1. Witnessing firsthand how so many relationships crash and burn online. Thanks to various social media platforms you can watch a couple’s entire falling out in great detail as if there’s live coverage of that miserable place known as Splitsville. Seeing how remarkably unpleasant breakups are regularly can do damage to one’s psyche, even if it’s all subconscious.
2. The excessive abundance of dating tips on the web, in magazines and books. Many of the people providing ‘em contradict each other. Open doors & pull out chairs. Don’t open doors & pull out chairs. Don’t date in your 20s, you won’t live life to the fullest. You’re in your late 20s, date or you’ll wind up old, crusty and alone!
3. “Talking.” Not talking as in speaking, but “We’re talking,” talking. The concept of “talking” to someone results in a toxic relationship far too often.
4. Mean-spirited labels. Thirsty, creeper, ho, slut, etc. Any action might result in being known as some terrible phrase? That sounds like a great reason not to perform any romantic gestures.
5. Social media lies. Whether it’s stretching the truth about one’s career, lying about material possessions or using filters & angles to alter physical appearances, some people are shameless and will take advantage of the ability to create personas enhanced by façades & X-Pro II.
6. Elitism from men and women. Misogyny & misandry masquerading as masculism & feminism are holding everyone back from being equals and they don’t just bring progress to a halt, they regress it.
7. Cheating being such a chill, it happens type thing. It occurs casually while forgiveness is expected (and often granted), creating a wide acceptance of disloyal behavior.
8. Focusing on getting someone’s affection but disregarding the keeping it part. There’s an immediate satisfaction that comes with winning someone over, but the rest of the fulfillment is supposed to come from continuing to make an effort with them, which is often forgotten.
9. The romanticizing of loneliness. If you’re cool being single and have not a care in the world that’s fantastic, but when people glamorize being isolated forever and never sharing life with other people it’s just kind of sad.
10. The romanticizing of being fully dependent on a person. Between this point and the last one, there is a safe middle ground that’s ideal to remain on. You can want & love people unconditionally, but you should also be able to function independently.
11. The ‘Friend-zone’ being a thing, and a dreaded one at that. So many relationships sprout from what originated as nothing more than a friendship, however these days being friends with someone you aren’t banging is often looked at with astonished bewilderment. Wait, you two aren’t hooking up? So what do you do together – like, just hangout and talk and know each other? Ugh, friendzone! It’s nobody’s duty to date someone they’re not attracted to, and if they don’t value your friendship, frankly the don’t even deserve that.
12. Screenshots of failed pickup attempts. Gloat about the subpar human being who wanted to interact with you. Imagine if all the botched moments in life were somewhere in a photo, ready to be shared with and mocked by the general public? That risk will keep many away from approaching.
13. People who get engaged because why not? There’s got to be a direct link between the casualness surrounding fiancés/fiancées and scarily high divorce rates. People are engaged as if it’s the equivalent of telling the rest of their junior high classmates that they’re going steady. Engagement here, engagement there, engagement on, engagement off – several of these result in marriages that probably had no business happening and divorces shortly thereafter.
15. Tumblr GIFs as a standard. Sadly there are people over 13 who indulge in this concept. Your average human can’t live up to the appeal of a 1.5 second enchanting loop of Channing Tatum grinning or perfectly beautiful, silly Jennifer Lawrence doing something quirky, yet charming.
16. Conscious efforts to keep feelings at bay. People can’t necessarily control how they feel, so much as they can avoid putting themselves in a position to care and fall for someone. Folks are scared, often because of the things mentioned in previous points.
17. Countless means of communication are selected over face-to-face interaction, which is becoming increasingly difficult for many to take part in. Some can’t flirt, some can’t tell when they’re being flirted with, and others are anxious and unable to form sentences or hold a conversation. Having time to think as you type up messages is a lot different than dialogue in person.
18. Logical thinking being considered too cliché. “Be yourself” sounds so basic that people don’t want to believe it, even if it’s sound advice. Obviously on first dates you’re going to want to hold in farts and not mention peculiar things like having an armpit fetish or thinking Twizzlers are better than Red Vines, but in general you should be sincere. People make fun of the phrase “be yourself” but any “romance” that materializes from an acting job will only go on until you’re exhausted of performing.
19. Nicholas Sparks novels turned into films. The books themselves do enough damage, but the movies ensure that even non-readers will get a glimpse of incredibly high, borderline impossible expectations in a partner.
20. People who refuse to acknowledge how incredibly, uniquely awful this generation’s dating experience can be. Can’t change what’s being ignored, but there are onyl three types who do this:
1. Those who’ve had great luck and found their soul mate before dating an immature person.
2. Those who haven’t dated enough to know what they’re talking about.
3. Those who are lying to themselves.