Why Modern Dating Sucks

Updated on May 20, 2019
Holley Hyler profile image

Holley Hyler is a freelance writer and has been published in Adelaide, Buck Off Magazine, Rebelle Society, and The Urban Howl.

Introduction

Why does dating nowadays suck so much? If you've ever had this question or wondered how your parents managed to meet someone they liked enough to marry, you're not alone. If the end of your twenties is approaching, or has come and gone, and you're still single, congratulations! You are, in all likelihood, a hopeless romantic who is more than deserving of the relationship you crave. I write this in hopes of helping you understand why your dating life so far has completely sucked. Maybe understanding will help you turn the tide and meet the love of your life! If so, don't forget to invite me to the wedding.

If you are someone who found your husband or wife on Tinder or Plenty of Fish, this article is not for you (but I'm happy for you). I realize there are always exceptions, and nothing is black or white, but I only have my perspective. To be fair, an instance of organically meeting someone is included in this consideration. It doesn't seem to matter how the meeting occurred - the behavior and character of relationship was essentially the same in my experience. It completely sucked! Read on to find out why.

The charming days of your beau calling your landline phone and having to speak to your mother first are long gone.
The charming days of your beau calling your landline phone and having to speak to your mother first are long gone. | Source

Real and Meaningful Communication Has Become a Rarity

I love technology and the ability to e-mail and text. I prefer texting to talking aloud. I have always been a quiet but expressive person, and despite my soft-spoken nature, I still like to communicate in ways that resonate with me. I am not much of a talker, but I have always been a writer. It is primarily through my writing voice that I touch other souls and let them know what's happening inside my head.

I see ads for Tinder or other dating apps where two people communicate purely by emojis, and it disgusts me. After my mom passed away, as I was going through her house, I found a Sephora box full of love letters in my room that I had kept from guys I dated during my school years. It was sad when I realized that my boyfriend in my junior year of high school had more game than the guys I've seen more recently, since my mid-twenties. My high school boyfriend wrote me letters of several pages where he would talk about his day or where he wanted to take me on a date. They were sweet, innocent expressions of love where he shared what was going through his mind and how he was feeling.

While I do my best to communicate meaningfully through text, that's not everybody, if my few experiences with guys are an accurate representation of the rest of them in the dating pool. The lack of communication affects not only the phone and text, but real life as well. I find myself wondering if it started with texting.

I understand the dread factor that a ringing phone can evoke, but at least when we had no choice but to call the other person, we held on to our communication skills and consideration for the human being on the other side of the line. It was easier to pick up on how the other person felt through their tone of voice, and there was not so much evasive behavior as there can be these days when most communication is via text. In my school days (the days of landline phones), yes, sometimes it could be really awkward when conversations were more difficult or heading toward a breakup, but at least we still had to communicate enough to get that sense of closure if things were over. Or if things were going well, we knew that better too.

When you text, especially if you haven't met in-person yet, you're less of a human being to the other person. They feel like they can say anything they want, as indicated by some of the horror stories people on dating apps have shared.

Rather than using text meaningfully, most people use it to hide.

It sort of makes me wish I had kept the love letters in that Sephora box, not for sentimental reasons, but to give me hope when someone can barely spell "cat" or uses emojis like hieroglyphs.

Swipe, message, meet, fizzle out, repeat.
Swipe, message, meet, fizzle out, repeat. | Source

Dating Apps Can Be Overwhelming, Used for the Wrong Reasons

The desire to be loved, truly and deeply, is universal across all human beings.

The problem with technology influencing romance is that it can be overwhelming and encourage unhealthy, attention-seeking behavior. Mix a dating app with low self-esteem, lack of self-discipline and self-control, and you have a dangerous cocktail that will damage yourself and others. On most of the dating apps I have seen, there is no limit on how many people you can match with at one time. Before you know it, you're getting a lot of interest in your profile, which can feel very good at first. Unfortunately, it quickly becomes just another distraction. Your notifications on your phone start vying for your attention, even if you're out with one of your potentials.

Rather than your focus being on the people you're meeting and understanding your level of interest in them, it's about the attention you're receiving and how validated you feel. As a result, you don't get a good sense of any of the people you meet. Connections crash and burn, or they fizzle out entirely for no particular reason.

Of course, this isn't the fault of the dating app. It's all down to how a person chooses to use it, but perhaps the developers putting a few restrictions on them (for instance, only being able to match with 1-3 people at once, so that yeses are used more wisely) wouldn't hurt. I have been off dating apps for a couple of years now, so maybe this feature does exist somewhere and I'm just not up-to-date.

Having an endless stream of matches that never go anywhere or even remotely toward getting to know another person in any depth can create jaded, bitter people who are convinced that there are no good men or women left in the world.

We all want love, but we are going about receiving it in the wrong ways. We equate "likes" with love, and the more that we get, the better. But we don't stop to consider that the "like" or "yes" on our profile was only a momentary response. We focus more on the fleeting approvals than long-term connections, and then we wonder why we feel so empty.

Has this happened to you, too?
Has this happened to you, too? | Source

It's Too Easy to Run Away

When it comes to online dating especially, it can sometimes be good that we don't run much risk of seeing certain people in our day-to-day lives. The ability to block people who are harassing or otherwise abusive is good too. For most others in situations that don't work out, at least caring enough to give a reason for breaking things off or saying goodbye and sending well wishes is a nice gesture. Unfortunately, this is a gesture that often is missed. It can really mess with people.

