THE TINDER EFFECT.
So sorry guys! I decided to take a break from the regular ‘Tinder Tuesday’ posts of men’s profile picture fails and provide my thoughts on how apps like Tinder and other online dating sites have changed the face of dating for the modern single to something that I personally find really difficult to navigate and something that requires a lot of time and work.
Online dating sites and apps have made dating so much easier and accessible for singles (and sometimes not so single people). The number of potential mates is exponentially larger than what a single person would have had 10 years ago. In this way it’s great. With everyone being so busy with work and other activities it can be hard to meet someone outside of those and many times you may not want to mix dating with work (who needs that drama?). So without the aid of online dating, matching you with so very many other singles, it could appear you’d have a better chance of finding that one person you want to spend the rest of your life with. I am starting to believe the prevalence of online dating is actually decreasing the chances of finding that ‘one’. Not to discredit the real paid dating sites that use algorithms and actually spend time helping you find someone you really get along with but the following reasons are why I believe the increasing use and reliance on online dating by singles has doomed them to more stress, confusion and being single longer.
1. Always thinking a better match will come along
With the ability to just keep swiping through thousands of singles or always wondering if tomorrow you’ll be matched with the perfect person, you do yourself and anyone you’ve started communicating with or had dates with a disservice. You aren’t really putting the energy you would have otherwise into getting to know someone and seeing if they are someone you could foster a relationship with. With so many people to choose from, like at a buffet, you take a little bit of everything because you’re greedy and you don’t want to miss out. Unfortunately, this just means you’re not ever really able to appreciate any one item, and nobody ever stops at the one item they discover they love because they have to see if anything else is better. By the time you get through it all and want to go back to that one you want to keep eating, you’re too full or there’s none left. With so many other singles/potential mates opened up to you, it’s easy to just stop communicating and ruling people out and always being on the lookout for someone better.
2. People aren’t always who they appear on the computer
It’s so easy to be anyone you want online and enhance your strengths while diminishing traits you deem as unappealing in a matches eyes. Sitting behind a computer screen gives people this sense of confidence and a mask where they get to project whatever they want so when you finally meet them in person they aren’t the same person you had such high hopes for. Also, communicating via email and text allow people to think about and articulate what they’re going to say or how they will respond in a way that’s not always a true reflection of them or what they think/feel. I’ve had this happen many times. In text they seem amazing, say everything right and there was this tech based chemistry. In person everything fell short of expectations in terms of how they really behaved. Their true personality, thoughts and feelings showed and there was no chemistry.
This also happens physically (as we’ve seen a million times on shows like Catfish). We tend to post the best and most flattering pictures we have of ourselves, not necessarily realistic or current ones. I don’t always look like a fitness model so if I were to post only those it could create disappointment and a sense of feeling fooled in the eyes of my first date. They’d most likely shut off and eliminate me automatically as someone they would want something with after meeting me.
3. The increasing confusion as to where your relationship stands
So you’ve been talking to a guy you met online and he seemed amazing, and everything about him seemed to match what you were looking for in a partner. You meet and have a great first date followed by several more and regular communication. It would appear that both people are mutually attracted to each other and are really liking the other with both wanting to work towards making it something more solid and serious. Well if only it were that clear cut!
Online dating can bombard you with matches and make potential connections far more accessible so you’re left wondering where you really stand, how many other people are they also dating, if they see you as something potentially serious or just someone fun to pass time with until that other serious person comes along. Of course, you never want to broach the subject for fear of creating pressure or scaring the other person off so you stay in relationship status limbo, running scenarios and conversations by friends and reading into everything. Then multiply that by the number of people you’re seeing at the same time. Not only do you have to decide which one you’d want to pick to see exclusively, but you have to try to figure out who sees you as only casual (without much solid affirmation of such) to eliminate them from the runnings. Bah! Such a vicious circle. So many times you end up wasting time with someone you want when they don’t really want you and end up forgoing or letting go of some other great potential long term mates.
4. It can be almost like having a part time job
Online dating, communicating with various matches and physically dating a couple of them can be so time consuming and so much work! It ends up replacing your communication with real friends and strengthening those relationships, as well as taking time away from cultivating your interests and self. It can almost get to the point that your conversation with matches doesn’t revolve around personal interests and hobbies but instead it’s centred around online dating experiences and stories cause that’s all you really do outside of work and the odd thing with friends on the weekend. It’s really making us far less interesting to dates.
In general, you would think that online dating and apps would be great for dating in the modern day single person. In hindsight, I don’t believe it really is. Logic would have you believe that because you now have the ability to connect with so many more people who are also looking for love or lust, and that communication has the potential to be more open and without barriers that you would statistically have more of a chance of finding ‘the one’. Based on what I’ve come to discover, I truly believe the way online dating is making ‘the one’ more elusive (and many times are so even just in our minds), and the searching/journey to finding them time consuming, confusing and almost futile.
I still think it’s a great tool to utilize especially with busy schedules, but I think we all need to take a step back and stop always thinking there is always potentially someone better out there and not giving the proper attention to the people in front of us. We need to be open and honest about who we are and communicate directly with what we want from someone. If you’re not upfront even from behind a screen, it’s not going to change who you really are and when you do meet, you’re not going to be the person your date was actually attracted to. Lastly, we need to balance the time we spend communicating and searching through matches and the time we spend with friends and family and most importantly on ourselves.