Dating is more difficult now than ever, yet we have a lot easier access to people than generations before us. We live in an era where you can find a potential partner at the click of a button. With the swipe of a finger we can choose a person we find attractive. You can have in-depth conversations with someone without ever hearing their voice. And while these resources may seem beneficial on the surface, it prompts an important question: Have we become a culture of lazy daters? By having all of these resources, we’re shown a false reality that our options are abundant. Social media makes us feel as though we are able to date a million people, but that plethora of options leads to a decrease in patience. It’s just like trying out a new Netflix series. Most will move on to a new show if the first episode doesn’t catch your attention. And why wouldn’t you when there are a lot of different options to choose from? Many of us apply the same method to dating.
Realistically, we can only give a small number of people opportunities to be a potential mate. Trying to balance work, family, fun, school and chasing dreams makes our time very limited. Generations before us understood this concept so they showed more patience in the different phases of dating, but nowadays, many people expect too much all at once, and feel as though they’re settling if their requirements are not met from the jump.
"I’m not settling for just anything!"
"It shouldn’t have to take all that to be in a relationship!"
"They don’t meet all the things I’m looking for."
"They should accept me as I am."
Did any of those phrases sound familiar to you? If your friends are anything like mine, you have either heard these phrases or said them yourself. Sometimes I wonder if those are excuses to not work on our flaws. Maybe saying those things gives us the freedom to place blame on someone else.
I’m starting to believe that instead of always placing the focus on our potential partner, we should redirect our focus to ourselves and ask, “Do you even meet the expectations you place on someone else?”
Now each individual should have a few things they wont tolerate, but if those things are equivalent to grocery list for a family of five, I would suggest reconsidering some things.
In this new era of dating, there is an imbalance of effort vs. expectations. I find a lot of people feel as thought they should be treated as the prize while the other pursues, without considering what they put forth into the budding relationship. This narcissistic attitude leads to a lot of ghosting and failed pursuits, and people chucking the deuces because of another person’s flaws, forgetting that they’re flawed themselves. And the false reality that social media presents us, which has greatly skewed our views on relationships, doesn’t help. A lot want to skip the steps of heartaches, arguments and getting to know someone. We feel if it isn’t perfect from the start, it is not meant to be. Most wish their relationships would happen like the ones on Disney shows, forgetting that it’s not a realistic representation of how a relationship is formed.
Communication is the most important part of any relationship. Social media has greatly caused a shift into our communication skills. I know some people who are afraid of getting to know someone because of their social media profile. We now tend to block, unfollow or outright not listen to someone with different views, and this method of communication has infiltrated the dating world. We won’t tell the person what bothered us and why. We just simply move on to the next person. I’ve even heard some women say, “If I have to teach him what makes me happy or what I like, he isn’t the one for me.” There isn’t any room to grow or to learn from your mistakes with that logic in dating. It is unfair to require a person to guess your needs, likes and dislikes flawlessly before moving to the next phase. Unless you plan on dating a psychic, you will never move forward.
I often hear men complain about their partner not putting in effort or not being appreciative of their actions, without realizing that they’re only giving minimal effort to their woman. Yet, they feel as if they should be applauded for a subpar performance. They will give a little, but expect so much more to be reciprocated. Some men see how many women on social media would love to have a partner and believe their presence alone should suffice her needs. If she does not go above and beyond, he will feel as if he’s settling with her. Now we are stuck in a dangerous zone where both parties are doing the least for each other, while wanting the most in return from their partner.
It takes a certain level of sacrifice to accomplish a great relationship. Finding a partner who consistently makes you feel special takes a level of discipline. We will repeat the same mistakes in the dating process until we learn patience. Give someone a real opportunity to learn what makes you different. We cannot choose to shut every new person off when they perform an action that bothers you without communicating about it. Most of us want to be in a successful relationship, but how many of us are willing to work for it?