Dating sucks. Now more than ever, it's getting pretty weird. Today 1 out of every 3 marriages originate online, but is that necessarily a good thing? While the goal of technology and online interactions is to bring us closer together, could it actually be pulling us further apart? Online dating is a relatively new phenomenon that has taken the world by storm. It gives people a chance to connect without actually meeting face to face. Some even say it creates higher compatibility than dating "the normal way", but at what cost?

Dating Has Gotten Weird

So Many Options

Meeting potential partners online dramatically increases the dating pool, and users are often exposed to more people than they could meet in a lifetime. This has the potential to create a feeling of disposability among its users. Think about it, are you more or less likely to hold on to someone when you have 2,000 other options in your area? Furthermore, when deciding between so many potential partners, people will resort to weak methods of choosing and they're more likely to be unhappy with whatever option they choose because there are so many "what ifs" to consider. That kind of thinking can be harmful to a long term relationship.

Profile, Profile, Profile

If you say it enough, it loses its meaning. But that doesn't stop online dating sites from shoving them down your throat. Profiles are meant to be the first glimpse of a potential partner, but perhaps they get a little too much attention. A user's profile can be a very ineffective gauge of compatibility. Users will often make poor profile decisions, but that doesn't mean they don't have other qualities about them that are great.

Being that dating and relationships can be so fickle and dynamic, sometimes just like algorithms, we ourselves don't have the insight to pre-screen potential partners. Yet, the biggest dating sites claim to have super special algorithms that match people together compatibly, but none of them have released their algorithms to be vetted by the public. Not only that, but psychologist and the scientific community have never identified any combination of likes, dislikes, or characteristics to directly lead to a happy relationship.

So, either dating sites know something that the scientific community doesn't, or their algorithms aren't very substantial. The proof is in the pudding. In an ever evolving world where things are constantly being changed and revolutionized, some things really should stay the same. At least to some degree, dating has gotten weird enough as it is. Now that it has moved online, it's a whole new ball game.

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Theodore Lovelace holds a degree with an emphasis in political science and communication. Having worked in the counseling field for over thirty years, Mr. Lovelace has provided counseling services for individuals, couples, and families.


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