Are You Worried About Dating Apps?
Are dating apps a waste of time, or are they trying to simplify our life? You could argue that they take the hassle out of finding a mate. For the initial search you don’t even have to get dressed up!
Public Domain from pixabay
But are they changing our outlook on Love? The article below is thought provoking, perhaps we need to think a bit harder next time we decide to swipe right or left.
My friend is home for dinner when she gets a Tinder message on her phone. She looks at it, says it’s from a guy she really likes, and puts her phone down.
“Aren’t you going to message him back?” I ask her.
“After a couple of hours,” she replies.
“Why? I thought you liked him?”
“I do. But I don’t want to seem desperate. I want him to think I have a life.”
There it is.
In the world of dating, people are so busy projecting the illusion that they’re cool, that they oftentimes forget what it’s like to be warm. It’s become easier to expend time, energy and effort in playing trivial mind games on Tinder, than to expend the same time, energy and effort in falling in love.
We are increasingly using Tinder as a form of escapism. In this fantasy world we’ve become cavemen, where every ‘match’ becomes a hunt that triggers a transitory feeling of victory. This explains why more than half of Tinder matches never end up messaging each other. We enjoy the hunt, but not the cutting, slicing and cooking that is required after the hunt is over.
In these times of modern dating, we don’t want to define ourselves, and we most certainly don’t want to define our relationships. We want to have sex without dating, date without having sex, be married but have a girlfriend, be lovers and then become friends, be friends who become lovers. We want relationships to be easy, convenient, practical and disposable. We want our partner to be perfect without trying to make them perfect for us. We want love to come to us without making the effort that love requires.
Where do we go to fulfill these new-age projections and needs? To Tinder, of course.
That’s my other problem with technology. It turns us into rude and flaky people, who oftentimes forget that the person at the other end is human. We ‘meet’ online, we build relationships on WhatsApp, we share moments on Snapchat, we use the code 143 to say ‘I love you’, we have conversations on Skype, we ‘slow fade’ someone we’re losing interest in, and we break up over texts. Worse still, we’re breaking up for reasons that may have nothing to do with the other person. They can be our soul mate or ‘the one’ but we’re so deluded with barriers and options that we love badly. And we keep on repeating this cycle because, frankly, in today’s times, there are no repercussions for loving badly.
Which brings me to this: do we think we are finding love when all we’re doing is living in a perpetual state of seeking love?
Or, have we simply forgotten how to love?
Perhaps. And it’s clear why. We’re too busy protecting ourselves. We’ve stopped being vulnerable. We don’t allow ourselves to have ‘real’ feelings. We fail to complete and fully experience our emotions. We’d rather fail at love than give it a chance to win. We’d rather be cynical than be hurt.
Look at the simple case of heartbreak. Thanks to technology, even heartbreak has become easier. I have a friend who broke up with her boyfriend and was, within the next hour, on Tinder, swiping people and setting herself up on dates.
Why have we evolved past having feelings? The whole experience of falling in love requires the mesolimbic system (pleasure centre) in our brain to be activated, dopamine to be released and for us to feel exhilarated. No one can feel this on an app. Is this romance-free diet, then, symptomatic of how exhausting online dating can be? Is the problem with the emotion or the system? Is it the cause or is it a consequence?