If you’re single in your 20s or 30s, your relatives are probably harassing you about when you’ll meet a “nice guy or nice girl” and get married. But dating in this generation is a whole different game. Meeting a “nice guy” is next to impossible. We live in a social media world. The idea that there is always something, someone better is always there. We live for instant gratification. We have grown up being told we deserve the best, that we are the best, nothing is good enough for us.
On Facebook, we compare our relationships to all those seemingly happy couples and wonder why we can’t find that. We have to compete with every bikini-clad girl who is hotter than us. (Sure, they may not truly be hotter but with lighting and editing they sure seem better looking) Who can live up to all the beautiful, successful people that fill the social media world? No one. But those lives aren’t real.
We are all guilty of showing just the right pictures online or only talking about how happy we are. No one discusses how he or she was cheated on and heartbroken. If they do, we say they just want attention and write them off. While I don’t think social media is the place to share your toughest moments, this also means we all look like we have the “perfect” life.
In reality, we are all struggling. That “perfect, happy” couple could fight every night and you’d never know it. The guy could be abusing his girlfriend but we would never know because only the picture of them smiling, holding hands on the beach is posted. They appear to be America’s sweethearts. And we continue to compare every relationship we have to theirs.
If you click on over to Instagram, you’ll find even more beautiful, wonderful lives people are living. Maybe they took fifty pictures before posting that perfect shot of themselves, but you don’t see those. We only see that beautiful girl that we, ourselves, cannot live up to. We see our boyfriend’s ex-girlfriends and think what could he possibly see in me? These comparisons are not only ruining our own self worth but also the ability to ever feel worthy of a respectful relationship. And the temptation for a guy to talk to that hot cheerleader he once drooled over in high school is too great; we live in this constant idea that there is something better. There’s too much competition now.
Tinder is the most degrading of them all in today’s dating culture. All it takes is one snap judgment. Swipe right and you “like” that person; swipe left and they are gone. If you “match” with someone you have the choice of messaging him or her or to “keep playing”. It’s all a game.
Before social media, there was the phone. The biggest game played was how long to wait till one calls after a date. Now, you not only have the phone, you have text messaging, Facebook/twitter statuses, profile pictures. You have to put thought into what you “like” or comment on. Will it seem too needy if you “like” his status after x amount of time? Will you seem crazy if you “friend” his friends? When is the appropriate time to even “friend” him on social media sites? It’s exhausting!
Going out to dinner and getting to know your date, no longer exists. IF you actually go on a date, which rarely happens at all, you both have already fully researched the other on their various sites. A pre-conceived idea of who that person is is now implanted in your mind before ever actually having a conversation with someone. And if you don’t like what you found, it only takes one little text to back out.
We are told we can’t show vulnerability so we never admit our true feelings. We get out before we get hurt. We then move on to our next “match” as if the fairy tale will fall into our laps. We’ll find the perfect person, who will be better than anyone else you see, whom you can be vulnerable with and won’t hurt you, it’ll be an instant, effortless happily ever after.
Yet, no one is perfect so why can’t we just be honest? Why can’t we just say, “Hey I like you”? Dating is exhausting. Playing all the little games gets ridiculous. Putting yourself out there is hard. You never know when that guy you like will simply swipe left saying “nope” there’s someone better. Don’t get me wrong, it can happen. If you find that person who truly wants a partner in life and is willing to fight through this crazy life with you, you can have that happily ever after. It’ll never be perfect. Nothing is ever perfect but we have to learn to appreciate the flaws in not only our own lives but in those who we love. I don’t know how but I would like to think that one day we will all find that person to be vulnerable with, it just might take a little longer playing the game than we would like.