Last week I was having lunch with a girl friend and we somehow ended up on the topic of romance and the current dating scene. By the end of lunch, we reached the conclusion that romance is pretty much dead. I was devastated at the thought, but I think we’re right. The main issue is one centered on the women themselves. Many feel exhausted from all the various activities they undertake to look good and to make themselves seem as desirable as possible. In research, this is called self promotion because one is trying to promote herself as being the best option out there. Listening to a group of women who are active daters talk will often reveal the effort that is involved simply in terms of improving physical appearance. Then there is the financial cost of that undertaking – gym memberships, clothing, salon visits, teeth whitening, cosmetics and wonder creams are not cheap. Many women also feel unsure how to ‘be’ when dating – what personality characteristics should they display and hide? Is it ok to have a loud laugh or not? Is it ok to be intelligent, or does playing dumb improve one’s chances? Should they be honest about their profession if it’s one that is high in status, given that it might mean they are too competitive or challenging? Together, trying to put the best foot forward is not an easy undertaking if you are making the effort to find a good mate, especially if you are particularly self-conscious or have been away from the dating scene in a while.
As a single, independent woman, I am at a space now where I am not really interested in just casual sex, I’d rather have something more meaningful. Dating in today’s society, most men are used to women who are okay with just being the “FWB” and not the Wife. But are women really happy or have they just chose to settle for less? I refuse to settle for anything less than what I deserve, and neither should you. What does this all mean? Well, basically, in today’s dating scene, romance has been pushed to the side. Women tend not to display it, and they tell me it’s because the men they are meeting don’t care about romance at all. Men aren’t displaying it because women don’t expect them to – or at least that’s how it seems. For the men reading this blog, I’d advise you to use romance.
One of my main areas of interests is on how women compete amongst each other for mates. I have asked women about their perceptions of the dating market – what they have to do to acquire a good prospect in light of the fact that there are other women out there trying to win the same prize. A comment I routinely hear is that they greatly dislike the dating scene today. There are three main sources of concern – the quality of the mate, the energies they have to undertake to self promote, and the competition they face. Online dating has made relationships more disposable. Why? In opinion commitment is based on the availability of alternatives. Online dating made a lot more people feel they are part of a larger mating pool than they were used to. People tend to be moving from one relationship to the next a lot faster than they seemed to before online dating existed.
Society today praises choice. With regards to commitment, we are urged to be cautious: “Don’t commit yourself!”, “Someone better might be just around the corner!”, “Leave yourself an escape!”. I would suggest that, because of this, some women refrain from dating in a misguided attempt to keep their options open. I think there is good sense in caution, but have we gone too far? Are we encouraged to wait too long?
In the end, the use of the Web to find love should not surprise anyone. Given how technology and communication tools in the past have always been turned to matching people together, there was no reason the Web should be any different.