Maybe I have it all wrong, but I feel like dating was so much better in the past. The stories I’ve heard from older generations have made it seem like they lived in a time when love was pure and couples knew they had to really work for each other if they wanted things to turn out well. But these days, something about dating just feels… wrong. If these problems with modern dating culture are as universal as they seem to be, I’d rather just stay single:
1. WE’VE KILLED THE ROMANCE.
Can you even remember the last time a man asked you out on an actual date, took you somewhere nice, made a genuine effort, and didn’t try and sleep with you? I sure can’t. Dating has never been more robotic. Swipe, text, meet, have sex. And on to the next one. It’s like we’re on a production line rather than a quest to meet the right person.
2. WE DON’T ESTABLISH REAL CONNECTIONS.
We have so many options available to us at any given time that we can’t devote the time and energy that a person truly deserves from us. Everything is superficial, and we’re scared to scratch the surface. Technology and hookup culture may have made dating more convenient, but they’ve also made it more shallow.
3. WE ORDER PEOPLE LIKE WE ORDER PIZZA.
Looking for love? No problem: a few swipes, some calculated witty banter, and BAM — you’re there. There’s an overwhelming number of online dating options available to us today. No matter how many true, loving relationships come out of all this, at the end of the day, we’re still shopping online for relationships.
4. WE HIDE HOW WE TRULY FEEL.
It’s the age of not giving a f*ck and being the “cool girl.” We’re considered to be more “chill” if we don’t care and “crazy” if we do care. We’re terrified that somebody might catch a glimpse of who we really are, and not like what they see, so we hide our hearts away rather than putting ourselves out there. This might save us from rejection, but in the long-term, we’re just screwing ourselves over.
5. WE’RE CARELESS WITH OTHER PEOPLE’S HEARTS.
We play games. We date selfishly, putting our own needs and wants first without giving a second thought to the people we might be hurting. We’ve been screwed over before, after all, so we’re left convinced that the only way to protect ourselves is to do it to someone else before it’s done to us again. It’s a vicious cycle, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon.
6. WE CAN’T STOP COMPARING OUR RELATIONSHIPS TO OTHERS.
Facebook and Instagram are great, but they only ever show us a person’s highlight reel. We see the happy moments that couples experience rather than the fights, the struggles, or the tears that come with even the best relationships. Inevitably, we compare the reality of our own dating lives to what we see from others and end up craving something that doesn’t actually exist.
7. WE’RE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR SOMETHING MORE.
We’re always keeping our eyes open for someone better than the person we have right now. No matter how attractive, smart, and faithful our partner is, we’re often blinded by the possibility of who else might be out there. We’ve lost sight of what being content and grateful means. And sadly, we often only realize what we already have when it’s too late.
8. WE AREN’T SINCERE
Worthless words will tumble out of our mouths. We say and do anything to get what we want, especially once it’s been done to us. We’ve been conditioned to believe that being dishonest is the quickest way to satisfaction in our dating life, so we start to develop the same habits that others have used to screw us over in the past.
9. WE WANT THE ILLUSION OF A RELATIONSHIP RATHER THAN THE REALITY.
We’ll happily take all the romance, happiness, and pretty words, but no thanks to the tough times. We expect the relationship to be easy because the dating process was so easy, but it’s not. On the outside, we like what a relationship looks like, but once we have to deal with the reality of it, many of us just give up.
10. WE PRETEND LIKE WE DON’T WANT A RELATIONSHIP EVEN WHEN WE ACTUALLY DO.
Hookup culture has convinced us to lie to ourselves. We think that it’s better to leave no strings attached, that getting into a real relationship just isn’t “cool.” But in reality, we do want that kind of love. We crave a special connection with a special person, but lots of us will just keep lying to ourselves so we don’t get hurt when we feel ourselves falling for someone.