You’re not the only one feeling totally overwhelmed and frustrated with the ever-changing nuances of modern dating, especially online dating.
What happened to the good ol’ days when someone just called and asked you out on a date? I was recently working with a 23-year-old who told me that it feels “too soon” for a guy to call her if he’s only been texting her for a week or two (or even after a first date)
When did a phone call turn into something that seemed to carry as much weight as an “I love you?”
If you’re struggling in today’s dating world — whether you’re new to the field, or have been drowning in the sea of dating sites for a while, you’re likely feeling a little dazed and confused by the big role social media and technology now plays in your love life. Heck, if the last time you were single was before Tinder, Facebook or even texting, you probably feel like calling it quits. (Before you’ve even put yourself out there!)
If you meet online, there’s a new status quo for the initial hello. It goes from talking on the website or the app, to exchanging numbers so that you can text, and then, you might brave talking on the phone before your first date. (Apparently voicemails are old school, but I’m still a fan!)
Still confused? I hear about these modern day dating complaints every week from both men and women, and I’m breaking them down for you here:
1. We Don’t Phone Screen For Creepers And Dating Duds
Sometimes, people completely skip over a phone conversation before the first date — personally, I think that’s big mistake! A quick phone screen can help you weed out bad matches, and no one wants to waste their precious time!
In an age where “catfishing” is a known epidemic, why not take a few extra minutes to phone screen? Plus, having good phone chemistry and hearing someone’s voice is very intimate, creates excitement and eases your nerves before the first date.
Texting is lazy. You should want to date someone who makes you a priority and takes bigger actions — yet somehow, in modern day dating, a phone call has become a big step.
2. We Use Texting As A Power Play
You know how when you hear your phone ring and it’s your crush, instead of excitedly responding right away, you play it cool and watch the clock until a full hour has passed by to respond? People spend hours strategizing the best time to text, decrypting messages, and overthinking what it means when someone answers in two minutes versus two days. What a waste of time! Can we, as a dating society, make a collective effort to stop doing this?
Since a lot of conversation is happening through text or messaging apps, you have way more time to overanalyze your responses. What you said is staring you in the face, and whether good or bad, you have the habit of reading it over and over, as if you will derive some new meaning from the same words. Then, as soon as you craft your carefully planned response and hit send, the whole process starts over as you anxiously await a returned response and fret about what you wrote.
3. We Overanalyze Passive Communication On Social Media
In today’s dating world, hitting “like,” “friending,” or “unfollowing” can send a message. Opening and ignoring someone’s Snapchat or liking all of your crush’s Facebook posts as a way to say, “Back off ladies, he’s mine!” is simply confusing.
Actions speak louder than words. Forming a relationship requires effort, like actually talking on the phone to build intimacy and going out on a date to see how it translates into real life. If someone ignored you for two weeks and then suddenly starts liking your photos, STOP clinging to that like a glimmer of hope. If all you’re getting is some flaky social media interactions, I’m sorry to say they’re just not that into you.
4. Online Dating Provokes A ‘Grass Is Greener’ Mentality
You think things are going well — maybe you’ve been out on two or three dates — but out of boredom or curiosity, you log in to your dating app or site, and that’s when you notice that the guy you’ve been seeing is signed on. What’s he looking for? Aren’t I enough? You feel slightly annoyed, confused and upset all at the same time, but then you realize you’re also doing the exact same thing!
With the ease of online apps and sites, it’s basically like 24/7 shopping for a date or relationship. There are hundreds of potential partners available at the swipe of your finger. But the ‘grass is greener’ mentality is killing modern day dating. Everyone wants the next best thing. People are hesitant to commit, because within two seconds of swiping right, you could meet someone “better.”
When is it time to stop shopping? When you can’t get someone off your mind, it’s a good sign that you should play this one out. If you’re always only half in, with one foot out the door, you’re not investing enough time and emotional energy into developing a genuine connection. There are always attractive and interesting people in life. At some point, you have to ask yourself whether you want a relationship, and when that answer is yes, you’re going to have to treat someone well and make him or her a priority.
5. We’re Not Always Honest On Our Dating Profiles
In today’s modern-day dating world, you can just assume people add two inches to their height and subtract a few from their waistlines. It’s easy to manipulate who you are. Whether you want to seem more popular, well-traveled, wealthy, successful or happy, it’s easy to do. But a perfect profile doesn’t translate into a perfect person — those don’t exist. And don’t forget, you’re dating a person, not a résumé.
Don’t invest too much time talking to a potential partner before meeting them in person. If you end up having great text conversations and late night calls, you could form a connection that completely falls flat in person. That’s just disappointing and even more difficult to let someone down once you’ve spent multiple weeks talking prior to the first date.
And if it turns out someone has seriously misrepresented himself or herself, life’s too short to get involved with someone fake. Take that catfish off the hook, and throw him or her back into the water!
Having a successful modern day dating life is possible, so take a deep breath. It’s not all bad! Keep in mind that most dates and relationships you enter into won’t work out, so you just have to keep dating until you meet that one worth keeping!