If you transported yourself back around 30 years, the world would look extremely different. No cell phones, no Internet, and if you mentioned an iPad, someone would think you were talking about an aid for improving vision! No, the world has changed drastically over the last few decades, and noticeably in the world of dating.
There are some upsides to how we date these days, and there are several downsides.
The main advantage is that if you don’t have the guts to walk up to that guy or girl you’ve been crushing on and ask them out on a date, you don’t have to – we have social media for that.
On the flip-side, dating is somewhat impersonal nowadays, and dating in 2019 is far more about dating virtually than actually sitting down and spending quality time together, away from the subtle intrusion of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or whichever platform is your option of choice!
For every positive in life we have a negative, and vice versa. In terms of dating, this is probably the single biggest change we have noticed over the last few years.
Dating in 2019 is all about the online world, there’s no denying it. If you see someone you like at work, college, or somewhere else you have the capacity to find out their name, it’s highly likely that you’ll be checking their online presence the first chance you get. If you’re not registered on a particular platform, you’ll get your friend to do the checking. And then? Well, you check their profile for any undesirable traits, e.g. a wedding ring, an unhealthy obsession with video games, or a penchant for far too extreme sports, and you then check their friends list, to find out if you have any competition.
Once that procedure is finished, there’s only one thing left to do – slide into their DMs. Yes, you message them. It’s likely you’ll spend an hour or so agonising over what to write, and then simply stick with the basics – ‘hi, how are you?’ Not so imaginative, but hey, it’s an ice breaker!
This is how many relationships begin, but it is also how many relationships end. You see, social media might be a wonderful tool when dating in 2019, but it is also one of the biggest reasons that relationships break up too. As you can see, every positive has a negative to balance it out.
We’re also much more likely to think seriously about online dating these days too. Once upon a time, if you tried online dating, you did it in secret; if anyone found out, you would be the source of jokes for a few days afterwards. Dating in 2019 encompasses and embraces the online dating world, and with the rise of casual dating apps like Tinder, you can sit on the bus and find the potential prince to your princess, or princess to your prince, in a matter of seconds.
Put simply, dating things days is much more convenient than it ever used to be, but has that taken some of the shine and excitement out of it? You could argue that yes, it has.
Whilst nobody ever relished having to pluck up the courage and make the first move, e.g. go over and actually speak with your mouth and not typing with your fingers, it created that sense of anticipation, that ‘will they say yes?’ moment, and the beating heart, sweaty palms that also took place. It was a minor heart attack, but it was intoxicating, and when they said yes, oh the feeling of euphoria! Dating in 2019 is more about suggestive emojis and the bleep of an incoming text message. Of course, you still get a thrill when he or she has replied to your message, but is it really the same?
One of the advantages of this technological dating world is that the stigma from online dating sites has disappeared. It’s much more acceptable to look online and find someone who has the same interests as you, talk for a while via message, before deciding whether or not to meet up in person, compared to having a chat with someone in a bar and wasting your time when you realise they don’t match the idea you had in your head.
The problem with using the online world is safety. You do not know if the person you think you’re speaking to is actually a reality, or a fake identity you’re being sold. For instance, a few years ago we were all hyper-aware of chat rooms, especially in terms of teenagers talking to who they thought were other teenagers, but actually turned out to be older men or women. In this case, you don’t know if that charming, handsome man who claims to be a doctor is actually the guy you’re imagining, or whether it is really a guy who is the total opposite. Similarly, you might think you’re about to meet a Jessica Rabbit-esque model for a date, but it’s quite a different story in reality.
We’re all about Netflix and chill, but that means going back to someone’s house, a place you’re not familiar with, and a place you’re actually very vulnerable in. Dating in 2019 means we need to be far more careful about our general safety, because we’re opening ourselves up to someone else much faster than we ever did before. Social media helps us share our lives to a degree that was unprecedented in the past. The general rules of safety apply – common sense must always prevail, and never meet someone you don’t know somewhere other than a public place. Do not allow the excitement of meeting someone new overtake your sense of safety and general comfort. Always listen to your gut!
So, has dating in 2019 become harder or easier? And is it better or worse? The jury is out!