Sadly–or is this good–there is a part 2 to this article. This one pertains to all the extra of dating apps. You can find Part 1 here.
How did being ordinary become someone who is not date-able?
Swiping has a lot to do with that. When you swipe do you really have enough information to swipe left?
There is more to dating than swiping. (I feel the clench in your stomach.)
Then there is the scientific theory of the paradox of choice. This theory asserts that while some choice is better than no choice, too many choices can also adversely affect the happiness of individuals.
The so-many-choices seem beneficial at first. I love and recommend Dr. Henry Cloud’s book, How to Get a Date Worth Keeping, because it does talk about how you can get your numbers up to meet more people so you can meet your match. The flipside of this though is because of the plethora of dating apps (they are a profitable business) the scarcity fear is increasing with “what if” there is someone out there who is better for me. Which means you are nagged with this thought, “What if you’re settling, and a better guy shows up in a year?”
You could be missing out on the nice guy right in front of you. The one you have been putting work and time into.
Dating apps are a part of dating. Because you have to meet people.
In this internet world, love meets algorithms. Yes, that is as awful as it writes.
From a poll from Survey Monkey 56% of adults have a negative view of dating apps: 55% men and 59% women. 49% of people who message someone through a dating app never receive a response. –YPulse, December 17, 2019
True that, right?!
You have to do a lot of work to get just one good date.
When you are viewing online profiles, you want to know right away if he/she is The One. When all of the information you know is from a one-page profile. That is all you know.
You also wonder if this online profile is real. A new “love meets algorithm” problem is the large number of scam profiles. Just in 2021, people reportedly lost $547 million from romance scams, an 80 percent increase from 2020. Source. Oh dear and heads up.
For so many good and right reasons, we have come to judge so quickly. Swipe too quickly. So harshly. Probably because the odds are much higher that the profile is really of a jerk. We know the odds are higher that you will never receive a response.
The guy who seems great on a dating profile can turn out to be disappointing as often as the guy who isn’t your type turns out to be appealing. None of these people are real until you’re in a committed relationship with them.
Dating profile interpretations:
I’m too ambitious = I’m ruthless
I’m too honest = I’m insensitive
I’m too giving = I’m needy
I’m too independent = I’m a workaholic
I’m too analytical = I’m too judgmental
What judgments can you add to this list?
Is anyone authentic on these dating apps? The answer is yes, but they may be the minority.
A failed date does not define you. That failed date becomes a “so what.” A story. Maybe a humorous story.
Dating app dates lead to many humorous stories. Like the time a friend decided to meet someone IRL. She got to the restaurant and searched for a man who looked like the photo she had seen online. She told me she only saw one person who vaguely resembled the photo who also looked more like he could be the father of her date. That was the man who introduced himself saying, “There are probably two things I should tell you. I am older than I said, and shorter than I said.”
Thankfully my friend snarkily replied, “This is how you expect to start a date by lying from the beginning?” And she left the restaurant.
Sometimes you do get dressed up with no where to go. This is okay. A failed date doesn’t define you. And what a story you have to tell! #datefail
And you can be okay that the date didn’t work out.
There is less sex happening in dating.
As a youth pastor who pastored teens in the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, and now in the 2020s I have seen this statistical number change a lot–in the bad direction. I have sat with too many teens and young adults who have made regretful decisions. Good sex is faithful, fruitful, and points us to God, for whom our hearts ultimately lean. Bad sex tells the lie that our bodies don’t have spiritual significance.
So in a way I am rejoicing about these decreasing numbers. Except these decreasing number have little to do with the decision that our bodies have spiritual significance.
Says one young adult man, “The internet has made it so easy to gratify basic social and sexual needs that there’s far less incentive to go out into the ‘meatworld’ and chase those things.” (Generations by Jean M. Twenge) It used to be that dating was a “meatworld.” Now it is less “meatworld” but more and more men and women have porn habits. That is not what you are looking for.
Anxiety about meeting new people.
Another trend Jean Twenge noted from her deeply researched book, Generations. The judgmental cancel culture has made meeting someone akin to stalking. No one wants to be known as a stalker but striking up a conversation with someone you met who appears interesting could end with that accusation. Not funny as you know it is true. I have a friend who started seeing a guy she met through a dating app. One day he texted her too many times, and too many times while she was napping, and she called him a stalker.
In the age of the smartphone, we have the ability to choose whom we interact with. We follow or unfollow whom we want; we reply to posts we have an ulterior motive to reply to; we ghost everyone else. So how are we meeting new people?
On dating apps? Which brings us full circle of when you swipe do you really have enough information to swipe left?
Which is why I still believe in brave dating. Brave dating is dating to discover who you are. The result of this learning process will then lead you to a good match to give you that “love for a lifetime” you desire. Because vulnerability is involved, you must approach this process with bravery.
Don’t forget about Jesus.
Anxiety will keep you out of vulnerability. Date with a team. Read the great amount of wisdom here at Brave Dating. Grow your discerner (part-brain, part-instinct, and part-Holy-Spirit). Bring Jesus into all of this. Ask some good people out.
I don’t say “bring Jesus into all of this” flippantly or as Christianese. I know many of you already have trust issues with Jesus. You’ve been so disappointed that your life hasn’t turned out as you dreamed of when you were a teen. I’ve been a youth pastor a long time so I recognize this. You may even be angry with God that you haven’t met your love of a lifetime yet.
Or your heart is so battered from a bad relationship you stayed in. Shame is keeping you from trusting Jesus for something better for your life.
I stand in that gap for you. I’m here to say that I have hope for you. Read my words here. Talk to me IRL. I have learned that Papa God is gathering the materials. When you are overwhelmed with your trust issues, lean on me.