Dating culture has become selfish. How do we fix it?

Dating culture has become selfish. How do we fix it?

If you are single and Extremely onlineyou must have felt a certain contempt. Dating Now, especially when it comes to Dating apps. More specifically, you may have noticed that everyone else is the absolute worst.

Ask around and ask all the daters you know who will probably echo the sentiment of dating becoming a chore and matches being more rude, dismissive and even abusive than ever before. Social media is full of stories. Dating app Matches offering potential partners as rewards, and exorcism, love bombing, Slices of breadstanding up, stopped reading, Even a date that dates two matches at the same time without their consent..

This is having a profound effect on our feelings about dating, leaving many of us feeling insecure, and worried that we might not find love. Basically, we have entered the age of selfish dating. It feels like everyone opening apps is doing so with an “every man for himself attitude” and we're looking for ways to promote ourselves instead of fostering real connections.

We have entered the era of selfish dating…

But Why Is everyone so terrible? Talking to experts in the field of love and sex, Mashable uncovers why so many people struggle with it, and how on earth we can fix it.

Dating 'The Grand Set'

It seems like we're all behaving inappropriately when it comes to dating right now, but none of us understand why, or how to stop. Catherine Engel, academic and author Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again: Women and Desire in the Age of Consentsays that a large part of the increasingly selfish behavior in dating is looking at dating economically and seeing it as either an investment or a waste of our time.

Take this For example, a Reddit post Which went viral again in July, where a man asked a woman for ice cream and she took a red flag as childish and abruptly ended their relationship. Or, you can take The viral TikTok that dominated the headlines.in which a woman admits to dates the time she wasted on them.

Seeing dating, even when it doesn't work out, as a waste of time is a “dangerous way of looking at life,” says Farishta, but we're all doing it because it's encouraged by capitalism. .

“The modern capitalist system that we all exist under wants us to maximize our time so that we have a mindset of making money, which benefits the economy,” she explains. This theory values ​​instant success over the slow-burn kind, and we're applying this thinking to our dating lives as well as our work.

The modern capitalist system that we all exist under wants us to maximize our time so that we have the mindset to make money, which benefits the economy.

Treating someone like you've wasted their time, whether you're invoking them, berating them, or internalizing the feeling, shows Angel that you treat your dating life as work. are watching

She explains that it is “an economic model of human relations that many of us have come to see as the default in our lives.”

Angel notes that looking at relationships in this economic way is part of the toxic self-improvement movement that's on the rise, the “grind set,” if you will.

We are often overwhelmed by online content, with people caught in a perpetual cycle of self-analysis, improvement and repetition, and they inspire others to fall into their trap.

Dating apps unfortunately fit this window-shopping mentality to finding a connection.

Angel notes that vulnerability, which is needed to foster romantic connections, isn't really encouraged on dating apps because we're often nervous as soon as we see someone we like. If they don't or say something cruel, we can shut it down. Without thinking about the effect on the other person.

She says that dating apps have the irony of feeling very public, but are actually very private. “You're not getting outside of yourself enough. You're experiencing apps on your own, locked into your own experience.”

She adds, “There's this illusion of ease and less friction (that comes with dating apps) and maybe it makes it easier for us to meet people and be sexually fulfilled, but for that you “The connection should not be easy.

Increasingly, Engel finds himself increasingly skeptical of online dating as a good way to meet people, adding that what we've done with our dating lives is to sell ourselves products and dating. The app creates a source of profit for the companies. So, no wonder we're behaving like capitalists when dating — even offline.

Mashable after dark

'I' culture

Dating apps aren't responsible for this particular selfishness, though. Rather, they are symptomatic of a broader cultural problem.

This economic thinking angel challenges has created an inherently selfish culture in dating, especially among gay men and women—who are the source of most dating complaints.

Many of us approach relationships with a “me first” attitude, says Jessica Alderson, a dating expert on the dating app. So compatiblesay, is repeated by viral trends on social media like the “dump it” trend that treats humans like collectable (and disposable) objects.

We've even gotten to the point where descriptions like “high value men/women” applied to people we match on dating pools have gone viral over and over again and entered the cultural lexicon in a bona fide way. are We are talking about each other, even and especially romantically, like objects.

