Dating apps don't solve the problem they intend to fix
As a South Asian male who is single and also doesn’t want an arranged marriage, the prospect of finding love isn’t an easy task.
Not only do you need to be satisfied, but it’s also the approval of the parents that seems to matter a whole lot more.
So, how does one get the ball rolling?
If you are single or have been single in this modern era, you’ve probably had the fun experience of using dating apps.
Now before I dive in, I want to share this as pure opinion. I have little to no evidence to back any of this other than my own experience and from what I have observed in my friend circles, the internet, and this book called “How Not to Die Alone” by Logan Ury.
Dating apps and the problem
To start this rant, I do not think dating apps solve the problem they intend to fix. The problem is getting people into relationships with the right people and staying in them.
But if you are familiar with the monetisation strategy of most dating apps, they rely on you being and staying single (maybe a better business plan is to mature and pivot into keeping you in the relationship once you have found that person).
Why do I think dating apps get it all wrong?
They optimise for the wrong thing. Most apps get you to answer a questionnaire about your life, height, blah, blah blah… But let’s be real. People go by looks. And you are on a platform where you can compare the looks of many people.
Looks are important; height is important; job title is important but these aren’t the definitive hallmarks of a good partner. How kind is the other person? How loyal are they? Are they reliable? Do you share some similar interests?
These latter points crucial to a successful relationship are often overlooked for the former, which are magnified by the ability to compare amongst the many fish in the sea. This leads more and more to have a distasteful experience with dating apps (and also staying single, the goldmine for these apps).
In fact, a lot of couples who met without dating apps, if they were to see each other on a dating app would swipe straight past them.
The real problem I want to see fixed
The real issue is that people aren’t cross-pollinating like they used to. We are in an era where it is easy to become isolated, stay home, and entertain ourselves with modern distractions.
Large social circles and friends are a great way to meet people and find that someone. It’s hard to open up to a complete stranger.
The benefit of friends is that they can vet the potential partner based on your interests and if they would be a good person for you.
But the problem is you need not only friends but good friends.
Have you ever had the warm feeling of meeting a new person at work or the new person at that social activity we should have more of? It’s the novelty of meeting a new person, the curiosity of someone else’s life over the comfort of knowing other people.
Another problem is the feeling of novelty is slowly becoming less acceptable in society. Strangers are scary and instead of embracing the fear (or excitement) of meeting others, we can just bury ourselves in our phones instead.
Technology should at least stay away from dating but promote more in-person mixing (not for dates, but just to get people out there).
This will facilitate individuals to generate friend circles with hopefully similar interests, making it easier for two single people to mingle and hopefully sprout a relationship from there.
Finally, I can’t stress the importance of real-life friendships. Personally, I’ve never been open about my relationships with others and I would gravitate towards the internet for advice.
The internet is great for most things, but the problem is you can fall into echo chambers — especially those that prey on your insecurities (likely the people who search for these things likely have low self-esteem and confidence around the opposite sex). Falling for this often leads to terrible advice.
Often friends who are good and you are close with offer much more sound advice and have your best interests at heart.
Thank you for reading (or listening) to this rant. If you would like to contribute, please leave a comment.
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Stay focused, and talk soon.