There are so many tools that we have to our advantage these days, in terms of dating. We have snazzy cell phones that are capable of everything except making us breakfast in the morning. We have computers. We have tablets. All three of these gadgets have the capability of connecting to the good old internet, and social media. Without these gadgets, you probably would’ve never found out that there is an architect named John who lives three towns away from you. Or three states away from you.
If we have all of these devices and all of these tools to our advantage, then why does dating seem harder than the way our parents and grandparents describe it?
General consensus says that with technology, comes a ton of other options for both genders. More options can lead to more indecisiveness as to whether or not one wants to settle down. There’s always those people who fear they’ll miss the better catch that comes along, even thought the catch right in front of them is a blessing.
Others believe that dating is harder because women now hold career as a priority, whereas before most women’s priority was getting married. Both are valid points, and both are contributing to how hard it is to date today.
There are other factors, one that could be managed if men and women agreed to get their shit together. I’m going to spell out some of those factors in this article.
What Makes Dating Difficult These Days
- Some women are confused as to whether they want a good boy or a bad boy. They say one and then chase after the other. They claim to want a man that treats them right, but end up going for the guy who gives red flags that he’s going to completely dog her out.
- Men are not exempt from this. A lot of men say they’d never date a high maintenance girl, or this type of girl and that type of girl, and meanwhile that is all you see them with.
- The rules debate. Oh, this is fun. “I’m going to make him wait…three months before giving it up to him. I’m going to make him wait four months. Or six months.” There is nothing wrong with wanting to move at a slower pace. Keep in mind, though, that establishing a set date for when it will happen does take out some of the magic. Move slow, but when the moment is right, let it happen. If the perfect moment to express your feelings comes up, and it is on the twentieth day of the second month, are you going to let that magical moment pass you by because the full three months hasn’t elapsed? This is a relationship, not a kindergarten class. You can leave the rule at the door while making it clear that you’re no give-it-up-quick kinda girl (or guy).
- On that note, the fact that our culture has gotten to a point where a lot of men and women are sleeping together on first, second, and third dates… some of you may bring up the fact that hey – the second point says that there are no rules, to go for it if it feels right. That stands to reason that it could feel right on the first, second, or third date, right? I’m not going to say you’re wrong. I’m not going to say you’re wrong, because I know married couples who did sleep together on the first date. What I will say is that on the first, second, and third dates, how much do you really know about someone? Does that give you enough time to determine if they’re a good fit for you? Does that give you enough time to discover all of their little quirks and habits? Again – there is nothing wrong with it, but the fact that there are so many people out there willing to give it up early, makes it easier for an impatient person to dismiss the girl or guy who’s trying to take things slow.
- Ideals are something else that make it hard for us to date. There are so many men and women who want to be married by a certain age. Or there are women who want that big, lavish wedding. Let me be clear again on this, because this entire topic is sensitive. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be married by a certain age and there is nothing wrong with wanting a big wedding. But there are those who take it too far, to the point of caring more about the ideal than the person they’re with. I don’t want to be married. I want to meet someone who makes me want to get married. I’m quite happy being single. I’m quite happy in relationships. I see the benefits of both setups, and I’m in no rush. But I do know that when someone is so caught up in an ideal, it’s easy to start forcing situations. Relationships should be organic, natural. Not forced and prodded and manipulated.
- Fuckboy/Fuckgirl mentality. They’re still out there, the male and female douchebags of this glorious world. It kind of seems like they increase in number every decade and maybe that has a little something to do with all of the increased options. They’ve got Tinder, but who needs that anymore when there’s so much almost-nudity on Instagram. Why express an interest in personality when I can determine whether or not a woman is 36-24-36 before I even know her first name?
- Self. We are our own worst critics. And our society is smarter than it has been in awhile…did I just say that on the same day of Donald Trump’s inauguration? *le sigh* No, but seriously. Despite that snafu, our society is increasingly intelligent. We are now smart enough to doubt ourselves. There are those of us who think that we aren’t worthy of true love. There are some of us who feel like the person we are seriously crushing on, we have no chance with. What I really want is for everyone to leave all of those doubts and insecurities at the door. You do deserve love, and you do have a chance with the person you like. As I say this, I’m making a lot of assumptions. I’m assuming they’re single and you’re single. I’m assuming the person you like is someone you know in person and not a fiction character from a TV show. Everyone has a chance, until they mess it up for themselves.