There's nothing wrong with putting yourself first in dating, Alderson says, and “we're all responsible for protecting our own energy and well-being and we're the only ones who really know our own needs and limits.”

But along the way, selfishness became outright selfishness. Hicks argues. About love that capitalism and patriarchy, a product of the latter, have created a “me-culture” in society, a mass hyper-individualism that looks an awful lot like narcissism… but it is self-care or It is under the guise of protection. personal safety.

Alderson added that this “me culture” has been amplified. social media. “For many people, Instagram, TikTok, And Youtube They are the primary sources of information for navigating the complex world of modern relationships. “Social media users are now exposed to curated and often unrealistic images of dating expectations, and this has perpetuated a distorted perception of what a “successful” dating experience should look like,” she says.

She adds that certain dating “standards” and “rules,” such as only going on a second date if it's the first time or only sleeping with broke guys and saving dating for rich men, are promoted through viral content. is done Which promotes unrealistic and unhealthy rules for dating. This type of dating mentality, in turn, has left many people with ridiculously strict and specific criteria for their ideal partners – which no one can realistically achieve.

“Of course, we should always be mindful of our own needs and boundaries when dating, but it's important to question where our expectations are coming from and whether they align with our personal values,” explains Alderson.

There's nothing wrong with putting yourself first, but thinking only of yourself, treating people as interchangeable or expendable objects, or expecting a romantic partnership to lead to endless happiness and abandon someone who Treat those who do not meet your personal standards as if they were themselves. A defective product. If no one else is, you're not really putting yourself first.

And when you're on the receiving end of that kind of “me” obsession, it's annoying, disturbing, and even heartbreaking. No wonder 1 in 4 people feel unworthy of their partner, according to Bumble.

When self-preservation becomes self-sabotage.

It's especially interesting that most dating problems come from gay daters, as Engel notes our gender roles (cultural scripts that the sexes are supposed to follow such as masculine or feminine, going to work vs. Doing housework, etc Being gay) influence our dating fears.

A quick scroll through Reddit and the numerous opinion pieces, YouTube videos and podcasts that complain about dating straight people right now points to an increase in selfish dating, especially from women.

Think Throwing men on their paychecksinsisting that men must always pay the bills, and expecting men to be treated like princesses before agreeing to leave the house to meet men (and requiring proof of talent to provide it Is).

Internet uncles, alpha males and “men's rights activists” will have you believe that it is “Feminism gone mad” What else Dating is easy for women these days. But there is more to it.

Angel says that in the post-Me Too era, many women are going into dating, worried about what they can afford from men. After all, at least 57 percent of women Sexual harassment has been reported on dating apps..

“Whenever you see people acting irrationally or cruelly, it's likely they're afraid of something,” explains Angel. This plays into our scripted gender roles as men are raised to fear humiliation and act violently to avoid it. In turn, women learn to avoid humiliation by not bothering or rejecting men.

“Women are treated very badly by men in the dating world,” says Engel. “It's understandable that many women now feel vulnerable in the dating scene. At best they are at risk of unpleasant behavior and bullying, harassment, coercion, manipulation or even assault at worst,” she said. Says more.

For men, they may fear rejection or humiliation and, as a defense mechanism, engage in self-indulgence before they become victims of it themselves.

Angel notes that these fears are perfectly valid and fair, but they eventually hold us back. This is where we go wrong. “Take care of yourself” Or “self-preservation” actually becomes self-sabotage. And to outsiders, it just seems selfish.

I About loveBell hooks tells us that “love cannot live with carelessness nor with fear” but it is a “lie that love or intimacy can be achieved without danger.”

This is the human dilemma of dating, says Farishta. “If we seek to experience joy through our interactions with others, we risk injury,” Engel says.

It's time to completely rethink how we approach dating. We're locked into a system that gives us uncomfortable scripts, and we're attacking each other to connect properly, becoming more insular, fearful, competitive and, yes, selfish. . But as capitalism seems, systems are just systems. They are not really real. We have the means to remove capitalist thinking from our immediate networks, including dating pools, by treating people only as people, not objects.

Realizing that this influence is happening is the first step in revising the way we think about potential partners, and determining how we approach them, and we hope. Finally, how to love them. We just want more care and more love. To get it, we have to give it too.

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