Modern dating sucks. If you're a man who feels that way, then you're certainly not alone. More and more men are finding the dating game increasingly hard to play and win. And that's troubling because love or connection is one of our deepest and most basic human needs. And the longer the need remains unmet, the darker, more hopeless, and more depressing life becomes.
So, let's fix that in this article. You're about to discover why the modern dating game sucks, and the steps you can (and should) take to make it suck less in the future.
Why Does Modern Dating Suck?
Let's tackle the first question: Why does dating suck so much these days? What does science know? Here are the answers:
We're spoiled for choice
A few decades ago, we didn't have that much choice regarding the women we could date. We were limited by geography—only the ladies in our city or town were available. And that was fine—the scarcity meant everybody could meet someone suitable for them.
Today, things are much different. With all the dating apps out there now, we have access to more people to date than ever before. And that can make it hard to decide who you want to pursue, where, when, and how.
What's worse, every woman you meet is likewise spoiled for choice. They know that if you're not a good match or if things work out, that's fine—a hundred other men are waiting in line. And so, she tends not to work too hard to keep you.
(NOTE: That said, we think dating apps are more good than bad—they're great tools when you know what you want. Here are the best dating apps for people in their 20's.)
We're pressured by social media
Another upheaval in the dating landscape came in the form of social media. Nowadays, it's nearly impossible not to be on at least one social media profile. What started as an inexpensive way to stay in touch with loved ones has become a never-ending cavalcade of news, ads, and updates.
What's worse, seeing other couples post about their relationship on social media can pressure singles to find someone too. Men may lower their standards and settle for a woman who isn't right just because they don't want to feel left out. This slippery slope leads to bad decisions they'll regret for years.
Social media sets unrealistic expectations about relationships and how quickly they should progress, which can lead to disappointment if those expectations aren't met. Yet another reason why "dating sucks."
One unfortunate side effect of dating apps is that people tend to not connect with others in person anymore. They feel they don't need to since they have access to seemingly endless choices online. Real-life connections suffer as more people stay glued to their phones instead of talking face-to-face with others.
We're more connected than ever, but we're also lonelier than ever. And it all makes for a much less satisfying dating life.
Have you ever compared yourself to other men, trying to see your strengths and weaknesses regarding your overall dating "market value"? If you have, you might be suffering from "comparisonitis"—and it's another reason why the dating game sucks.
Comparisonitis is the frequent, often-involuntary act of comparing yourself to others so much that it sends your confidence and self-worth into a free fall. On an online app, you can browse thousands of profiles for free.
When you view a man's profile, you check if he's more attractive than you, and wonder what you can do to "close the gap." When you view a woman's profile, you wonder what it would take to make her notice you. It's chaos—another unfortunate side effect of modern dating.
"Ghosting" is when someone suddenly disappears from communication without notice, and it's pretty much the default way to end a conversation online. That means it often happens when you use a popular dating app, although it does sting every time, doesn't it?
Worse, ghosting may be encouraged by the more prominent dating apps. The more ghosting that happens on their platform, the more connections end up being made. And so, the theory exists that dating apps may purposely make chat exchanges boring on their platform because, as it turns out, more ghosting means more revenue.
On the bright side, knowing this bit of insider information will make ghosting much less infuriating from now on. Right?
We're just too busy
Lastly, with our schedules filled to the brim with work and other commitments, we have less time to find love. When we do bump into women we'd love to date, the daily grind gets in the way of dating. By the time our schedules clear up, they're no longer interested.
If you're too busy to date, life generally sucks—including your love life.
So, why does dating suck? Now you know the most significant reasons.
Whichever they might be for you, here's some good news—you're not powerless. There are ways to make the dating game suck less—and we'll tackle some of the best practices now.
How to Make Modern Dating Suck Less
Taking note of all modern dating's inconveniences, here's how to counteract them and build a love life that's productive, enjoyable, and totally under your control:
Narrow your focus in life and love
The most prominent mistake men make with online dating is accepting any woman who messages them. The impulse comes from a scarcity mindset—you might feel women are hard to come by, so you should maximize your chances by trying to date everyone who comes your way.
Unfortunately, this often leads to settling for much less than you want. You end up compromising your standards to keep them around—and that's a recipe for more unpleasantness.
So, narrow your focus and be more selective. Take your time and get to know each woman before committing to anything serious. Say "no" (or friend zone her) if you don't feel any chemistry or potential between you. Keep doing this until you find the ones who do matter.
Spend quality time with people
Feeling bogged down by social media? Then it's time to revisit the good old days by going out and physically meeting up with your friends and acquaintances. And when you do meet up, keep your phones in your pockets and talk like it was the 90s again.
Likewise, when meeting women on dating apps, constantly push for a face-to-face date. Avoid getting into long chats that last days—as exciting as they might be, they'll eventually lead nowhere. In-person is where the magic happens.
Make yourself feel good
If you suffer from comparisonitis, it's time to pick a life mission and stick to it, critics be damned. Your attractiveness will stem from the confidence of knowing what you want out of life.
In the meantime, it also helps to improve your self-care routine. Make sure you're:
- Eating well
- Getting enough sleep
- Staying active in some way (even if it means taking a walk around the block)
- Spending time with friends
- Doing activities that make you happy outside of your love life
That way, when you meet someone new, you feel secure and confident about yourself. Remember, being the opposite—being needy or desperate for attention and affection—is a huge turnoff for women.
It's time to be a turn-on for a change, wouldn't you say?
Be realistic about dating and life
It can be easy to get swept away in the idea of finding "the one," but don't let yourself get caught up in the fantasy. The truth is that hundreds (or maybe even thousands) of women in your city would qualify as "the one." It's not a matter of destiny—it's a matter of timing.
So keep going out there and meeting new people, whether through your work, hobbies, and social connections. You'll meet great matches without even trying.
Get out there and make yourself findable
If you're so busy you have little to no time to date, it's time to purposely make time for it. You probably already know that if you want something, you need to go out there and get it. Well, the same goes for a girlfriend!
- Join clubs or classes related to your interests
- Attend events where like-minded people hang out
- Learn to make small talk with strangers
Make space in your life for the activities that give you a chance at finding love. Take a close look at what fills up your daily grind, and ask yourself: "Which of these activities can I safely give up so I can put myself out there?"
Dating Sucks, But it Doesn't Have To
Does the dating game suck? Yes. Can you make it suck less? Absolutely—and if you stick to your game, you can even make it the wonderful adventure we've all been raised to believe.
Just remember to:
- Narrow your focus in life and love
- Spend more quality time with people
- Make yourself feel good
- Be realistic about dating and life
- Get out there and make yourself findable
If you don't get sidetracked by the weirdness of modern dating and instead turn to timeless personal values like confidence, manliness, and goal orientation, things will start falling into place before you know it. Good luck!