Why Dating Is So Hard?

Why Dating Is So Hard

It’s one of those big questions, isn’t it? So many of us are looking for love but actually finding it can be one hell of a task. Ask any single person who’s playing the field and they will tell you, loudly and probably with just a hint of frustration that dating is really, unbelievably, catastrophically hard.

But WHY?

Let’s find out.

Because of dating apps

When dating apps first appeared on the scene, it seemed like they had cracked the code of how to make dating easy. From the comfort of your couch, you could click and swipe your way though potential matches without having to suffer through a million awkward dinners first. 

Turns out, just as with most things, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Dating apps changed the landscape of dating and, for the most part, not for the better. Sure, blasting through hundreds of potential dates might seem like a quick and easy way to get it over and done with but, in reality, it just turned dating into a game. Nobody has to get to know each other, and everything is done on looks and 100-word bios.

Dating apps didn’t make dating easier, they just made people more impatient and less compassionate.

It might seem counterintuitive, but dating is much easier when you’re actually face to face. It might be scary, but it will be worth it.

Speaking of which…

Because of fear

Dating, by definition, involves meeting and getting to know new people. In fact, if things go well, you don’t just get to know them…. You have to put your feelings on the line to form an intimate bond with them.

That’s a pretty big deal.

Dating is scary. For anyone who is not supremely self-confident, the idea of being vulnerable and open with anyone, especially a stranger, is terrifying. Of course it is! The opportunities for pain and suffering are wide reaching, not to mention the risk of mind-numbingly boring dates and creepy suitors.

But the chances for great emotional reward are there too. It is often said that you have to risk something to gain rewards, and nowhere is this more true than in the world of dating. Being scared or nervous about dating is perfectly natural and healthy, but it shouldn’t stop you from trying to find that special someone if that’s what you truly desire.

Stay safe, of course. Dates that genuinely strike fear into your heart are probably best given a miss. But general nervousness can be beaten… and who knows? Perhaps the next date will turn out to be the last one you ever have to go on?

Because of hook-up culture and lack of communication

Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with hooking up with people and having a bit of fun, if that’s what you want. But for those people who are looking for something more serious, the prevalence of hook-up culture can become a bit frustrating.

Going on a date, enjoying yourself, hoping for something more, and then finding out that your prospective partner is actually not interested in anything serious can be soul destroying. There’s nothing wrong with them wanting what they want, of course, but all the effort you just put into your date might feel like it has been wasted, and that can be very demoralising.

The key here, as with almost anything relationship and dating related, is communication. Try to be as clear as possible about what you want from dating and expect the same from prospective dating partners. Obviously, you don’t have to have mortgage plans and baby names ready when you turn up for that first date, but be prepared to set lines in the sand about whether you want connection, fun, or a full blown relationship.

Conversations like this might seem a bit awkward to bring up, but they can be incredibly effective at saving time and frustration later down the line.

Because of overwhelming choice and burnt-out emotions

There are an awful lot of people in the world, and a huge number of them are single and looking to date. Plus, with the rise of social media, technology and, yes, dating apps, it is easier than ever to connect with hundreds, even thousands, of prospective dates in incredibly short amounts of time.

Chat after chat, date after date, perhaps even fling after fling, will eventually start to take it out of you. Dating is not only scary, but it is also hard. There is emotional labour involved in getting to know new people and making the effort to put your best foot forward. The sheer amount of choice can be overwhelming, and if you’re going on multiple uninspiring dates every week, your excitement about the whole process is bound to take a nosedive eventually.

It is absolutely vital that you take time to reflect on dates you’ve had and deal with any emotional baggage you might have developed from them before launching headlong into the next round of suitors. Emotional burn-out can affect your entire life and even lead to longer-lasting mental health issues, so its important to take care of number 1 (that’s you) before thinking about getting back out there every Friday and Saturday night.

Take you time, take care of yourself, and you might even find that dating becomes easier and more fun. It’s a win-win.

In the end, it’s all about expectations

The only difference between a date and hanging out with a friend is expectations. These overarching ideas of what a date should be, and how we should behave while on them, are what cause 90% of the fear and anxiety around the whole courting process.

Think about it. How much longer do you spend getting ready for a date vs going to see a friend? How much more do you talk and think about dates than you do about easy hang-outs? Most importantly, how differently do you act when you’re on a date vs when you’re with family or friends?

There are, of course, always going to be nerves and special behaviours associated with dating. But perhaps if we shifted our focus in those early days of dating towards just getting to know a new friend, rather than possibly meeting our future forever person, the whole thing might become just a little bit less scary?

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