Saturday, November 12, 2011

What do You Hate About Modern Dating?

I'll be honest. I'm not much of a hater. Hate is entirely too strong of a word to describe what is usually either an annoyance or simple dislike. In addition, as I have gotten a bit older, I'm less charmed by the idea of bitching and moaning as a past-time. Or even as a warped mechanism of bonding with others. In other words, if I'm being critical, or offering judgments, I try to have a good reason for doing so.

With that said, here's a short list of dating dislikes and/or annoyances:

1. The shopping mentality so many people seem to have. Treating people like items in a catalog rather than as living, breathing human beings.

2. The obsession with "instant, mama said knock you out chemistry." Seriously, if your aim is to be struck by lightning, go stand on a rooftop during a rainstorm with a pitchfork in your hand.

3. All the pressure some folks place on first dates. I used to be one of those folks, trying to "act perfect" and spending the entire time obsessing about every last similarity and difference.

4. How casually some people treat sex and even emotional intimacy these days. Look, I'm all for liberation from the repressed sexual norms of the past, but there has to be honesty, care, and respect as well.

Now, let's look a little closer at what might be being these four annoyances/dislikes. The first one actually says a lot about the rest for me. I do my best to place basic human connection and compassion above most other things, feeling that we have better, more healthier communities when people care about each other. Or at least make the effort to. I also don't think dating should be approached in a transactional sense, where it's all about getting something for yourself. These are pretty core values for me, and so when something is going on that runs against them, I tend to notice.

As far as point two goes, isn't there a hell of a lot more to a strong, healthy relationship than physical attraction? And doesn't it make more sense to place "chemistry" in it's proper place as one of many factors to consider?

Honestly, when I think about number three, it's related to number one in a certain way. On the one hand, you have the salesperson approach of doing everything in your power to sell yourself as desirable to someone else. And on the other hand, there's the "on the clock" mentality that suggests your time is "too valuable to waste," and that someone best "prove some worthiness" in an hour or two, or else you're gonna move on. Whatever happened to enjoying someone's company for an evening? Or basic curiosity about another? I've been on many dates where I didn't have an interest in romance, but still learned a lot about the other person. Sometimes, I have even learned about some cool book, website, or event that I didn't know about before. I've even made a few career-related connections while on dates. You know never what can happen, and at the very least, you've learned a bit about another person's world.

The last one really ties into the rest in terms of, as I wrote above, the value I place on honesty, caring, and basic respect for each other. If you are dating, sleeping with, and pouring out pieces of your heart to multiple people - and they know nothing about that - it's kind of cruel. If any of those folks are like me, they're probably thinking they are the only one, or at the very least they are moving into more special territory. There's nothing more deflating than finding out a few months into dating someone that she/he is also having sex with, and otherwise being intimate with, others you knew nothing about.

So, that's my story. How about you? What do you dislike or find annoying about modern dating? And why?


  1. I really enjoyed the last three months of my last stretch of dating (this year). But I didn't start enjoying it until I changed my attitude. Based on everyone's advice, I started out with this mindset that I was there to ultimately close the deal, i.e. find someone. So anytime I went out with a guy, I mentally evaluated him to determine if he's "someone" material and that proved to be really counterproductive. Unfortunately, Evan's books and posts did not help in that regard as they seem to really push that mentality, though you'll never find me admitting this on his site, LOL Anyway, as soon as I took the pressure off myself and approached dating as a process of meeting new people, making new friends, connections etc, and then whatever happens, happens, things got SO MUCH BETTER. I had fun, made a lot of new friends, met some odd characters to be sure, but those provided me with hilarious stories to tell, so it's all for the better. Bottom line, liked it, won't mind doing it again! Only thing I didn't like about dating is that it's very time-consuming... but then again, what isn't?

  2. "Anyway, as soon as I took the pressure off myself and approached dating as a process of meeting new people, making new friends, connections etc, and then whatever happens, happens, things got SO MUCH BETTER."

    This has been my experience as well. All that pressure to find "the one" or whatever is exhausting. I also agree that Evan seems to push that kind of thinking in some of his posts.

  3. Speaking from my own perspective, "meeting new people, making new friends, connections etc" sounds way more stressful than just hoping to meet a "someone". But then, I'm an introvert and for me "friends" means something as intimate as, or possibly more intimate than, merely "date" or "partner" (at least, early on in a relationship). Most people I encounter are acquaintances at best, and that's the way I like it. If anything a date is lower pressure because I feel like it's okay to say it's not compatible, while I don't feel comfortable telling someone I don't want to be their friend.

    So, yeah - as an introvert I like my connections few but high-quality.

    I guess that's something I don't like about modern dating: that I feel under pressure to make (or attempt to make) connections all the time, and do so quickly, and choose from so many people to contact (online) or (try to) talk to (out and about). And then most of them are into travel anyway, and so not attractive to me...

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