Welcome to the world of modern dating, where instead of going on a good date, you wake up every morning to a good validation.
We have become "swipe" junkies.
Here is what most people are doing now: They're on some type of dating app -- Tinder, Bumble, Hinge. There seems to be a new one all the time.
Gone are the days of "meeting cute" at the gym, in an elevator or at Starbucks.
No longer do we read a profile or carefully select somebody to email.
We "swipe". We match. Yet we never actually go on the date, but it's okay...
We've been validated. If we need a little pick-me-up, a little ego boost, we go to our phones and check out our possibilities. This sends a message to our brain that we've "dated" -- dopamine and oxytocin rush through our veins and we feel better.
Most people I've interviewed just say "yes" to everybody to see who comes back as a match.
If you think about it, you may have 100 matches or 60 matches. It really is just validation. There's no way in the world you're going to connect with 60 people.
The other day a friend of mine was on an app called Bumble where women have to make the first move.
This woman sent him a little text and said:
"I'm new at this. I don't know if this is being too forward or not. Would you like to get together for a drink?"
He was actually excited.
She was new at it. She picked him. So immediately, within 10 minutes, he texted her back and said:
"A drink sounds great. You're not being too forward. As a matter of fact, I appreciate the forwardness."
All he's heard since that moment is the sound of crickets in the forest.
How many times did she send that text in those 10 minutes? Repeat, choice number one, choice number five, choice number 10...
We don't go by gut instinct or feelings anymore. It's all about being validated. Feeling like we have so many matches.
There are many people that will go on a date, and in the middle of the date go to the bathroom and check their Bumble or Tinder to see what else has come in. We constantly feel like something else is going to come in that's better than what we have already found.
It has become impossible to actually be fulfilled with dating. We are always looking for our next validation fix.
Take a look at Instagram. What is Instagram? It should have been called "Selfie-agram. "
The majority of pictures on Instagram are selfies of people with their friends. Followers can look at them, and after a bunch of likes, you feel validated.
Facebook is all about validation. My child is the best, the cutest, the sportiest -- whatever.
Who gives a shit?
But all of the sudden you get 75 likes and you feel good. You feel validated. The scary part is, our kids are growing up in this validation era. We are going to teach them how to post on Facebook and how to date on Tinder.
It's no wonder there's so many people who are single.
On a recent trip to Manhattan -- where there are 500,000 more women than men -- a friend of mine (who was visiting from another state) said he got close to 100 matches!
But by the end of the week, my friend, who is 24 years old -- and pretty good-looking if you don't mind Kris Kringle -- hadn't gone out with any of them.
He did not meet one of those matches. All those text conversations went nowhere except for validation. When he got on the plane to go back home he probably said to his friends, "Wow, I had a lot of matches, maybe I should move to Manhattan."
Matches mean nothing. It's validation. It's mental masturbation. It makes you feel good.
It doesn't bring you any closer to finding love. In fact, it moves you further away. The person you met at the cafe at 12:30 during lunch, the one that you actually talked to, and exchanged phone numbers with, got lost in the noise.
By 9:00 the next morning, instead of being number one on the list, they got lost in all the noise coming in from Bumble, Tinder, Pinch, JSwipe, OKCupid, or any one of the other seemingly endless stream of apps.
We are just being validated. We are validating each other. Tinder is done. Twitter is all about validation. Facebook is all about validation. Instagram is all about validation.
And the new one, Periscope, where you can actually film yourself in your house and people can watch you. You are literally creating your own reality show. Being validated. We have become a society of validators instead of society of people who actually love and connect.
As my friend Jon and I were walking down the street in Manhattan at 11:30pm, we saw people on their phones. I took a glimpse. Three out of seven girls were on Tinder as they were walking down the street. I said to Jon "they must not have met anybody out tonight." He said "let me see if they're trying to meet me" and pulled out his phone.