The Downfall of Digital Dating & How to Overcome It
As technology evolves, so does the dating game. The good news is the modern gal isn’t without plenty of available bachelors right at her fingertips, literally. With one single tap of her phone, she has access to hundreds and hundreds of single men. The bad news, however, is that men and women judge books by their cover more than ever. Dating apps have become the libraries of single men and women who you can rent to take out, and the smartphone is the library card.
Tinder: The New Rule to the Online Dating Game
In the past, websites like Match.com, eHarmony and OKCupid were the top resources for online dating. Then, Tinder came along and transformed digital dating with its quick and simple swipe interface. Forget filling out pages of a relationship questionnaire or reading profiles to find a potential match. With Tinder, it comes down to a glance at a single picture to determine a person’s worthiness of romantic pursuit (or one-night hook-up).
The dating mobile app is predicted to have nearly 50 million active users with 12 million matches. The app processes more than a billion swipes per day, and users spend about 90 minutes a day on the app, which surpasses the average time spent on Facebook. Not only is the swipe-style dating app popular and growing, but it’s addictive.
An Unkind & Unrealistic Dating Landscape
Tinder presents a treacherous dating territory. You grow accustomed to easy access to hundreds of singletons, and there’s always potential for the next one to be more appealing and more attractive. Even while on a date, the high of a match can be more exciting to pursue than a true connection with real potential in person.
For example, a man in hot pursuit of “the next best thing” can mindlessly and unapologetically dispose of the person he’s currently dating or even just talking to. Known as “ghosting,” a disinterested man (or woman) drops communication and disappears without a trace, let alone an explanation. The options are endless, and everyone is merely just a profile, not a person.
Before you judge a man guilty of ghosting, think about how the phone screen also protects you. The dating world can be harsh, especially with the advent of dating through a mobile app that determines your eligibility based on the two L’s — looks and location. It’s no wonder you feel pressure to curate the perfect profile picture that makes you seem flawless. Competition in the dating game is fierce. To compete, you need a killer selfie, laid-back sense of humor, interest in fitness and football, perfectly timed wit and “cool girl” attitude.
Stay Positive, He’s Out There
If you’re exasperated and exhausted with the modern dating culture, don’t lose hope. According to research by the Pew Research Center, 59 percent of Americans believe online dating is a good way to meet people. However, 88 percent of people (including myself) met their partner without the help of a digital platform. In other words, you should mix and match it up. Ask your friends to set you up. Keep looking for the one, both online and offline, with these dating tips:
- Snap a selfie: Women who post selfies receive 4 percent more messages, claims a Zoosk study. Embrace your iPhone as a first-impression tool and capture spontaneous moments while out and about. You don’t have to pose in front of the mirror with pouty lips to attract a man, either. Live your life and snap a selfie during your happiest and most authentic moments.
- Make new friends: A hot and heated hookup is romantic, but sometimes the most successful relationships grow from a trusting friendship. Expand your social circle over a shared interest, such as joining a running or hiking club. Meetup offers a wide range of groups for people to meet others without the pressure of romance and impressing one another. Create friendships and a date may just become an unexpected outcome.
- Be present and open: Invest in online and offline dating by being present and giving everyone a fair chance. Focus on the person you’re interested in and ditch your own superficial cues. Also, be aware of when you may need to take a break from the dating app. If your head is constantly down with your face to the screen, you may be missing out on opportunities for real-life interactions that could lead to love.
But most of all: Don’t ever give up, and don’t ever settle! I was so close to resigning myself to either being single forever, or moving to a smaller city in hopes of finding more genuine guys there. Luckily, I have always been of the mindset that it’s better to be single than with someone who’s wrong for me, because I’d just broken up with a guy when a friend set me up on a blind date. I was so apathetic about dating at that point that I blew him off a couple of times before finally meeting him. Our first date was three hours long and we were engaged in just about a month. After years of bad first dates and two-faced men, I really didn’t see that coming!
Want more? Check out an educated comparison of the top dating sites, one woman’s Internet dating experience, and a fun and adventurous guide to speed dating. You can also learn why you can’t find love in NYC, or how to hook (& keep) a real man.