Love. Courtship. Romance. In an age where we have Bumble’d and Tinder’ed our way to a disposable dating culture that lets us casually move from one relationship to another. Courtship and romance have become foreign concepts that seem to exist only in the dusty pages of books.
Nothing to do on a Friday night? Here’s some good news: your phone offers dozens of ways you can explore a sea of faces. You can find a few you like, and zero in on one (or two!) that you’d like to meet. Originally, dating was an intimate act of getting to know a potential lifetime partner. But as of late, dating has seemingly turned into an aimless way to pass the time.
Online dating apps come in handy in finding someone to catch a meal with or to simply have fun with. But it has also led people to lose sight of the actual goal of dating: to engage in a purposeful endeavor toward meeting someone to build a long-term relationship with. Online apps have reduced dates to single meetings that may or may not happen again. Initially, the entire dating stage should be about building a solid ground for two people to stand on; a foundation that only keeps getting stronger in time.
Are dating apps ruining our chances of finding old school love? Are they leading us to forget what it truly takes to build a real and healthy relationship?
The Innate Need for Love
For old souls and hopeless romantics, it’s crucial to find a love that touches the senses. Touch, sight, smell, hearing – knees that touch during a bus ride, the tucking of the hair behind the ears. Laughing until the stomach begins to hurt, talking face-to-face, without the distraction of a phone. The thrill of receiving mail. The giddiness that comes with crafting a response. The anticipation of waiting for the next letter. Intimate one-on-one conversations. Falling in love with a person’s soul before you could even touch their skin.
But one doesn’t need to be a hopeless romantic to crave genuine love and genuine companionship. Conventional wisdom and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs both agree that love is a fundamental human need. Many people still look for the kind of relationship that doesn’t need technology to fall in love. The type of love that is raw and vulnerable and transparent.
The problem is, finding the right kind of love is not as simple as we would like it to be. In the boob tube and on the silver screen, finding love is easy: you step out of the house and there she is, walking towards you in all her splendor; through some trick of the universe, you both go to the same bar, and she accidentally takes home your favorite yellow umbrella, which makes room for a second meeting. But finding love doesn’t happen in real life as it does in the movies.
In real life, people meet their significant others in school or work functions, most of the time in their social circles. These pools, however, can be relatively shallow. Which is the reason many take to less traditional methods, in search of a potential date.
Finding Love Online
Smartphone culture has made it imperative for people to always have their phone with them all of the time. The way we use our phones is changing every aspect of the way we search for the products and services we need to find potential partners.
According to the Pew Research Center, 40 million Americans use online dating websites. In 2016, 27% of young adults said they use online dating websites. This number went up 10% from 2013, with the influx of dating apps in this smartphone culture being the culprit.
What’s more, the stigma of online dating is diminishing significantly, making online dating the second most popular way to meet a partner. Time is also a significant factor. Young adults are almost always on the go, and dating apps allow users to swipe left or right between ten to a hundred times in the time it usually takes one to meet with a single potential date in real life.
Online dating apps may offer a quick and convenient way to find potential dates, but the truth is, they’re not for everyone. Before diving into the whole online dating scene, here are some things you need to know:
The Problem with Dating Apps
1. You may be exposed to people who lie on their online dating profiles.
Lying online daters is hardly an earth-shattering revelation, but the stats make it more interesting: it’s more common for people to lie on their online dating profile than, to be honest.
A study by OpinionMatters, a global research agency, reveals that 53% of online daters in the US have lied on their profile. More than 20% of women confessed that they used photos of their younger selves, while over 40% of men admitted to lying about their financial situation and how much they’re making in their job.
2. You might find casual hookups instead of a long-term partner.
While there are online daters who seek genuine relationships, apps are often the go-to for individuals who seek casual sex. Many people assume that someone who has an online dating presence is interested in sleeping with strangers. So if receiving rude, suggestive, or downright creepy messages and images (read: nudes) is not your idea of romantic, it’s best to steer clear of online dating apps.
3. You might be lured into the scam-ternet.
There are tripwires in every stage of life, but the world of online dating may be especially rife with scams and pitfalls. In fact, in 2018, the Federal Trade Commission says romance scams outrank any other types of fraud in terms of losses. The agency received 21,368 romance scam reports, up from about 13,000 in 2017. Since 2015, the losses from romance scams have upped, and in 2018, luckless romantics were swindled out of $143 million.
Many predatory schemes unfold online, both on social media and dating sites. Often, fraudsters go to great lengths to make connections that they can cash in on later. They create fake profiles, sometimes even impersonating real people and concoct elaborate lies and backstories that then develop into tales of personal misfortune.
So before you go all out in lending your “nice” date who promise lots of “fun moments” a considerable amount of money, it pays to do some research. Most times, the damage of romance scams go far beyond financial loss.
4. Your perfect love story may fizzle.
You probably know a couple who is now living their best lives with someone they met on a dating app. But these people are not the rule: they’re the exception. According to a Michigan State University research, couples that start their relationship online are 28% more likely to break up in their first year compared to those who have first met face-to-face. And it’s even worse for online-lovers-turned-real-life-spouses. Couples who met online are about three times more likely to get a divorce compared with those that met face-to-face.
Is it High Time for a Professional?
For many, it’s still important to find the kind of love that sees respect as the foundation of a bond that’s beautiful and trusting. To form the type of relationship that goes beyond merely getting in bed with a random stranger.
That’s where love professionals fill the void. Professional matchmakers like the ones you find on MatchmakerMatch.com take an entirely personal approach to matchmaking. While dating apps offer (possibly fake) profiles as your only way of gauging your compatibility with a potential date, Alisa meets clients in person to get a feel of who they are. With a personal matchmaker or coach that uses emotional intelligence and old school people skills to help you find the one, the right match… there’s hope for old school love, after all.