Seven years ago, when I was still earning my undergraduate degree at The University of Texas at Austin, dating apps didn't really exist. I met my long-term college boyfriend organically, through my older brother. When we started dating, I never had to worry about him getting on a dating app and swiping to find other girls he might be interested in pursuing. I was only dating him, he was only dating me, and our time spent together eventually blossomed into an unforgettable, three-year relationship.
Fast forward to 2015 -- I am currently 28 years old, single and living in San Francisco. I love my job (working as a content marketer at a tech startup); I enjoy my rich social life and I feel 100 percent satisfied and stable with my current situation. The only thing I seem to be missing is a relationship.
Yet finding a long-lasting relationship during this era of multiple dating apps has actually made dating harder than ever before. Don't get me wrong -- some of you might be shaking your heads right now, thinking that this statement is entirely untrue. Yes, I am aware that many couples have met online. It's true that dating apps do have positive results, which is why I am currently using one as well. On the other hand, however, I do think that dating apps have also ruined "good old fashion dating."
Speaking from personal experience, I believe that dating has become a lot more difficult over the years, mainly because more and more apps have been created. You see, before dating apps, people would have to meet in person. Next, they would decide if they wanted to see one another again. They didn't have the option of going online, or on their smart phones to look at hundreds of different options. Simply put, dating was quite easy before the creation of these apps; you'd meet someone, you'd ask them out, you'd get to know them and you'd build a relationship. This isn't the ways things are done today, however.
Dating in 2015 -- A Numbers Game
I was talking to a girlfriend of mine recently about dating. She described modern day dating as being a "numbers game."
"The more people you date, the better your chances are of finding a relationship," she stated.
And with multiple dating apps at everyone's disposal, you can go on as many dates as possible per week. This in mind, another girlfriend of mine was ecstatic because she had four dates lined up for next week, all of whom she had met online. And while all of this might seem exciting, the sad truth is that people have become so addicted to dating apps, that they aren't able to devote 100 percent of their attention to a single person anymore. Yet how can one really get to know someone if they are constantly dating others?
Dating apps have also made dating downright exhausting. I'll admit it, I've gone on four dates in one week with different men -- two were even scheduled on the same day. Remembering my friend's advice on how dating is all about numbers, I decided to go on a dating binge to increase my chances of finding "Mr. Wonderful." Unfortunately, all four dates resulted in an over consumption of alcohol and a waste of time and energy. The numbers game had only exhausted me and I promised myself to be pickier in the future.
Feedback From Other Frustrated Singles
I'm not the only one who thinks that dating apps have ruined dating either. Flyy, a new voice-based social networking app that allows users to record anonymous voice messages on taboo subjects, has a series of about 200 recordings featuring users expressing their real opinions on dating apps. Listed below are some examples of what these users are saying:
I think people in New York have dating ADD because of all the apps, its horrible. If someone could just get rid of all the dating apps, I'd be totally on it. Chivalry... Come back to me!
I go on a lot of these online dates, and I have really good-looking pictures of myself, but I'm scared the guys I meet aren't going to recognize me because my pictures look much better. I'm scared of going on these online dates because I think the guys aren't going to even like me.
This guy on OkCupid totally just got mad at me because he said that I should give him my number so I could talk to one cool guy, rather than talking to a million guys a day. I responded and told him, 'I don't talk to a million guys per day, I don't even respond to everyone who messages me.'
Based on these examples, it's evident that more and more singles are becoming frustrated and even insecure due to dating apps. People now have to worry about "looking exactly like their online dating photos," or if their date is also seeing "a million other guys (or girls)" at once.
The Future of Dating
I hate to admit it, but I truly believe that dating apps have ruined dating forever. Thinking back to my college days, I only wish that it were still the norm to meet people in person. Now, people are looking to date those with the hottest photos, the best jobs -- basically anyone who looks good on paper.
So what's the solution to the problems mentioned above? Here is my advice: Stick with your dating values -- try to focus on just one person at a time, if they seem like a good fit, then pursue it. If not, move on and stay positive.