How many hours do you put in with someone you may never meet?
How much of your life have you wasted on texts, chats and emails that go absolutely nowhere?
The truth is, online dating is an social treadmill designed by the dating sites to keep you engaged in the process. As long as you're engaged in the process (and not happily in a relationship), they make money.
Take the story of a client of mine, I will call him Bill.
Bill is a good-looking guy in his 40s.
He's got the social confidence to meet people in the real world, but like so many other people, he became addicted to swipe dating and Internet dating.
Bill recently came to visit me.
1. It's addicting.
He spent an entire Tuesday swipe dating. As a matter of fact, he stayed at my house that day, because he enjoyed being out on my deck. He wanted to chill out.
I left him in the morning. I went to the gym. I went to the bank. I went to Whole Foods. I picked up my daughter from school and brought her to her mother's house. Then I went back home.
When I got back, Bill was still on the deck, on his phone. He hadn't moved.
I looked at him and said, "Bill, what are you doing?" He said, "I've been on Tinder all day. And Bumble. And Hinge."
"I really wanted to have a date tonight, but I spent hours having conversations several women that went absolutely nowhere, with people just dropping off."
How many of you suffer from the same thing as Bill?
You get on a swipe site, you meet somebody, you have a few texts back and forth, you exchange a phone number. You text and invest a significant amount of time thinking about them, wondering what it's going to be like to meet them and setting up the date in your brain.
And then you're consistently put off, delayed or "ghosted." When someone "ghosts" you, they vanish. But they're not like Casper the friendly ghost.
They're more like Casper's evil cousin, Darrius, the vanishing ghost. Casper was friendly and lovable. He'd make you smile, even though he was a ghost. The issue with most of the connections online is that most of them just vanish. Why?
2. There's an endless supply of new possibilities.
It's the reason why online dating works (for the date sites). They've created a bigger, better, ideal world. There's always somebody cuter than the person you met a few minutes ago, somebody who is wittier, and somebody who is more "perfect" for you. But that person is merely replaced by another person the very next day.
That's how it works. And why the online dating and swipe dating world is a multi-billion dollar industry. You are not meant to succeed and it's highly addictive.
Here's the caveat. Here's where you're going to absolutely say to yourself, that David Wygant is a pretty smart dude...
The reason why we all date online is because we give in to our social anxiety.
We're doing all this swipe dating, Match, Zoosk and OkCupid, because we want to avoid the thing that pains us the most, the thing most of us fear.
And what is it that most of us fear?
Talking to another human being.
3. It isolates you even more than you are.
Isolation is an epidemic. It's amazing to watch people out and about all day long not communicating. We've been plugged in.
It used to be that people were shy but were forced to talk to one another because there were no other options. A boy was forced to talk to a girl at a party because he couldn't go sit in a corner on his iPhone and start swiping or start communicating with girls that aren't even there.
Women wore their beautiful Saturday night dresses, and were forced to smile and get out of their shyness. But now, nothing forces us out of our comfort zone because we have a solution: swipe dating and online dating. We have a this activity "thing" that takes up so much time to help us avoid the thing that causes us the most pain.
The most pain is our social anxiety. We have become so isolated that we are a society full of people with social anxiety.
We spend so much time pursuing our swipe fantasies or email fantasies or text fantasies about somebody we'll never meet.
Isn't it easier to just go out, talk to another person, exchange a number and actually get together on a date?
There is less time involved. You get to see the person. How many times have you swipe dated somebody and they don't look the same?
Bill told me the other night that he went out on his 15th Tinder date. For the first time he walked into the coffee shop, and sitting there was somebody who was actually prettier than her pictures. Somebody he was genuinely attracted to.
When you're out and about and you see someone you're attracted to, your social anxiety takes over. You're seeing somebody you're physically attracted to and you're curious about them, but it's easier to dive into our phones and start swiping.
If more people started talking to one another, if YOU started talking to more people, you'd move to the front of the line socially. You would forget about all the dates that may or may not pan out. It's more organic. It's the way we were designed to interact.
I'm not against swipe dates, or Internet dating at all. Done right, it can work. But it should not be your only resource. It should not be the only thing you're doing. The only reason why it's the only thing you're doing is because you're trying to avoid your social anxiety, and then it is never going to be cured.
Sure there is a chance you may meet somebody on Match.com or somewhere else, but just imagine if you actually push through your social anxiety and your shyness. You would increase your odds of meeting somebody and finding true love. And isn't that why we're all here?