The advent of online dating has irreversibly changed the dating landscape. According to IBISWorld online dating services are a $2 billion industry with more than 130 million users across the globe. It seems like everyone is doing it. And that’s because pretty much everyone is. And now the process of finding that special someone is as simple as swiping left or right.
Despite the prevalence of apps like Tinder, OKCupid, and POF, ours is a generation of commitment-o-phobs. We’ve moved past the Facebook Official era and into an age of label-less unions where the mentality is don’t ask, don’t tell. And we don’t.
A survey conducted by Euro RSCG Worldwide found that today one in five relationships starts online. The caveat to this boom in cyber-sought love, however, is that the relationships, though numerous, are significantly shorter than they used to be. Why?
The relationship paradigm has become a power struggle. And power in a relationship is held by the one who cares the least. The art of aloofness has been integrated into the dating fabric, which is why it’s common practice to be talking to a few people at one time. That feigned aloofness is a disease. Aloofness becomes apathy, which is by far the most malignant of cancers in modern dating. And apathy is the root of deception and infidelity.
Instead of working through problems, technology makes it easy to quietly fade away. One minute you’re talking to someone and everything seems fine and then the next you haven’t heard from them in two weeks. And you may or may not hear through the grapevine some point down the road an explanation for the disappearance—“he didn’t love The Walking Dead,” “she chewed too loudly.”
Most of the offenses responsible for ending relationships are incredibly shallow and minor, but with your next match only a swipe away the emotional impact is diminished. We hide behind our smartphones. Dating has become less and less about finding someone you can connect with and more about finding someone who fits into your schedule and doesn’t disrupt your life habits too much. The minute any disruption occurs is when the relationship is over. But hey, on to the next, right?! Swiper, get swiping!
So what’s the real reason you won’t find the love of your life on Tinder, OKCupid, or Plenty of Fish? ‘Dating’ is now so accessible to us that relationships are becoming harder and harder to establish. The rifts between hooking up, dating, and being in a committed relationship have grown so large that it’s becoming scarier and scarier to take that plunge. We’re forgetting what it means to actually date someone in favor of more casual pursuits (i.e. hooking up). An age of pleasure-seekers. And we’ve fallen so much in love with the chase that we’ve forgotten what it is we’re actually chasing.