In today’s dating world, it has become all too commonplace to treat other people as if they are objects. Whether it’s a last minute flake out, or a rude message, or simply getting ignored, these types of behavior are hurtful, yet expected. Instead of doing something to change these behaviors, we protect ourselves from them.
If I had to estimate the average amount of dates that single, online app active, people I know go on a week, it would be at least four. This way, maybe one of them will be a “success, “which ultimately means that person is deemed worthy of continued attention.
“I always have a couple guys on the back burner to distract me, so I don’t end up seeming too clingy to the guy I actually like,” an acquaintance recently told me.
We all seem to have our own strategies when it comes to tackling the dating app scene. You don’t want to seem too needy, so waiting awhile before messaging is crucial. One friend told me that girls should never message guys first, because that just looks we are desperate (thanks, Bumble!). Another friend, too impatient to actually read people’s profiles, hearts everyone on Hinge and waits for the match notifications to roll in.
So if dating is just a game, not knowing the rules means you are going to end up getting burned. How many times have we all thought to ourselves, this is just ridiculous. I am never going to find someone worth dating by swiping; I am the only decent human being on these apps who is actually looking for a connection.
In a city as big as New York, the single universe can be overwhelming. When you are taking a break from the apps, you feel left out. When you hook up with a solid 6 who is dissatisfying in bed, you feel gross. When you get ghosted on, you feel betrayed and inadequate.
I know that we are better than this. When we are not glancing at our phones, we are smiley, fun, and interesting people that have fulfilling jobs and healthy relationships. Therefore, I would like to propose the following: let’s try and treat potential date prospects just as we would treat our co-workers.
Co-workers are people that we understand will go in and out of our lives, and for that reason alone we generally like to keep our distance. A happy hour or two is fun every once in awhile, but a co-worker should never know your whole life story. When setting up a co-worker date, we would never want to flake; our reputation would be at stake. Making good impressions and being the bigger person is usually motivation enough to keep our promises. If a co-worker sends an email or text, we would never dare to just ignore it, or wait till half the day goes by to respond.
So, the next time you are talking to a potential date, take the extra 30 seconds and message them back. Make a plan and stick to it, even if you don’t think they will be your future soul mate.
It’s now 2016, a new year with plenty of potential to find romance. Let’s make a promise to ourselves that we will treat people better. Like President Obama said in his #SOTU address; “It’s easier to be cynical; to accept that change isn’t possible…and to believe that our voices and actions don’t matter. But if we give up now, then we forsake a better future.”
My fellow single Americans, I see a bright future, where ghosts remain in the past and all dates are treated with dignity. Happy searching!