November 20, 2023

My rant on dating in 2023.

If you’re young and in the dating world, I’m sure you would agree with me when I say this.

Dating in 2023 is very complicated.

You would think it would be as simple as bumping into someone cute at the grocery store where you fall in love, move in, and live happily ever after. But it’s definitely not, and it has grown significantly more complicated over the years.

There are so many other factors now that affect how we as a generation see and participate in dating and as a result, we’re all spinning our wheels on and on, trying to find our soulmates but going about it the wrong ways.

It’s not necessarily our fault, these are the conditions we’re forced to deal with, but it’s our job to rise above the mess and do it the right way.

A little disclaimer: I’m not sitting here and saying I’m above the things I’m talking about or am better than people because of the way I do things. I’m guilty of all these things as well, but this is just my observation of myself and the behavior I’ve seen from other people.

Everything happens online.

Social media has effectively changed the dating ritual in many ways. 

There seems to be a new zeitgeist of how people will show interest in other people, where a like means “come and talk to me,” and a DM means I’m asking you out on a date. Taking a long time to respond to a message means they’re just not that into you, but sending someone a TikTok  means they actually are into you.

There are so many new nuances to social relationships in general that frankly I just don’t really understand all that much anymore.

You could be talking to someone for months and they could just ghost you out of the blue for any reason unbeknown to you, and it’s just something you have to swallow and deal with.

Dating online has rewired people’s brains to behave in different ways compared to if interactions were mostly in person. It seems people tend to behave in ways that protect themselves more often than considering how the other person may feel because of it.

But hey, that’s pretty much dating in a nutshell. It’s a risky game that we all play.

Dating apps and the Illusion of Choice.

Quite a controversial topic dating apps are. For some, I’ve seen they actually work and people seem to find long lasting and fulfilling relationships from them. For others, it seems these things are the work of the devil and they’re rotting our brains and manipulating everyone to pay these companies in order to allow them to finally find a partner.

I can see both sides of it. I think overall, it’s a net negative though.

I am a guilty user of dating apps. Having gone through the cycle of downloading it, using it for a few weeks/months, then eventually deleting it. Then downloading it once again, and on and on. 

My hot take is, that dating apps commoditize your loneliness and your need to feel connected to another person by displaying an infinite carousel of people you could potentially be with, and if you can’t seem to find any matches, just need to spend your hard earned money on our platform and you could boost your chances of finding your soulmate.

It’s a pretty evil practice if you ask me, but it’s a darn good one.

I think this infinite amount of people convinces us that there are endless options in the dating pool, and when you actually find someone you get along with, in the back of your mind you believe that there just might be someone better out there for you.

Someone just a little bit hotter, someone just a little bit funnier, or someone just a little bit more interesting.

This illusion of choice leads to everyone always having one foot out the door whenever in the process of getting to know someone. While I understand the benefit of this if you have plenty of options, “Why should you settle if you could have someone better?”

I think ultimately it hurts us rather than helps us because we seldom form deep connections with the people we find ourselves dating. It also makes us much more willing to move on from people, because of this perceived notion that there are plenty of other fish in the sea.

Even though there are people who seem to have found amazing relationships through the use of dating apps, I honestly think they are the outliers, not the common experience. And I also think it is worth noting that many of the relationships that do form from apps, are sometimes not long lasting and fulfilling.

But I’m not confident enough to declare whether or not that is a result of the dating apps, or just the individuals themselves.

Many people don’t give themselves time to heal.

I find a dilemma that arises out of this new dating landscape is people are less willing to pause and let their previous relationship process before jumping back into the dating pool.

Those who are fresh out of relationships tend to flock to these apps and websites because frankly, it hurts going through break up, obviously.

And what’s the best way to get over someone? To find someone else.

It’s a cycle that I watch so many people go through that always ends in disappointment or heartbreak, or both. And the second they’re single, it’s right back onto the dating scene they go.

Seldom is there time spent where the person healthily processes what went wrong in the relationship and how maybe they were wrong in it as well.

This lack of time spent self reflecting I find tends to rollover into relationship after relationship until eventually years go by where you never really got over that one girl you talked to for a few months but nothing serious ever came about from it (not a personal anecdote, just an example).

What to do about it.

I could see an argument for these things being more about the individuals than the methods themselves, but I think the internet and dating apps definitely have an influence, positive or negative.

I’m not really sure I have all the answers to this dilemma, being that I’m single myself. It seems like it’s more complicated than ever to find a partner, considering all of the new dating nuances and technicalities that we have to consider now.

My philosophy right now is this.

First off, you probably shouldn’t use dating apps. It’s just not the best way to meet people in my opinion. Maybe neither is going to a bar or club, but at least you get face to face interaction with someone before you go on a date with them.

Until you find someone, I would advise people to figure out how to be happy alone. Because whether you’re single or in a relationship, that’s something you’ll always have to find a way to be.

Having a partner is not a ticket to being happy. In fact, you can be miserable either single or in a relationship, it’s really dependent on you and how you choose to deal with things.

But if you don’t even use dating apps, then good for you. You can see the circus going on outside and you’re deciding not to be a part of it.

But I guess there is a silver lining.

When you’re not dating or in the process of pursuing someone, you have much more free time to delegate to other arguably more important things that can benefit your life. Things like spending time with your family and friends, improving yourself in any myriad of ways, or simply just learning not to chase a high that will probably not solve the problems you think you have.

The dating world can be weird, complicated, messy, and sad. But it can also be fun and an opportunity to find out what you do and don't like. I think the sooner we learn to accept that and navigate it in a smarter and more genuine way, we will be better off.

In the meantime you should take care of yourself first. And the right person will find you when the time is right.

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