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Plenty Of Fish

Posted on October 1, 2019

Tinder VS Nurture: has online dating exposed human nature?

Dating

Throughout my years of attempting to navigate the bewildering world of modern romance, I’ve had many aversions towards online dating and widely used apps such as Tinder and Plenty of Fish.

Without delving straight into it or coming across as deeply judgmental, I will simply say that for the good part of the first few years Tinder surfaced into today’s dating world, I was under the impression that they were reserved for singletons who had a hard time managing to secure dates in real life – to be perfectly fair, I have no doubt in my mind that many of us shared a similar sentiment at one point or another.

It is not untrue that the growing popularity of Tinder and online dating has positively impacted the calendars of not only the socially awkward types who could never work up the courage to ask someone out on a date face-to-face. But also the calendars of individuals who simply do not have the time to meet a potential partner in ‘traditional’ ways.

Even with that in mind, I can’t help but wonder if the pros of helping those who might just have an overwhelming fear of facing rejection could possibly outweigh the cons of replacing the instant chemistry, emotional connection and sexual tension that could only be detected in the presence of a human being towards whom we have an attraction for.

I recently had an epiphany about modern relationships which made me question a lot of my views surrounding them. It came about because I recognised that I was gradually turning into a cynic about love, sex and relationships. As someone who has always had a very positive – and possibly even naive outlook – on everything that falls within the scope of love and dating (we were all Charlotte Yorks at some stage in life), I found it disheartening to see myself develop an attitude that is the antithesis of what I’ve always stood for.

This forced me to look deeper into common behaviours within modern dating and recurring patterns that I’ve been seen both in myself and the failed relationships of others. It made me question the dreadful future a lot of singletons of today and Tinder users may be heading towards.

It forced me to question whether the existence of Tinder and online dating and the increased accessibility we have to each other is a large part of the reason why men and women alike are less attracted to the idea of settling down and are instead moving more towards being sexually liberated about whom we explore our carnal desires with.

Did the burning desire to freely explore our sexual choices always exist within us and are dating apps simply revealing what we’ve always subconsciously wanted or can we hold online dating at all accountable for the fact that less and less millennials are getting married?

tinder or marriage

It’s a loaded question that has many layers, not only because there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration, but particularly because it brings in the conversation of monogamy and its biological implications. It suggests monogamy is simply a social construct that goes against human nature – an argument for which there is a lot of evidence, but a discussion for another day.

The topic at hand is the classic ‘egg or the chicken’ debate. Did the desire to be sexually free birth a large number of dating apps or did the large number of dating apps birth a generation in which the the average age of brides and grooms continue to rise?

Before we can attempt to look at this objectively, we need to look at the facts. The internet was only made widely accessible about three decades ago. In retrospect, that isn’t a very long time to fully understand or even attempt to grasp the full repercussions of having such an advanced technology be so readily available. One of the first popular dating sites came about nearly 25 years ago, and following the likes of Ashley Madison and Seeking Arrangement, it led to a lot of negative connotations.

To the contrary, the first marriage records date back to the 19th Century in Ireland and much earlier in the U.S. So how can we truly know the impact of online dating on the human psyche and the evolution of marriage? Thy say social media addiction activates the same areas of the brain as taking a class A drug, now that alone should be enough to startle us.

According to the Central Statistics Office, there were 20, 389 opposite sex marriages in Ireland in 2018, a drop from 21,262 recorded from the previous year. The average age of brides and grooms last year were 34.4 years and 36.4 years respectively.

Granted, there are a considerable number of reasons for this and I am in no way shape or form suggesting that online dating alone is the reason why the average age of grooms in opposite-sex marriage was at the highest to date last year. But it does make you question what role dating technology currently plays and the impact it will continue to have in coming years. After all, for those who do get hitched, one in four couples end up going their separate way.

Now that’s something to think about.

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Posted on September 5, 2016

10 things nobody tells you about online dating

men/ Uncovered

dating first date

Dating. I’ve never really been a fan of the term. Not only do I think it’s very American, but the word itself makes me incredibly awkward. Whenever I hear the word date, I automatically picture two strangers sitting in close proximity to one another in an often controlled environment: uncomfortable body language, pecking at food instead of wolfing it down, planned topics of conversation to fill the silence…. nobody is ever truly themselves, and to be quite frank, I wouldn’t expect it to be any different either.

