I’m going to talk about something we don’t discuss much here on Powerful Nonsense – dating. Stick with me here. Many times over the last 6 months I have had many friends and colleagues who are in very secure, long term relationships, express the anxiety they have around ever being single again. They attribute that anxiety to how much dating has changed in the last few years and how “horrible” and “difficult” it appears to be.
Technology has made things simple, quick and convenient in almost every part of our life. It has created more opportunities and provides each individual with seemingly unlimited resources from the palm of their hands. This has naturally also transferred into the dating world. So why does it appear difficult and horrible? The issue is choice.
The problem that we now have with the likes of Tinder is that, if we wanted to, we could have a brand new date lined up every single day. It has become a numbers game and with a simple swish of our finger, that “not my type” individual is whisked off into the aether never to be seen again. But that’s fine, because eventually we will match with “our type”.
Not only is this completely superficial but it creates another problem. Dates are now a commodity – and in the eyes of many, hold little real value. For some in fact, the dates themselves are an escape from feeling like they have lost control of their love lives – a mere distraction.
My fear however is not necessarily in the dating itself, as much the now seemingly disposable nature of what can become very real relationships. Don’t be fooled, we live in a world where digital interaction is already our primary mode of communication. Our consciousness is now wired to become attached to our interactions with sound waves, pixels and code being broadcast by another individual anywhere in the world. I challenge anyone to watch ‘Her‘ and not feel the emotional impact.
The truth is – whether it be with friendships or relationships – we are becoming very aware that if it looks like it’s going wrong, we can abandon the seemingly sinking ship without trying to fix it because another will come along in an instant. We take the path of least resistance. But it gets worse…
It is a curse of the millennial generation. We have grown up consuming tv and films whenever we like – especially now with on-demand content – and have been programmed by Hollywood to believe that a perfect relationship is built within two hours. Remember that baby-boomers didn’t have home video until their late teens / early adult life – by which point they were already socially conditioned.
These two elements, when combined, cause a real problem. If we don’t have the perfect relationship within an unrealistically short period of time, we begin to look else-where. Boredom is a very real aspect of the modern relationship – whether that be business, romance or simply friendship – and rather than try to invigorate said relationships with something new and exciting, we start looking further afield for a new and exciting opportunity. Look at all of those “in-person” social interactions where people whip their phone out of their pocket and tell me that it’s not true. We have become a generation of relationship magpies, and it’s incredibly tragic.