Disclaimer right out of the gate: I am fully aware that any issues I have dating are, probably, on me.
Or at least, the issues are situational, with both geography or demographics. In other words, I'm not under any impression that the "dating world" or whatever is against me.
That being said, I do believe dating is getting more difficult. This mostly has to do with how things traditionally morph in society, especially technology.
Everything progresses toward a specific goal: personal compatibility.
Think of the television. It started out as a basic box with a screen and a couple of tubes.
Then there was broadcast networks, which morphed into cable, which later gave us satellite, and now the internet is starting to meddle in the programming game. It was all about having the channels you wanted, having the access you wanted.
Suddenly, someone can watch only the shows that they find enjoyable without having to deal with things like waiting for another week or sifting through all those extra channels. And they can watch it on a TV made for them; it's a bigger screen, the screen curves, it can be a 3-D experience.
Cell phones are the same way. First there was a brick with an antenna, then came smaller bricks, then flip phones, then smart phones. First there were specific phone games, then you could download new games, specific ring tones, and then came specific apps.
It all moves toward the thing humans most crave: a world that revolves around them and molds to their desires.
Dating is the same way, and things started to change long before the internet got involved.
For better or worse, I guess depending on how you feel, no one really needs to actually date anymore. Living the single life is not only becoming more popular, but in some instances it is encouraged.
The biggest example is that society no longer pressures women to get married. And it should be that way; women deserve an equal chance to become an independent success at whatever they choose.
However, there's no question that this certainly affects the world of dating. After all, if a woman just doesn't think there's a guy out there for her right now, she has absolutely no reason to go look.
You think this might be counteracted by the fact that, at least on the surface, it has a become easier to meet people. Dating websites and apps have skyrocketed within the past decade.
It's exactly what the internet was designed to do, and that's bring people together. But, maybe it brought too many people into the equation.
We look for things to be so customized and instant, there are so many factors that muddle our choices. It's like, "Sure, I could keep dating this person. But, what if there's someone even better?"
So it's back to the website we go, and there's potentially hundreds of choices.
Is it a selfish way of doing things? Maybe, but then again, isn't it a good thing to find that person who is perfect?
The issue is that nothing can ever be perfect. But if the prevailing thought becomes that the "perfect match" is just a few clicks away, then flaws can be magnified.
I don't think that dating has ever been easy. It's actually downright terrifying. You're supposed to go out with this person you don't really know and try to discern whether or not they like you while at the same time having to decide if you like them.
It's like someone put you in an interrogation room, and that single hanging lamp just keeps getting brighter and brighter.
But you endure, and you try to find a way to enjoy it. When it becomes easy, that's when you know you probably have a match.
In this day and age when just about everything can be customized, altered and rearranged to fit someone's personality or exact needs, the ability to accept another human being, something that was never designed to ever be perfect, can be lost.
I'm not saying it's impossible. After all, it seems like every week another Facebook friend (i.e., someone I happened to run across once or twice in college) is getting hitched.
Dating is transforming to become something that, like many things in life, is instantly accessible and widely available beyond anyone's imagination. That sounds awesome, but there's not a single matchmaking algorithm out there than can save us from ourselves.
Compromise becomes lost, and the whole thing turns into a free-for-all.