the no-monogamy stage), because we’re scared that if we’re not at our best we won’t be liked. This is not what dating should be like.
4. Lastly, We’re Not Having Fun Any More
I can’t speak for everyone, but I can certainly speak for everyone I’ve asked. modern dating isn’t fun any more, it’s just confusing and difficult and scary. When did we go so wrong? I want to start seeing people again and actually enjoy myself, instead of worrying constantly about what I look like, what my bio says, and whether I’m acting cool enough to be worth seeing more than once.