The Problem With Modern Dating

The Problem With Modern Dating

... is not you.
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My friend tells me that guys seem to fall off the face of the earth after a nice date and a few texts. She can never figure out where she went wrong.

Another girl I know tells me she experiences the same thing and describes it as feeling like the “Almost Girl.”


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Every time she meets a new guy on Tinder or reconnects with an ex, it seems to be going well but then he either swipes right on someone else, finds a cute girl in his DM’s, or gets a text from his ex and seems to vanish without warning…again. She feels like she’s almost pretty enough (until someone prettier steals his attention), almost interesting enough (until someone more interesting swoops in), or almost date-able enough (until someone more date-able pops up on his newsfeed). And just like that, she was almost enough but…not quite.

And it’s not just girls feeling this way. My own brothers have shared with me similar frustrations they have with girls that they meet.

There seems to be a lot of mixed signals, confusion, heartbreak, and many good things ending with ambiguity and silence instead of with closure and honesty. There’s a growing fear of commitment as millennials swipe left and right through the virtual catalog of possible mates the internet offers.

And when one after another seem to crumble without warning, far too many are left asking: WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

I don’t know the specifics of your love life but I do think that the digital dating trend has become so convenient that real dating and true commitment have been contaminated by it.

Before you get angry and defensive, let me just clarify that I’m not saying you can’t meet someone online. Heck, my husband and I kind of met online. We had mutual friends and followed each other on Instagram (it was not nearly as popular as it is now, I didn’t even have my blog then!) before we had ever met in person. When we had to date long distance, most of our communication was on the phone and via texting. So hey, I’m not saying meeting someone online or using technology when dating long distance can’t work out.


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I am saying is that always having a pocketful of other potentially ‘better’ options (or so goes the lie we believe) at the touch of a button makes commitment incredibly hard on a person. The excitement that comes when someone new finds you attractive makes it much harder to stay focused on the person you just had coffee with.

It’s as if our generation is becoming less and less equipped to meet a decent, quality human being, accept their flaws or mistakes, and have a conversation about the hard stuff because it’s almost becoming unnecessary. One can always swipe right and find someone else if any ounce of doubt crosses his or her mind. The options are virtually endless.

Again, I know not EVERYONE does this – at least not intentionally – but it’s like the world is obsessed chasing butterflies. I mean, who doesn’t like the thrill and excitement of someone finding us attractive (and virtually telling us by swiping right), a first date, a first kiss, etc.? But the problem with chasing butterflies is that they fly away.

The temptation to chase that feeling of excitement and approval that comes with each new swipe and with something (or someone) fresh and new is escalated by the convenience of apps like Tinder. There’s always a new option…and then the girl (or guy) ends up feeling like they’re always ALMOST enough… but again, not quite.

Studies have shown that the feeling those apps bring–the feeling of approval and instant gratification–has been considered addictive for some (even after meeting a decent human being that they actually like!)

The Huffington Post published an article on this issue a couple years ago.

That deeply personal, useful and instantly gratifying information makes Tinder an addictive experience, with each match fueling a kind of emotional high. Research has shown “likes” on Facebook and retweets on Twitter can release a dopamine surge that, in some cases, lead to social media addiction. Now imagine the chemical effect of immediate e-feedback that’s even more personal: While Facebook tells you if someone liked your status update, Tinder tells you if someone likes you. How soon will it be before people go from enjoying that feeling to craving it?


Tinder’s popularity both underscores and feeds an obsession with constant acknowledgment and approval. It suggests we’re all but starving for likes, eager for affirmation, and will no doubt be suffering even more acute Tinderitis in our push to figure out which strangers, and how many, think we’re hot. — The Huffington Post

Other studies have shown that the very feeling you experience when you feel like the Almost Girl – the icky feeling of low self-esteem and not-enoughness is correlated to apps like Tinder.

So if you’re having trouble dating, if you constantly feel like possible relationships fall through before you even have much of chance, please realize that the problem isn’t you. The problem is chasing that “emotional high,” or, butterflies. And now there are literally apps for capturing them.

What’s the answer, then?

I’m not sure there’s a perfect solution. This whole dating thing is inevitably going to be trickier and trickier as these apps and sites become more and more popular (and addicting). But you’re not the almost girl. You’re not almost enough, you’re always enough–even if that guy didn’t like you back or ask for a second date. The butterflies may have just landed somewhere else.

So I log off for a hot second, delete the apps if you've got em, and stop asking what’s wrong with you when things don’t work out. Because you are not the problem but I also dare you not to fuel the problem.

And you're worth more than the emptiness of another swipe–you're worth the fullness of your Savior (Hebrews 13:6).

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An Open Letter To My Boyfriend's Mom

I know he must have been a handful growing up, and she deserves a million thank you's from me.
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I’m proud to say that I am one of the lucky ones. Although he isn’t perfect (and I’m glad he isn’t and I don’t want him to be), I’ve found a guy I never want to let go of. But no matter how charismatic and wonderful I think he is, I owe it all to the woman who raised him. I know he must have been a handful growing up, and she deserves a million thank you's from me.

