Posted By: Kelly Seal Date: 03-14-2016 Comments: 0
Online dating apps have given us the benefit of choice when it comes to our love lives. Technology has given us the ability to meet so many different people outside of our own social circles. This can be both empowering and seductive. We can meet single people anytime, anywhere! All we have to do is swipe right.
While we may love the idea of dating apps, the reality is not quite so appealing, especially if you’re looking for love. Dating apps have created a new style of dating, whether we like it or not. There is a more casual approach to finding love, and a lot of misunderstanding between people, which doesn’t necessarily lead to long-term relationships.
Are online dating apps working for you? Here are seven reasons why they might not be:
At first, dating apps are like a game. It’s fun to look at a ton of photos and make snap judgments, like you do when you walk into a bar and survey the crowd. But chemistry is elusive – and you don’t know who you might hit it off with unless you meet in person. You could be swiping left on someone who would have rocked your world, but you’ll never know.
Messages that lead nowhere.
Dating apps encourage messaging, and many people text back and forth to build up rapport before they decide to meet. While I’m all for messaging, if you let it go on too long, there’s less chance of meeting in person, or that it will even go well if you do end up meeting. Your date probably won’t match the date you envisioned during those flirty messaging sessions. So, focus on the actual date before you get emotionally invested in texting.
Too many people looking for hook-ups.
If you’ve heard anything about dating apps, this observation is definitely part of the mix. There are people on apps like Tinder looking to hook up, and not much more. If you are a more serious dater, it’s okay to own that. Be upfront about what you want, so there’s no misunderstanding. There are many more daters out there looking for love, they just might not want to find it on Tinder.
The paradox of choice.
There have been a lot of psychological studies about why we choose what we do. The findings seem to underline this one truth: too many choices lead us to make poorer decisions. In other words, if you are standing in the grocery aisle looking at a few chocolate bars, you have an easier time making a selection and are generally happy with your chocolate.
However, if you have 40 or 50 different kinds of chocolate to choose from, you stress over your decision, and worse – you start thinking about all that other chocolate you turned down and what they would have tasted like. It’s hard to be happy with one when there are so many options out there, so our choices become based on what we’re missing rather than what we’re getting. This is not a good way to date – more choice can work against us.
Lack of transparent clarity.
Dating apps have created a culture of misinformed daters. There is an assumption that most daters are casually dating, when in fact many people on apps are looking for relationships. But nobody wants to talk to each other about what they want, because what if they come across as needy or high-maintenance? Instead of dating under layers of assumptions, matchmaking ensures each dater’s needs and desires are part of the equation.
Misrepresentation in photos or profile information.
How many online dates have you been on where the person looks nothing like their photos? Or what if they aren’t who they say they are? There is a risk with online dating because you’re meeting people outside of your trusted networks. When you have a connection through a friend or a personal matchmaker, it makes for a more secure experience.
Dating app burnout.
Online dating creates a vicious cycle of swiping, messaging and dating in bursts of energy, like an adrenaline high. Then you quit cold turkey when the dates don’t work out. The truth is, dating is a process, slow and steady. We don’t know how many people we’ll date until we meet “the one” – that is the beauty of love.
Instead of getting impatient, or thinking that you should meet someone quickly if you “weed through” enough bad or boring dates, try taking a different approach. Try focusing on getting to know each date, and having fun in the moment, instead of treating dating like a job interview process.
Take your time and enjoy the people you meet, because this is the space where people are able to really connect. Life can be surprising, so don’t make assumptions about people until you take the time to know them. Have more curiosity and fun, and you won’t have dating app burnout.