- Women who don’t give men the chase. This kind of falls in line with giving it up too quickly, but not really. Because “the chase” doesn’t necessarily mean making a man wait for nookie. There are women who can sleep with a man relatively quickly, but because she holds her heart and feelings out of arm’s reach, still keep a man on his toes, still keep him intrigued and interested. There are women with personalities so rich that a man can’t stay away. Whatever the actual chase is, men have a drive within them that pushes them to want to have to work for their reward. And…to be honest, it’s fun to watch them work for it. When you don’t allow a man the ability to chase, they often get bored.
When it comes to all of these factors listed, I am speaking in general terms. I am aware that none of these apply to all men or all women. That’s something else we have to get out of, generalizations. There are some men and women who conduct themselves well, who know what they want and how to get it, and don’t have any issues dating in today’s world. This article isn’t for you guys, since you apparently already have it together. This is for those who are struggling in today’s dating environment.
I could post several more factors, easily, but I’ll end it there and let you guys mention the others. What I will list, though, are small tidbits of advice to surviving in this dating age. You may have heard some, most, or all of these tidbits since this topic is spoken about so frequent, but here we go:
- Stop looking for love in the clubs, and go to places where you can have a conversation with someone without your ears bleeding. Clubs can be fun and yes there are the exceptions to the rule, couples that have met in clubs. But clubs are often places where both men and women are just looking to hook up. The vibe of desperation is strong in many clubs. Rather than looking for love in a club, I would say to not look for love at all. To just live your life, continue improving yourself, and filling your time with fun, enriching activities. Open yourself and your schedule up to bumping into that special someone. But if you must look for love, then keep an eye out when you’re grocery shopping. Stop by the library. Or a nice lounge. Go out in groups with co-workers, or join a social group or club. There are community sports leagues that you can join. Get a gym membership if you don’t already have one. The gym is a great place to meet people, when you and that other person take a break from your zones.
- Be honest with yourself about what you want, and be up front about it. I wouldn’t let it be the first sentence out of my mouth, but when the topic comes up, just let him know. “What are you looking for?” That should be a question you know the answer to when you’re on a date. Even if you want to get married, you might not want your response to be “I want to get married.” Instead, you might want to say, “I’d like to meet someone that I could have something real with.” Something along those lines.
- Be self-aware. Know how you come off when you’re speaking. Know whether or not statements you’re making sound superficial, or judgmental, or unintelligent. Dating in this day and age kind of sucks, but sometimes when relationships and dating continues not to work out, it’s less about the dating pool and more about you. Sometimes it really is just about you. If you detect a flaw in yourself, work on it. We are all flawed, and we can always strive to be better. Lifelong partner material doesn’t really come with superficial, judgmental, or unintelligent traits, unless someone is just looking for a trophy wife or trophy husband.
- Have fun. I said it that way, because it sounds rude to say “Don’t be boring.” But…don’t. LOL. Relax and enjoy yourself. Be comfortable with yourself, so others also feel comfortable around you.
- Don’t put pressure on yourself. Sometimes our families put the pressure on for us. “When are you going to get married? When are you giving me grandkids? Waah waah waah.” No matter how much pressure they put on you, you have to shake that off. Don’t put pressure on yourself, either. Pressure begets desperation, which begets a whole lot of loneliness since no one wants to hang out with someone who is desperate and thirsty. Make sure that you aren’t reeking of desperation. Desperation is a repellent. It pushes people away from you. There’s no need to feel desperate. Okay, so you wanted to be married by thirty and you’re not. You still have your whole life ahead of you.
Tanja Topalovic, a logistics specialist from Gurnee, IL, says: “I don’t think marriage is practical in this time. Women had to get married for financial reasons, because they were discouraged from working. Men got married to get p****. Now girls can work and p***** is consistent on a regular with no effort.” She goes on to say, “I wanted kids…and like, this weekend my nieces woke me up with kisses saying they loved me. And I started crying because I was like, ‘Man I want this, but it’ll never happen.’ I think a lot of people are shy and living too much by the ‘Oh don’t seem too needy’ [motto]. ‘Don’t text them if you like them,’ all that stupid stuff we’re told. I think people should just be more themselves and do what they want without worrying.”
This is a conversation that needs to keep happening, to help inspire change. I believe we’ll get there…but then again, I was always an undercover optimist.