What ‘Perfect Match’ Says About Dating in 2024

The show on everybody’s minds is Netflix’s Perfect Match, a dating reality series that puts the hottest Netflix reality stars in a luxurious house to find love in a mash-up of Love Island and Bachelor in Paradise, where the goal at the end is to find one’s “Perfect Match.” It may not seem relatable to us normies watching from home, but it actually does mirror many of 2024 dating habits, regardless of how famous or conventionally attractive we are.

While Season 1 was a bit of an experiment in if the Netflix universe of love could sustain itself, Season 2 really found its footing by showing us how seemingly compatible people can still face challenges. Most of the people on the show are influencers and models — they have record-high body counts, are self-proclaimed sex addicts, and they almost always “get what they want” in the real world. And yet, their Perfect Match bubble somehow shows us many of the same trials and tribulations 2024’s singletons face as they try to navigate the shark pit of dating.

Therapy Speak and Misaligned Actions

Anyone who watched Too Hot to Handle would not be able to forget Harry Jowsey, no matter how hard they tried. But Harry comes back to prove that he’s a better person, claiming he’s been going to therapy for the past year to become the better man he is today. For what it’s worth, he was on a 13-month sober streak before going back into the alcohol-laden reality television environment. (This also mirrors the modern dating world — riddled with first dates over drinks to relieve any tension … and perhaps drop inhibitions.)  

But Harry’s “reformed” version of himself still behaves badly. He tells different women different versions of his story, trying to paint himself as a martyr and the “good guy,” actually thinking that’s true. But he lies, cheats, and manipulates — he tells one woman he loves her and is faithful to her the day after secretly kissing another. 

He’s reminiscent of people (not just men) who go to therapy and think that means they no longer behave badly because they are self-aware. They speak about boundaries, toxicity, trauma, attachment, and other words that mean nothing if you don’t actually put what you learn into practice. Too often, we see this in a world where many of us go to therapy (which is good!), but that can also make it easier to weaponize “therapy speak” against one another.

“There’s Always Someone Better” Mindset and Consequences

Perfect Match has a limited pool of people, but even in their rotating cast of Netflix singletons, there’s always someone better around the corner. Season 2 was actually pretty impressive in how long some couples stayed together, but the true test of hanging out with tempting eligible daters threw a wrench in that. One party, one night out with friends is all it took for eyes to wander. But that’s not a problem central to dating in 2024.


However, this has spawned two very modern issues — dating apps and the lack of trust that comes with them. Today, people can use dating apps in the privacy of their phones and the minute something is rocky, there’s always someone else to meet. This “abundancy mindset” is no stranger to those dating in 2024, which is also how we know it’s terrifying. 

We never know when to settle down, and we never know how to trust that someone truly loves us when there’s so much else out there. The Perfect Match couples experience this in real-time as new potential matches prance through the door (rather than just being a profile on a dating app) with interest in their partners. How could anyone trust anyone in that setting? Well, that’s 2024. 

Superficiality Is Still Taking Over

At the end of the day, many of the people in the house ended up with the person they thought was the hottest. Or at the very least, their eyes wandered and their matches changed when tempted by physical attraction. One of the funniest parts of Perfect Match is watching them have conversations and not say anything except something along the lines of, “I just want to kiss you all the time.” Even the fact that Harry told Jess he loved her after just a couple of weeks in the house is emblematic of this, placing his infatuation over building a long-lasting deep and meaningful connection.


It’s easy to just follow the chemistry but that doesn’t necessarily mean that those relationships are compatible. It’s just like in dating apps! We may read the extra information, but first and foremost, we swipe based on looks. And when we meet in person, if there’s a spark, we try to make it work regardless of actual compatibility. Obviously, most of those who are in happy and healthy relationships have figured out how to find their “perfect” balance when it comes to infatuation, love, and compatibility. But Perfect match focuses on infatuation, pretends to prioritize compatibility, and most of all, shows us how hard it is to find love, no matter who you are or what you look like.

About the author

Jamie Lerner

Jamie Lerner is a writer, comedian, and musician who’s been writing about television and movies since she reviewed Mean Girls for her fifth-grade school newspaper.