Let me start off by saying:
I’m writing this article not as a bitter, single girl who cannot land a decent guy. Whenever I’ve read other journalists’ articles on dating within today’s generation, the majority of feedback has been that the author is probably lonely and angry that they can’t land someone to “make them happy.” I’m not one of those authors that is going to project their insecurities into an article because I feel like it.
I am, in fact, in a fully functioning, healthy and happy relationship.
However, I have seen my fair share of occurrences – both personally and towards people I know and care about – that lead me to say: today’s generation does not know how to “date” anymore. In fact, if I were single, I probably wouldn’t want to divulge into dating culture today at all.
I’ve seen, more often than not, that people are beginning to rely on “dating apps” to meet their significant others as much as they rely on social media for their fix of communication. Long gone are the days where you can go out and meet people naturally and instead, people are fixated on a small device to find someone to spend “forever” with.
Or, maybe that’s just the way that women approach these apps. When speaking to a control group of millennials age 21-31, I’ve found in my research that more women are using apps such as Tinder, Bumble and even social media apps to find someone they can be serious with – settle down with. On the other hand, the men who I had spoken to within the control group said they used these apps to fill time, meet someone to casually hook up with and see. They hadn’t looked at women on these dating networks as something for the “long term.”
Here lies the issues within the dating app culture – there is a large disconnect amongst the sexes. If you have a slew of women looking for Mr. Right and a majority of men looking for Miss Right Now, how is anyone supposed to truly be happy when everyone wants completely different things?
On top of this, people are losing the ability to connect with someone in the 3D world anymore. When you match with someone you find intriguing on these particular apps, you usually end up texting and messaging that person for so long that when you do meet in person, you don’t have much to learn or discuss with them – you’ve given them your whole life story via a small, little screen.
Additionally, you may have tons of digital chemistry with someone via text – but the minute you meet them in person, it’s dull as sh*t.
According to Psychology Today, this could be dangerous in terms of developing intimacy within a relationship with someone – or the wrong someone.
“Chemistry and intimacy requires face to face interaction, awkward as it may be at the start of meeting someone new. Spending too much time during the “get to know” phase online may distort the true identities of both parties, both raising expectations for the actual face to face encounter while creating a false sense of intimacy.”
So, why is it that we rely so heavily on these dating apps to find someone for us, instead of meeting people the old fashion way?
I believe it’s the instant gratification that people today have become so attached to. With social media and the Internet, when we want something, we can get it in an instant. If we have a question – we Google the answer. If we want to feel better about ourselves – we post selfies and rack in hundreds of “likes.”
When we’re bored and feel lonely – we log onto Tinder and try to match with as many people as we can.
In turn, dating has become a game of “matching,” rather than something to cherish and enjoy. When this happens, people stop taking dating so seriously and therefore, stop taking people seriously. It’s no wonder Millennials are getting married so much later in life.
What would happen if we put down the cell phones and decided to put ourselves out there in the real world, the way we would on a dating app?
Try it out, let me know.