I live online dating. I breathe it. I spend nearly sixty hours a week helping men to succeed with it.
But sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night, panting, sweat dripping down my face, wondering, Am I contributing to a movement that is absolutely destroying how people find love?
Maybe the title of this article is a hyperbolic exaggeration. And maybe I don't really wake up with repressed feelings of guilt in the middle of the night (aside from those repressed memories of watching "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" a few years ago). But there is something to be said about the cultural impact that online dating is having on our society.
Yes, online dating has many great aspects to it. Millions of people have the potential to find love with people they may have otherwise never had access to. Successful relationships and long-lastinf marriages are being formed each and every day. Even more amazing, you can narrow down all of the qualities he or she is looking for just by checking off a few boxes.
But to paraphrase Henry Drummond of the literary classic Inherit The Wind, progress always comes at a price. Having access to millions of potential romantic partners has created a super breed of men and women that have become unrealistically picky. Men and women are arriving to dates with an invisible checklist of countless qualities they are looking for, and while it is good to be a little picky, creating a checklist that no one but a terrible Matthew Mcconaughey rom com character could satisfy is not healthy.
That is, if someone is even lucky enough to make it to a first date. I've seen countless profiles online where women who are who barely five feet tall proudly declare that they refuse to entertain the idea of meeting any man who is not at least six feet tall. I've seen men who are demanding salaries of over $150,000 a year when they have nothing more than high school educations and are currently unemployed.
In my humble opinion, this pickiness can be directly attributed to online dating. If these same men and women knew that they had to rely on friends, family, co-workers or randomly meeting someone in their everyday life, their expectations would not be nearly as unrealistic. But with supply comes demand. And in the online dating world, there is certainly an excess of supply, allowing superficiality to take over logic.
But the negative impact online dating is having on our culture does not stop there. It has also contributed to a "next best thing mentality" and an ADD style of dating. A man and a woman may go on a date and have a good time, but in the back of their minds, they know they have ten emails waiting for them in their inbox back home. "Maybe the next person will be better." This creates an endless search for the next best thing without ever getting to truly know somebody. Many men and women these days need to have an absolutely mind-blowing date or be completely burnt out from online dating just to give someone they only "liked a lot" a second date.
Look, at the end of the day, I'm still the biggest online dating supporter in the world. I am a firm believer that all of the positives outweigh the negatives. But one thing is for sure: People need to use online dating in a more responsible fashion. Give men and woman a chance. Don't have unreasonable expectations and imaginary checklists a mile long. Let's keep this world a great place to live in, one where superficiality doesn't take over, love develops naturally and meaningful relationships are formed among people who deserve to find happiness.