This summer has so far been the summer of dating disasters that have led to our toes curling in our flip flops. First of all the internet reacted with open mouthed astonishment to the heinous and frankly odd email that Writer and Restaurant Manager Michelle Thomas received after a first date with a man that she had met on Tinder. The email was basically a horrible and seriously demeaning backhanded compliment where he complimented her good looks and intelligence but went on to explain that she was too overweight to consider entering into a relationship with. Nice. Then there was the hilarious Writer Anne Theriault on point live tweeting in excruciating detail what can only be described as the awkward date to end all awkward dates. Im sure that I can’t be the only person to completely relate to the scenario of the other half of the date spending the whole evening droning on about themselves with seemingly no interest in what you are saying or indeed thinking. Lack of self awareness is sadly as old as the hills.
However, the question remains; is the rise of dating apps such as tinder leading to even more cringeworthy dates than ever before? All right, embarrassing romantic situations are as old as time but I would argue that the nature in which we are dating has changed somewhat. Dating multiple people has become technically way easier. In the old days before the internet came to dominate and shape our social lives, we all met potential partners in more traditional ways. We swapped phone numbers in bars (Phone numbers! Just actually for a minute imagine ringing the person you copped off with the night before on your landline for a chat). We also got together through friends of a friend on “blind dates”, something of a relic in the era where you can basically pick and choose aspects of a potential partner online before they even meet them; kind of like ordering a takeaway.
This is sad for me in the sense that I’m a sucker for the plot where the couple dislike each other at first but then grow to like each other, flaws and all, over time and various meet cute scenarios. However, modern ways of dating may well have more serious effects. After all, have we reached the stage where we are mentally swiping right or left in face to face situations? Online technology has forever changed the way in which we interact with others, and this is impacting on our romantic lives.
First of all, the fact that there are so many potential dates out there at the click of a button may well lead a person to view potential partners are expendable and interchangeable. Whereas once you might have worked to gain a person’s affections, now you might simply click on someone else’s profile instead. Which is a depressing how we-got-together story to tell your future grandkids. Moreover, it is now widely believed that those in the dating game are more actively seeking personal validation than ever before, so used are they to receiving praise from dozens of strangers at a time; which is normalised through dating social media. Lets look back to the two offenders in my first paragraph. Viewing the person opposite them as expendable? Check. Needing personal validation above meaningful communication? Check check.
Advancements in dating technology is clearly brilliant, but come on love seekers of the world, don’t let it get in the way of romance or indeed just good, old fashioned dating etiquette! The people you speak to on Tinder are real people with feelings, hopes and tears. They are not just there to stroke your overblown ego.