The Problem with Modern-Day Dating

 What’s the Problem with Modern Day Dating?

Today during my hour of cardio at the YMCA I couldn’t help but laugh at the TV screen as it played a new episode of The Bachelorette. Viewers get a sneak peak of a glamorous dating life, and a gorgeous woman has the opportunity to date 15 attractive, successful men at once, and she gets to kiss them too- every girl’s dream right?

 So here I am listening to Drake on the highest level of the elliptical, sweating, and laughing at the five different men’s reactions after kissing the same girl. This show is just another medium to fill our minds with lies about dating.

Not all of us can sign up for a TV show set to find our “perfect half.”

Wait, so what’s the problem with modern-day dating?

Well, no one is really “dating.” People are in relationships (after months of “talking” aka sending unclear messages that try to put on a confident front, when the reality is the person has no idea what they are doing or feeling.)

No one is actually going on dates. We are investing our emotions into a phone screen instead of people. We resort to online dating or Tinder because no one wants to pursue someone face-to-face.

Instead of fantasizing about that mutual friend we barely know, or random person online, we need to remember all the tangible, and compatible potential partners that surround us. Why? Because the best relationships begin with the best friendships.

That girl in your friend group you always thought was a little cute and funny- ask her out on a date. There’s a negative stigma to going on dates when they’re just supposed to be a fun way to get to know someone and to get a sense of the one-on-one dynamic. Going out on a date doesn’t mean you’re signing your name in blood.

I recommend you show interest to the person in your friend group, the person you see around campus, or at work who you would like to get to know more. After going on a date with that person, be clear about your feelings. If there is no interest or compatibility, don’t feel bad. Remember all of the possibilities around you, including those in your friend group. One of your close friends you may not “see that way” right now, just may be the most compatible person for you.

The media distorts authentic dating by using shows like The Bachelorette, which brainwashes us to think that dating means finding the perfect person who has all the qualities we ever wanted and nothing else.

Dating is not a custom bowl made to order from Chipotle- it’s seeing a person for their whole self- choosing to appreciate their qualities, and accept their faults. Technology has instilled a nature of immediate satisfaction where we can edit and filter our lives, but dating isn’t like this.  

A genuine relationship cannot be shared with a person you only know on your phone screen.

When it comes to dating, attraction is important, but isn’t a stable foundation. Being attracted to someone isn’t enough to carry a relationship. No one wants to invest their time or emotions into something that is inauthentic and purposeless.

 If you’re in a relationship, ask yourself; Is your relationship pushing you to be a better person, or helping you expand or learn more? If not, I encourage you to look more deeply into why you are in a relationship with that person. At the end of the day, your relationship will either evolve into a marriage, or diminish into a breakup, and heart ache.

It’s great to have high standards but be realistic. Don’t forget those around you, and be courageous- because dating takes initiative and effort (from both sides.)

Society has fostered an untrustworthy feeling, and fear from the other gender. Fear of rejection. Fear of friend zone. Fear of heartache. Fear of ruining the friendship. Fear of judgement. Some of the greatest things in this world started as a fear, so don’t let fear consume you, and stop you from taking a step into what could be a great conversation, friendship, or relationship.

This journey of dating and marriage is all about becoming the best version of yourself as you see the best in another person. In the end, there is someone for everyone who is called to marriage (which is pretty freakin awesome if you ask me.) There is someone in this world who will love you even with your quirks, and complications. That person can be the friend you’ve never had the courage to show interest in, so don’t fret, and take the chance.

Look up from your phone screen, and look at the possibilities that surround you- not just romantic relationships, but fruitful friendships. 

As always,

You are loved.