A friend of mine met a woman at a speed dating event and felt like they were hitting it off pretty well. They were laughing and relating to one another a lot. At the end of the event, each person turned in a list of the people they liked and got notified if the feeling was mutual. When my friend learned that his lady of interest marked "yes" for him, he sent her an e-mail, then never heard from her.

Granted, sometimes e-mails don't go through. But how many people hide behind technological mishaps just because they're too afraid to be honest or have a challenging conversation? Why is it so hard to say, "Hey, I really enjoyed getting to know you, but after giving it more thought, I don't feel ready to date anyone"? It would save the other person the unpleasant experience of obsessing over what they did wrong or what happened when things seemed to be going so well before.

When we don't have much chance of seeing a person face-to-face, whether at work or a chance encounter at the grocery store, again, maybe they feel less human. It is easy to "ghost" and forget common courtesy, because we don't have to confront the consequences of our actions. We don't have to see the human, emotional side of the other person, so it's like we forget it's there or it's easier to disregard.

The golden rule is drilled into us when we are children, but still, we manage to forget it.

Tips for a Better Experience

I have been guilty of all the above vices when it comes to dating, so I am not saying I am an angel or was never a part of the problem. But awareness is part of resolving the problem.

Modern dating sucks for many reasons, and this could be part one in an entire series if enough people enjoy this article and let me know that. It doesn't have to suck, but we need to become more aware of the ways we're treating others that we don't want to be treated. We have to become aware of how we're pushing away love or failing to love ourselves when we're desperate for "likes" and comments on photos.

If you meet someone and really like them, let them know it. Pick up the phone and actually call them sometimes. Be communicative and express your feelings. This isn't true just for dating, but for all relationships where there is a sense of disconnect.

Be open and know that it may take a few frogs before you find your prince or princess, but don't get lost in swiping through an endless stream of profiles and pictures.

If you feel comfortable, please share your experiences with this subject in the comments below and what your takeaway from it all has been.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Holley Hyler

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • profile image

        Carminared 

        3 weeks ago

        Great article and perspective. Dating in general sucks whether you meet in person or online. I agree that things fail when there is a lack of communication and honesty. “Be communicative and express your feelings,” is great advice. Unfortunately, a lot of people hold back due to fear of rejection. I have made this a practice and have scared some guys away, but I feel good about myself and feel true to my values and what I am seeking. I no longer fear rejection and simply use this as a vetting process. If someone’s words do not match their actions and you call them out and they run, then they didn’t feel the same way about you to begin with.

      • dashingscorpio profile image

        dashingscorpio 

        3 weeks ago

        Sound advice!

        "It doesn't seem to matter how the meeting occurred - the behavior and character of relationship was essentially the same in my experience." - Very true!

        It's not about (how) you meet but (who) you meet that counts!

        Each of us (chooses) our own friends, lovers, and spouse.

        Each of us has our own mate selection process/must haves list.

        Each of us has our own boundaries and "deal breakers".

        If you're having one bad dating/relationship experience after another it's time to reexamine your mate selection/screening process. The only thing all of your failed relationships have in common is (you).

        The reason dating sucks for so many people is because they either haven't figured out what they truly want or how to connect with others in a meaningful way. Some folks have unrealistic expectations!

        "Pick up the phone and actually call them sometimes." - AMEN!

        Personally I believe you text people you don't want to talk to.

        Texting doesn't require much of an investment when communicating with others. You get to say everything you want without possibly being interrupted and you get no sense of how your message is being received. Essentially it's all about (you).

        Where as a phone call gives the other person an opportunity to chime in with their thoughts immediately, you can hear their tone and inflection, or hesitation in their voice and lol doesn't replace hearing actual laughter. If all two people represent to each other is text messages on a phone they are devoid of human connection.

        This also causes them to play the "what did he/she mean" game more frequently because they eliminated many of the interpretation ques they would have had by actually speaking to each other.

        Last but not least if you're in your teens or early 20s the odds are you're not going to find your "soulmate". Most guys in their 20s are in no rush to become their parents! They either just moved out of a dorm room or their parents' basement. The last thing on their mind is settling down, getting married, taking out a 30 year mortgage, and having a family. What they want is to establish a career, watch sports, party with friends, and get laid.

        The average age of a first time groom is (29). Therefore if a young lady is hoping for marriage she would be better off dating guys in their early 30s who have never been married before.

        In some instances people are aiming out of their league. Nobody wants to be told that but if a guy looks like Danny DeVito he is not likely going to end up with a woman who looks like Charlize Theron! A Chrissy Metz type won't end up with Brad Pitt either!

        Don't expect to sit next to the moon unless (you) are a star!

        Online dating/shopping isn't for everyone but bear in mind other ways of meeting people didn't cease to exist because of it!

        A proactive outgoing person can meet people just about anywhere. Meetup.com has a variety hobby and interest groups who meet once or twice per month allowing one to get to know others slowly. Being a personable positive person helps.

        For more adventurous types there is www.singlescruise.com whereby the who ship is filled singles. You get to combine a Caribbean cruise vacation with meeting new people.

        It's not that dating sucks, too many people suck at dating!

      • Holley Hyler profile imageAUTHOR

        Holley Hyler 

        3 weeks ago

        Thank you for the feedback! I absolutely will try to incorporate those tips in part 2 :-)

      • schoolgirlforreal profile image

        schoolgirlforreal 

        3 weeks ago

        I like this article and I agree with you that online dating sucks. Years ago, things were way better, and communicating by phone or in person is best.

        I would like to hear a long list of better ways to meet people, like places, to go, and also good conversation starters.

        I am not good at that at all!!!

        Thanks for writing about this :)

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pairedlife.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://pairedlife.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)