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Our expectations on dating are higher today because we are
flooded with images of ‘perfect love’ from TV, films, advertisements,
and social media. We expect perfection and, if we don’t find it, we
move on quickly. This makes dating harder because it’s common for
us to look for what’s wrong with someone, instead of focusing on
what’s right. We expect an intense spark to be there from the start.
If it’s not, we check out and look for someone else, because we feel
it’s easy to meet someone thanks to modern technology.
And having fun has become more and more important in today’s
culture. After the initial spark wears off and the routine sets in, we
become frustrated, bored, and want to experience the spark again.
Many people would rather start fresh than fully dive into the other
phases of love. And the ease of finding someone online takes away
the perceived risk of ending up alone.
In the past we relied on chance meetings, using friends as
intermediaries, talking to a person to gain knowledge about them
and thus our choices were reduced but the intensity of our
connections was greater. Now we have access to anyone in the
world — literally.
We have computer algorithms that will match us based on stated
preferences, we have the ability to make our physical appearance
on line look more flattering than our actual appearance and we
have all of this at the swipe of a finger. The result is, for many,
having to sift through lots and lots of ‘dating data’ to find a good,
authentic fit.
Moreover, because we have access to people without having to
leave our homes, we have access to communicate our wants and
desires without much cost.
The result is a much more complex array of dating categories
including casual sex and hookups. We simply find another individual
via the Internet who wants casual sex and without having to ever
leave our homes we can arrange the process. There is very little investment and thus, it happens frequently. Hookup culture’ has given us mass confusion. It’s made it hard to
define what we’re doing with a person. We find ourselves asking, ‘Is
this a date?’, ‘Are we a couple?’, ‘What are the rules?’ ‘What are the
expectations?’ ‘Am I one of many?’ ‘Dare I text them first?’ ‘Is it OK
to let them know I like them?’ ‘If I express a concern, will they dump
me?’

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