After all, when you’re meeting someone for the first time, especially after a few weeks of texting (and possible virtual stalking), it’s only natural to have certain expectations of them – as they’d likely have for you. So making a good first impression is an unsurprising goal for most. Everyone is simply trying to be the best version of themselves – which in retrospect, isn’t exactly something to fault them for.

As a recent blog post would suggest, I jumped onto the online dating game rather late. The now deleted dating app, Plenty of Fish, gave me a countless amount of giggles. While it was fun for the most part, it did teach me things that I would never have known had I decided against exploring this contemporary dating wave . They are the raw truths about the dating world which most people would be inclined to leave out:

1. It’s bloody exhausting!

From praying you remember the details of your conversations to hoping you don’t confuse his occupation for someone else’s, dating really can be mentally draining. It’s one thing to be mentally exhausted from texting two or three POF lads at a time, but it’s a whole different level of exhaustion when you thought you had something special going with someone, only for things to fizzle out after a few weeks – then you have to start all over again.

DATING TIRED

2. You might gain a few

Nobody wants to be that annoying gym head who orders a caesar salad with no caesar dressing on a first date. So naturally, you’re going to bend your diet rules a little bit. Extra side dressing here, a creamy dessert there and before you know it, you’ve piled on a few around the waist – not a fun predicament!

3. It can be time consuming

Instead of spending your time productively and doing valuable things such as reading (a book, not a FB status), you may find yourself randomly scrolling through messages or swiping left and right during a commute. You may become so engulfed in the online dating world that waking up to Facebook newsfeed becomes a thing of the past because the thought of waking up to Tinder sounds more appealing.

4. The ‘spark’ tends to fizzle out

You see someone you like. You match with them. You talk for a bit. Meet up. Continue talking, but a lot less this time. You forget about each other. You see someone else you like. You match with them. Talk for a bit. Meet up once. Continue talking, but a lot less this time…. see where I’m going with this? It is frightening how typical it is for things to fizzle out. Nobody ends it, nobody’s feelings get hurt. It just dies. Evaporates. Into thin air.

dating disposable

5. You’re not the only one who has his attention

This may sound like a no brainer to some, but if you get easily attached to someone you like then a reminder is needed. It’s quite likely that you’re not the only one talking to this person. Try not to put all your eggs into one basket, you’ll only find yourself disappointed.

6. There are a lot of broken hearts out there

You don’t realise how much baggage others carry until you actually talk to them. You’d be surprised by how many people have gone through similar experiences as you (if not worse). It might make them a bit more guarded and more closed so I guess you have to be patient.

7. It can promote the idea that people are disposable

 This whole swiping business on Tinder can instill the mindset that people are disposable. Considering how easy it is to organise a ‘date’ with someone, you might find that some people put very little effort into it because they know they can always find someone else just around the corner.

dating swiping on Tinder

8. You don’t know anyone’s true intentions

He can say he wants to date you, he might even wine and dine you for a while. But how can you be sure that you won’t get kicked to the kerb after he gets what he wants? You don’t. Unless you have some sort of superpowers, you won’t always know. You’re taking a leap of faith with the whole thing. The only certainty is that nothing is certain.

9. You can build friendships from it

Sometimes a romantic relationship isn’t the only thing to flourish from a Tinder or POF date. You might meet someone amazing and after a while, realise they would make a better friend than a partner. Everlasting friendships may come from ‘dating’ apps as well, and that can be a good thing.

10. You get to know what you want

Putting yourself out there to meet new people and going on random dates does have its perks (and I’m not talking about the free meals here) an even bigger benefit has to do with self growth: you get to know what you want. Be it romantically or platonically, it helps you discover what you like and what you don’t like. Sometimes, you might even surprise yourself to find that what you thought you always wanted isn’t what you need.

WHAT YOU THINK YOU WANT ISN’T ALWAYS WHAT YOU THINK IT IS

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