Before I go into how to “survive” online dating in 2018, let me explain why dating is so challenging right now. This might help put words to your feelings of frustration. If you don’t want to know the “why,” simply scroll down.
Many women, especially in the younger age demographic, get inundated with hundreds, even thousands, of likes within a few weeks, making sorting through guys very challenging.
Then, they all end up matching with and engaging the same handful of really attractive men (because women find the vast majority of men online to be unattractive). Trust me ladies, nearly every other woman is also attracted to that guy you think only you could like because he is “shy and awkward but kind of cute.”
This leads to a situation where many women compete for the attention of a few men. And, it leads many of the men in question to gladly attempt to date as many women at once without committing. So, the guys all the women want tend to “date around” to the frustration of the women who desire to settle down with them.
Thus, most women don’t find the committed relationship they are looking for, and the vast majority of men (not the players mentioned above) are stuck with a handful of likes from women they don’t even find attractive.
This situation creates a “dating market” that is economically skewed. Most successful men and women in the market are either “dating around” or suffering from choice paralysis (i.e. always presented with an “upgrade” so they never settle down). If you’re the type of person who “falls quickly,” feeling emotional exclusivity after a few hours or days, you’ll quickly get emotionally broken in the current dating environment. You might already feel like it’s happened.
In plain English, all of this means that most people on dating apps are likely engaging more people than just you. The most common problem I hear related to online dating is that someone will match, message, and connect with another person (even going on dates and having sex), only to be “slow faded” or “ghosted” when everything seems to be going so well.
You had a future in mind; they had other people in mind.
What is often not considered, is that the other person, especially if he or she is attractive, is likely messaging and even dating other people. At the very least, the other person may still be passively using online dating apps, and the possibility of “upgrading” is always there. Having a stream of choices in front of you is never a good recipe for a relationship to develop.
Even after some level of dating and physical intimacy, it’s very possible the other person isn’t on the same page. You may dream of a relationship because he’s shared his feelings, taken you to amazing places, and even had sex with you (remember, science shows that for men at least, sex doesn’t mean there’s a desire for a relationship). Then, after a few weeks he seems distant. It happens.
So, knowing the situation, here’s how you survive online dating in 2018.
Enjoy each interaction in-and-of-itself, but have no expectations beyond that.
They liked you? Have no expectations…enjoy the “like.”
They matched with you? Have no expectations…enjoy the “match.”
They messaged you! Have no expectations…enjoy the conversation.
They gave you their number? Have no expectations…give them a call!
They agreed to go on a date? Have no expectations…prep for it.
They enjoyed the date? Have no expectations…let’s hope the date went well!
They made out, had sex, etc? Have no expectations…enjoy that you got some action?
They even went on multiple dates? Have no expectations. Enjoy what you have.
This is the Eastern concept of “non-attachment” or detachment. It is understanding the non-permanence of everything, and being okay with that as we mindfully appreciate the preciousness of the moment.
However, this doesn’t mean “not caring” or “giving up.” You have to care enough to be your best and put in the effort to be an attractive, open, and valuable individual.
You also have to try your best to reach your goals, which means going on dates, continuing to swipe, and meet people in the real world (like at work, the gym, etc.). For example, if you want a relationship, you don’t become a fake cynic who suddenly goes for hook ups, which just makes you miserable.
But, you have to let go of expectations.
This will keep you sane in 2018 and beyond.