Thank you for teaching him respect—not just towards women, but to anyone and everyone he encounters. Listening to him address strangers with “ma’am” and “sir” melts my heart just as much as him holding the door open for me at the restaurant or complimenting me with “beautiful” instead of “hot”.

Thank you for teaching him how to treat a woman. You and I both know that he puts up a front of being tough but he is honestly the biggest teddy bear anyone could ever meet. He has the biggest heart, and despite the many silly arguments he and I may have, not a day goes by that he doesn’t make me feel loved or special.

Thank you for raising him in Christ. Being with someone who shares the same love I have for Jesus is one of the greatest blessings. I’ll forever cherish sitting together in the church pew on Sunday mornings and our deep conversations about why God created the stars.

Thank for teaching him how to do laundry. I think you’ve saved me in the long run.

Thank you for teaching him the value of hard work. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone with as much perseverance, drive, and dedication before, especially when it comes to washing the dishes.

Thank you for sitting through all those rainy football games. Thank you for giving up your weekends to watch basketball. Thank you for travelling hours to support his baseball career. Although I am most certainly not as much of a sports fanatic as he is, it’s nice being able to watch and learn about his passions, as well as hearing stories from his "glory days".

But most of all, thank you for allowing me to date him and always making me feel like a part of your family. You are one of the sweetest women I know, and you have raised a once in a lifetime kind of son.

I know to you, he will always be the messy little boy who loves to fish and catch baseballs, and I want you to know that I love him with all of my heart, and because of you, I have found someone I wish to love for the rest of my life. I only hope to do as great of a job of loving and caring for him as you have done for his whole life.

Cover Image Credit: Ashlie Lamb

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To The Boys From My Past, I Hope You Know...

I was fine before you and I'll be fine after you, too.

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That feeling. That stinging, throat-in-lump feeling. That feeling that you get when it finally hits you that you've lost someone. Your time with them has finally come to an end. They came, they served their purpose, they taught you lessons, but now it's time for them to go. I can think of them as wasted times, but that would be a lie. Through every ending I've had, I learned something new.

The first love with many lessons

You taught me everything. You showed me what I wanted. You were my first love.

You set my expectations so incredibly high, that it'll be hard to find someone that compares to you. We grew together for so long, that I could never forget you.

. . but you also taught me what pain is. You showed me what it's like to be broken. You were my first heartbreak.

By now I hope that you've realized that not a single girl you cheated on me with will ever compare to even half of who I am. I hope you realized what you did, what you gave up. But I also hope that by now you know that I have forgiven you.

I still wish you the best and I will always pray that you find someone and are able to love them the way you once loved me.

The best friend who I simply wasn't ready for

You made me laugh often. You showed me what I deserve. You were my best friend.

Through you, I learned that a relationship is work - it's effort, yet, you were always so willing to give it. Since we were able to build a foundation based on pure friendship, it just made our relationship that much better.

However, for the mistakes I made, I'm sorry. I didn't deserve you.

I wish I could've reciprocated the same feelings you showed me, but I know that someday you're going to find a girl that will. They're going to accept you and your love whole-heartedly. You will be happier with someone else than you were with me, I promise.

I know you're going to end up in the right place with the right heart.

The guy who will take my heart a thousand miles around the globe

You taught me how to validate myself as a person. You showed me that there is beauty in vulnerability.

Through you, I made some of the best memories. Some of the memories that I'll keep close to my heart for the rest of my life. In the year I've known you, I learned more about myself and the world around me than I have in my 19 years of living.

"We are just like the waves that flow back and forth. Sometimes I feel like I'm drowning and you're there to save me and I wanna thank you with all of my heart".

I know you will love the right girl in ways she won't be able to fathom. I know you're going to make someone out there live a blissful life. I know that when the right girl comes around, you will be ready for her.

I want to wish you nothing but happiness on your brand new start. Always remember, I'm here for you.

The "what if" I'll never hear from again

You overlooked me. You didn't want me. You made me wonder, but you also made me have hope.

You showed me what it's like to want someone but not be able to do anything about it but pray, but trust God.

I have yet to know if you were really the perfect guy for me or if I made myself believe you were the perfect guy for me.

Love wasn't a priority for you, but I get it. We're all in different wavelengths at this time in our lives that I have no reason to be upset. However, that doesn't change the fact that I wish I could've gotten a chance with you.

There are many lessons I could've taught you, but I know that another one will come around and teach you themselves. I know that whatever girl ends up with you is going to be so, so lucky.

You made it hard for me, but I know you'll make it easy for someone else.

The ambiguous new adventure that's waiting

You're new, you're exciting, you're a whole new adventure ahead of me. I don't know what will become of us, I don't even know if something will become of us, but I'm so excited to see.

You are kind, you are gentle. You are patient and you are pure.

My friends see the smile I have on my face when I'm around you. They say I'm happier than I've ever been before.

I believe them.

Thank you for accepting not only myself, but those I love too. Wherever we may end up, I hope you know that however long or short our time is together, you are a blessing. You are my blessing.

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