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I Found Love IRL: How Technology Forces Us To Date Strangers
As I'm preparing to pack for Italy and Greece to celebrate our 2-year wedding anniversary, I'm thinking about all the people who are struggling to find love in the dating market.
One of the reasons people are struggling is because the dating market is a stranger market.
Prior to meeting my wife, I participated in the rat race of online dating like most people these days. From a guys perspective, it becomes a numbers game of reaching out to every woman who you find moderately attractive in hopes that a few contact you back.
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Your surrounding area becomes hyper competitive for finding a relationship because for every person you feel you match with, so do 10 other people. On the other end, if you're the person who highly sought after, choosing one from the 10 strangers is a daunting task as well.
But I rarely hear people become inquisitive as to how our parents and grandparents met each other. I mean, they didn't have social media or dating apps, so how exactly did they find love and happiness in relationships?
Every situation is a bit different but from listening to a ton of conversations from people older than me who have successful marriages, there was a common theme: it was either by chance organically or through a common associate.
I believe we don't appreciate the importance of dating through common associates as it would alleviate the stresses for both sexes when it comes to dating, which is the hurdle of dating a complete stranger.
For example, if your favorite cousin had a single friend, from a mate selection standpoint, this person has higher likeliness of being someone of good quality because your cousin is of good character.
Your cousin doesn't hangout with scumbags & their friend wouldn't jeopardize their friendship by mistreating you the same way a stranger might. Assuming there is physical attraction, this individual is being naturally filtered through association with someone you already know.
The older people I met who've had lasting relationships through chance encounters all had something in common: they left their homes and met randomly in public. Usually, they met them somewhere in their community, which made it easier to ask others around town about them.
The problem is that our society has become far more disconnected in physical human interaction so that we are discarding how people naturally would find lasting relationships. Internet profiles have become relationship resumes when there is more to finding a partner than this.
Knowing if someone is trustworthy takes a lot of time and effort to decipher but it becomes far easier to decipher if you have a referral. We are participating in a culture of dating strangers, where the failure rate is high and with each fail, we become more nihilistic.
Which brings me back to my relationship with my wife: I didn't meet her on the apps. She is actually the sister of a former co-worker of mine. We were friendly at first and overtime it turned into a romantic relationship.
Before my wife dove into our relationship, she had conversations with my co-worker about me to make sure that I was a good person and he had nothing negative to say about me. She was able to confirm her feelings about my character through a knowledgeable 3rd party.
The online dating market sucks not because men suck or because women suck but because it's a tall task to find long lasting and healthy relationships by yourself, without any referrals with people who may not even live in your area.
We're choosing between people who could suffer no social repercussions for ghosting you or mistreating you because at the end of the day, you're no one to them: you're just a stranger.
If you want to increase your odds of success, be active in the world. Ask friends, co-workers, or anyone you generally trust are of good character if they know anyone who is available. Participate in more activities & expose yourself to new people. You never know who you'll meet.