Finding Love in The 21st Century
We all know that finding love is not easy for anyone. It’s the subject of countless books, of every self help guide out, of every single little dating guide out there. They all promise you the exact same thing: this holy grail that we’re all striving for. Why you want it is up to you. Maybe you want someone to share in all the best things in life, someone to spoil and to smile with. Someone that can make you smile even when you’re having the most depressing of days. Maybe you just want someone to come home to, some reason to buy that bottle of wine, uncork it and settle down together.
Whatever the reason might be, actually finding it is not as simple as it might appear. For those that went out and found their partners in the last 10 years, the change would be shocking. Truly, truly shocking. After all, who could have predicted that so many things would have changed in the past 10 years. Think about it, the sheer number of world and technological changes that have gone on. You don’t really think about it, but those changes have also had a serious effect on the world that we live in. They’ve made it so very different.
That’s why we’re always amazed at people that say go out and meet a girl at a bar. Sure, if it was 2006 this might work. But it’s not. Nowadays, most women don’t want to be approached there. That’s where they’re out with their friends, celebrating or relaxing. The last thing that they want is a guy to come up to them and ask if they’re interested in going on a date. It’s just not that socially acceptable anymore. As odd as it might seem, the good old days of hitting up a bar on a Friday night for a hookup or more are generally over.
Now don’t get us wrong. There are still plenty of girls and guys out there just for that. We’re not saying the game has changed so much that approaching a woman in a bar has become complete taboo. You can still do it, in many cases you still should if you’re feeling a bit of mutual chemistry. What we are saying though, is that it’s not the primary way to find a partner anymore. No, as odd as it might sound to those with a dated mindset, these days it’s all about specific dating apps and sites.
This might seem strange to us, because there’s no discretion, no playfulness, no little bit of flirting. It’s all so straightforward. You list who you are, what you want and that is it. That is all it takes to find a partner on a site like that. The question is, why? Why have people become like this, why has dating become like that? Well, because that’s life now, especially in a busy city. You have so many things going on, it’s hard to really find time to indulge in the chase, to play the games. You can get fresh Italian food delivered with a few swipes, find a cab in the most remote situations, so why not find love in exactly the same way? What’s the difference? For most of us, there simply isn’t one. After all, it’s just another aspect of life that we’ve been waiting for, something we need fulfilled. And like with everything else, there’s an app for that.
Now whether or not that is a good thing is a matter of some debate amongst people. There are plenty that would argue that it’s only harmful in the end, reducing human relationships to something like that. That it doesn’t encourage the good in people, or to see love and kindness as desirable. But then there’s also a good case for the opposite opinion, to say that dating has for far too long been on some rom-com pedestal that dictates that we absolutely must treat it this way. These are the rules, these are the ways it works, you follow them or you end up alone. These days, the rule book is being torn up, and it’s a whole new world.
Some have likened it, and the internet in general, to the Wild West. These are the wild periods before things are fully understood and enforced, when it’s possible and probable to see things from every walk of life and every view point. For a couple seeking a 3rd party to have one found in 20 minutes. For an Asian woman with a thing for older black men to have her desires fulfilled with a few clicks of a mouse, and a swipe across the screen. The frontier is open and we’re the ones riding out into it, the prospectors, the cowboys, the ones with curiosity and hope for what lies out there.
In all honesty, it’s a puzzling, overwhelming mess of a thing. They are so many new opportunities but so few that have refined what that actually means. So many men trying to find love but so little consensus on what that means. Take Short Term Dating. A term popular on such sites, it’s one that causes plenty of arguments. Some take it to mean a few dates, maybe some intimate relationships, 2 or 3 weeks of things really. For others, it means a date or so, a little casual hookup but with wine and candles and dinner. For others, it’s anything under 6 months, and the idea that they would be moving on after just a date or so is completely alien to them. These terms, meant to clarify positions and take things out into the open, in many ways are only confusing people more.
Things only get worse when you delve deeper into it. The idea of what a serious relationship and love constitutes are enough to turn anyone’s brain inside out. We were once shocked to talk to someone who told us that they had loved dozens of people, despite only being in their mid thirties. For them, forming a bond and connecting with someone was enough, and they didn’t often stay around for much longer than that. The confusion from their partners, who having been told the 3 magic words then found themselves being moved on from shortly after, was palpable. She seemed equally baffled by their confusion. The entire thing was a nightmare to untangle, yet alone participate in.
It’s an interesting exercise to ask friends that know about these sorts of things, that have experienced them firsthand, just what they’ve actually felt whilst doing it. The common answer is a sense of sheer confusion. After all, no one really seems to know what’s going on. Even the so called experts are basically taking their best shots in the dark. Even the things we thought we did know, seem to be going up in smoke, disappearing in a puff of mystery and change. The old ways are certainly gone, but how do we move on from here? What does it all mean? The whole thing is infused with the essence of what came before it, just to make things even more confusing.
Between Two Worlds
After all, we’re not yet at some state of objective assessment in dating, where prospective matches check out your vitals, your key attributes, your photos and decide whether or not to proceed. The silicone clean days of that sort of pairing are still a way off, although we’re starting to see their beginnings. The old ways still linger, the notions of romance and love and gender roles. They no longer define dating, but they’re there in the back of your mind. Every girl might want to experience equality and be true partners, but there is a voice at the back of many heads. A voice that has princesses and damsels in distress and kept women, a voice that tells them that their man needs to treat them right, to put in that much bit of extra effort to woo her. And likewise, men still have that same voice, telling them to hide their feelings, not to get attached, that they have to be strong and forward and setting the pace. That ultimately, her happiness is on him.
Daters, like dating itself, are torn between two different worlds, the past and the present. So radically different are they, and so radically different are the extent to which people are sided to one another, that it makes things a living nightmare to actually work out. After all, a man and a woman might match perfectly on paper. An artist and a journalist, young, creative, both attractive, fit and healthy. Yet he’s a big fan of the old ways, of flowers and opening doors and of paying for that first cup of coffee. Whereas she finds it all so patronising, and is a person first and foremost and not a woman. They mesh perfectly in theory but the unknowable quality of their hidden personalities and their perspectives make them a terrible match.
Now more than ever, as viewpoints and ideas start to wander further away from each other, as so many routes to different ideas open up, it becomes impossible to really match people. Believe it or not, there might well be no way to fix this either. After all, it’s not something that you can really empirically verify. You can get a clue by asking certain questions, but there are some things that you just won’t be able to find out until you see it in action. How do they treat kids? When they say that they like to be firm but fair, does this mean they’re going to seem like an insanely hardline boss to you, or will they genuinely weigh up each and every circumstance?
The Big Questions
These are questions you simply cannot answer. What we must not lose sight of either, is that you don’t necessarily need to. That is part of life really, being exposed to things you’re not so keen on to get to the things that you do like. This might seem like a simple way of getting around the issue but trust us, we mean every word. It really is important. If dating was a simple breeze then honestly what would the point be? Why would you even want to bother? There would simply be no point.
Life is, as they say, an adventure. It’s all about the journey, about finding things out and really experiencing them for yourself. Sometimes, the adventure of dating comes from that discovery of another person, of peeling back the superficial stats and seeing the person underneath. So yes, modern dating might be a confusing mess of numbers and figures and percentages. But, oddly, it’s ultimately all so worth it. Instead of being afraid of everything being so different, you just have to throw yourself headfirst into the mess and see where it brings you.
The result may very well surprise you, and we’re sure that you’ll be amazed at just what wonders the world truly has to offer for those that are bold enough to look for them. So what are you waiting for? Go out and find them today.