Tagged: E-Harmony

Dating in the Digital Age

One day at the gym I overheard a man and woman chatting with one another.  The woman was talking about her upcoming celebration for 23 years of marriage and he was discussing that his 40 year marriage anniversary had just passed.  I remain in awe about how these couples  manage to give support and love throughout the years.  I also can’t help but wonder how couples today will connect and survive in today’s technology driven society.

The digital age brought around a huge evolution for business and educational styles.  Our daily lives have changed significantly due to search engines and social sites. But have our dating lives and our self-development increased at the same pace?  Smart phones have become a great technological advance to cellphones.  Have humans evolved in their dating styles or are we still T9 dating?

The release of smart phones and social dating sites has left us no more savvy consumers in the dating world than we are in the public arena.  If you are hoping to get out of bad dating patterns, hiding online won’t help.  Give a girl who dates jerks 5 guys and she is likely to pick the 1 jerk out of the bunch.  Give her 100 guys and she is still likely to pick the jerk.  The real question is if your mental aptitude for dating has enough ram to keep up with the current technology.  Maybe it is time to upgrade ourselves before we go fishing, get on ok cupid, download the tinder app or pay for sites like match and e-harmony.

The first smart phone came out in 1993.  In the last ten years smart phones are the new norm.  But what has happen to our dating lives?  What are the advances to our human development that are making dating better today then it was ten years ago? In a world where you have 1,009 Facebook friends and 876 Instagram followers, the only human evolution has happened to our egos.  That doesn’t equate with making us more responsible dating partners.  Bigger egos may make approaching another person easier as we become more aggressive, but it isn’t helping us develop compassion for being thoughtful in romantic relationships.

Society might be on the cusp of social explosion.  I can not tell you how many photos I have seen where guys have their pants unbuttoned and I can almost see their junk.  This isn’t what I signed on for.  This type of dating has allowed the douches to get even douchier (as if it was possible).  I find myself erasing more messages than actually connecting on a real human level.  What is socially appropriate publically weeds out that kind of behavior and nonsense. But online, anything goes.

You are what you are online and offline.  Whatever attitude, defenses, lifestyles, or energy that you have as a person, you will have on a computer.  It is important to develop yourself with other people in mind.  Sorry, Selfies, it’s not all about you.  

Why You Aren’t Meeting Mr or Mrs Right or Wrong

People sometimes use the phrase, “Why you aren’t meeting Mr.Right.”  I don’t necessarily like that phrase because even if you are out meeting people in the dating pool, you are the only person who gets to decide if they are right or wrong.  It is about finding Mr. or Mrs. Right for You.  And if we are being completely honest, you may have thought previous people who you dated were right for you the moment you met them.  As the relationship goes on you begin to learn more about yourself and that other person.  They might turn into Mr. or Mrs. Wrong for you.  No one is objectively wrong or right, when we get into relationships we learn if we can stay together.

This article is not about whether a specific person is right or wrong for you.  It is an article about why you may not be meeting anyone.  In today’s culture of social media and technology, it is not often that we interact with other people as much as we used to.  We don’t have to go into stores to pay our bills, because we can pay them on the internet.  We don’t have to deposit in banks with direct deposit and bank apps.  Online shopping allows us to spend less time as outside consumers, and you can even have your groceries delivered.  Social sites like Facebook and Twitter keep us from connecting with other people conversationally.  Technology is great for briefly catching up on the latest news, but not so great for your dating life.

What Can You Do

It might be that you see the same 20 people over and over again if you work for a smaller company.  Even if you work for a large company, it is likely that you only see people from the same department.  Think about if you leave the house (from a car in the garage)  and drive to work.  Then after the day at work, you get into the car and drive home to make yourself dinner and watch the latest episode of your favorite show.  You have only interacted with those same 20 people from work that day.  You have met zero people that day; which gives you zero chances to meet a potential partner.

Now, if you take public transit or grab a friend to go out to lunch, or go to a place to eat after work; you have just given yourself 1-3 opportunities in just one day to meet someone.  That means that out of the 52 weeks in that year, you can give yourself 260-780 instances in which you can meet a partner.

Or Try These

  • Change up your routine.  Go to different grocery store or work out at different times. The same people at the gym at 5 pm present the same dating opportunities.  Mix it up to see what the gym holds early morning or what shopping late at night might offer you.
  • Forgo technology.  Go to the bank, shop at the store, and even leave your phone in your pocket in public.  You are unapproachable when you are walking and texting at the same time.  Every time you can immerse yourself in people gives you more and more opportunities to meet someone.
  • Take a class.  Not in school anymore?  Take a class; and make sure the ratio is to your benefit.  Women take a welding or building class, men try for cooking or pottery.  Sounds ridiculous, but you might be the only female in a room of 20 men; half of which statistically will be single.
  • Move from the small town.  Do you live in a town where “everybody knows your name” ? If you want to branch out and meet people, maybe the small town  isn’t for you.  If you don’t want to move, traveling 45 minutes to an hour can give you new scenery including new potential dating partners.
  • Stop locking and dropping.  This is locking yourself into a dating situation where the other person is waiting to meet someone else before they drop you.  If you are locked into dating one person who just isn’t real or serious about the relationship, it is time to remove him or her from your dating life.
  • Boys and Girls can be friends.  Yes they can be, but hanging out with the opposite sex all the time will make it impossible for other people to know you are available, even if your Facebook status reads “single.”  Remember that no one can read your profile when they are having a conversation with you.

You have many opportunities to meet potential partners but you may first have to embrace some change and commit to meeting new people.

On-Line Dating

On-line dating has become an outlet for many Americans.  Whether it is a time constraints or a social interaction that seems to create less anxiety, beginning the dating process via world-wide web has become increasingly popular.

On-line dating is now responsible for about a fifth of all marriages in the United States” (Chadwick, 2010, Match.com and Chadwick Martin Bailey 2009-2010 Studies).

I advocate on-line dating, not as the sole way to choose a partner, but to find potential dates.  For example, someone who does not have a lot of time, can weed out partners that may not be great fits.  A current E-Harmony commercial demonstrates that the on-line dating experience is about finding better dates, not more dates.

A great pre-marital counseling tool known as Prepare and Enrich tells us how similarities in certain areas such as finances and religion will lead to longevity in marriages. I bring this up because on-line dating sites like E-Harmony and Match.com have long questionnaires that you fill out; helping you get matched with people who would be good potential dating partners for you.  Sites like Plenty of Fish or Ok Cupid have a tendency to be free-for-all’s where anyone can contact.  Questionnaires are too short and inaccurate to measure much.

How do I know?  I was personally a member of each of the four sites to test the reliability and consideration of matches.  Please get back to us with any feedback on on-line dating experiences or personal thoughts.