Dating Is Not So Simple Anymore

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Sometimes a concept that seems so simple is more complex than people ever imagine. Like dating.

Stories that have been told throughout the years might lead one to believe that dating is a pretty simplistic task: Boy meets girl. Boy asks girl out. Boy and girl go out and enjoy each other’s company. Boy and girl repeat this process and become more exclusive.

Nowadays, things aren’t always as clear-cut as they once were. In fact, people often don’t even know how to describe the relationships they’re in—hence the need for the often dreaded “define the relationship” conversation. The idea of courtship has faded with the innovation of technology, as it’s much easier to text and connect with people via social media than it is to dial a phone number or—heaven forbid—ask someone out in person.

The Internet has even made it possible to meet your match online, with various dating sites continuing to pop up and insist that your true love is just a click away. Last year, USA Today reported that a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that 35 percent of all married couples in the U.S. met online. While there’s nothing wrong with meeting your match online—it’s obviously been successful for a large percentage of people—there are also risks and challenges that come with doing so.

Simply put, dating has become hard.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being single—even if people do place a stigma on a woman who reaches a certain age and still doesn’t have a hand to hold—but trying to find a date has become a somewhat frustrating and challenging process for the single ladies.

Much of this has to do with society and the changing values that evolve with time and innovation—one reason why men often think it’s perfectly fine to text women to ask them out. And oftentimes women accept that norm and allow it to continue, but it doesn’t take long to figure out that a relationship built on texting alone is not going to be strong and likely not going to last.

Dating doesn’t have to be as frustrating and as complex as people make it. The truth is, love is stronger than anything—even technology—and, when you are able to find that special someone who makes your heart flutter, you won’t have to keep your phone at arm’s length at all times in anticipation of the new-message ding.

If you find yourself still single, yet wanting to meet your match, there are some things to keep in mind in order to maintain your sanity and also your values.

1. Don't make finding a date your main priority. In far too many areas of life, it seems like things take longer the more we anticipate them. Channel your energy on other things, and you'll find the right person when you are supposed to.

2. Don't settle for just anyone. You are worth more than that. Hold out for the hero who will treat you right and knows that chivalry didn't die with the invention of the cell phone.

3. Don't change who you are. You are you for a reason. You don't have to act a certain way in order to catch a man's attention. Be you.

4. You aren't going to marry everyone you meet. Don't treat each conversation with a man like it's an interview for marriage. Take one step at a time.

5. Slow down, and put your phone down. Engage in genuine conversations with people. You don't want to miss locking eyes with your Prince Charming because you're too busy texting.

Though you shouldn’t expect the antiquated “Wanna go steady?” question to ring in your ears, you also shouldn’t have to give up the hope for being able to enjoy dating without all of the mysteries provided by technology.

After all, love is something that will never become obsolete.

Photo by Kyle Loftus on Unsplash