We live in a digital world, and most people I know date using apps like Tinder and Bumble. I don’t. In previous posts I explained why I don’t like it and I won’t bore you with my own choices. But, so many of my friends do and I am always curious about what kind of people they meet and what types of interactions they have.
Is it reasonable to expect that the people we meet virtually will be as honest, honorable and considerate as the people we meet and relationships we cultivate in person? If we met at a party through mutual friends, I might think twice before I call you a name, slam the door in your face and accuse you of being a freak. After all we have friends in common, we both have a reputation to protect. The cost of acting inappropriate is higher when we belong to the same social network. But, if our relationship is strictly digital, neither of us has much to lose for treating the other disgracefully. How much do you value a digital date? How much do you value a person who showed up at the click of a button? I admit, I don’t value that person at all. I might be respectful, human and decent toward them, but I haven’t earned an opportunity to be with them, I have done nothing to earn their trust, respect, nor attention. If I can click a button and get you to show up in an hour, for free, at no emotional or personal cost to me at all, honestly, I won’t value you at all. Maybe somebody else would, but I am being honest here, why would I value you, and the dozen other people who are willing to give me a date, when I didn’t even have to ask you face to face will you go out with me?
My theory is that people we meet online are valued less in terms of dating and relating, than people whose relationships we had to cultivate over a period of time. If I had to earn your friendship, I will value you as a human more. I will have a deeper understanding of who you are, I will have something concrete to relate to. Even if that level of personal understanding is shallow, I still had to earn time to be with you, and am more likely to value you and respect you, even if we are drastically different.
I know people meet online all the time, they get married and live happily ever after. I have close friends who married their Match and eHarmony dates, and divorced them in three years. It is possible for all of us to find an instant date, an instant relationship and an instant bond. But how valuable is it? How disposable is it?
I wrote a couple of blog posts in defense of ghosting, and I wrote them from the perspective of someone who has had to ghost or cut off toxic people, men who won’t take no for an answer, and women who thrive on drama. Many of you have been ghosted, and find it hurtful and rude. But, what are your expectations of people who you met online? I understand how hurtful ghosting would be if you knew someone for years and they simply cut you off. I understand if you were in a serious relationship and the guy disappeared. Those are all real connections that warrant face to face communication. But what are your expectations of a digital date?
I find digital dating to be too superficial, too artificial, and I don’t get a good read on people online. In the past when I tried online dating, I really did not like the kind of people I met in person. I found them to either be weird, expect quick results, have toxic habits, or have unhealthy expectations. But, a lot of women I know marathon date online, have a date every week, line up new dates well in advance, and I am always a bit surprised they have such high expectations of those males. It is almost normal that they get ghosted 1 out of 5 times, that they hook up and then learn he is not looking for a relationship. It is normal for them to get juggled with a few other women, and quite often they compete for attention from men they barely know. Why?
Again, that’s a question for you to answer. I never liked it so I stopped dating online almost 10 years ago. I saw that the quality of the people I was meeting was low, that our interactions are shallow, and that their behavior is quite offensive. But, i also understood that I was a digital date, they didn’t have to do anything to earn my attention, they barely had to qualify, so what did I expect? A knight in shining armor or a prince charming?
I’m not saying that all digital dates are bad, but we have to have more reasonable expectations of people we don’t know. If you are going on a date with a complete stranger, who didn’t even have to ask you out face to face, who didn’t have to prove to you that he is a decent human being, and you instantly showed up because he clicked a button, of what value are you to him, and how much effort should you make for a person you don’t know? I think many of my friends are putting way too much effort into digital men who are busy communicating with a dozen women at the same time. What does that do to your self-esteem? What does that do to your sanity?
My second theory is that many of the people we meet online are males who would never have the guts to ask you out on a date face to face. You might not even give them a second glance if you met them in person first. But apps give us all an opportunity to shop around, swipe right, swipe left, and a lot of low quality, toxic people now have immediate access to individuals they would never have a chance with in person. A lot of males select everybody because they are playing numbers. They know they will get lucky because at least one beautiful woman who they know is way out of their league will show up. Online dating is like a slot machine, all you have to do is keep pulling the lever. Sure, you will get a lot of Nos, but eventually that slot machine will light up and a prize will spill out into the tray below. It takes only 5 minutes to win a few quarters in a casino. So how valued do you expect to be, and how well do you think you will be treated when a complete stranger can get a date with you?
I’m not the smartest person in this forum, but I figured this out almost immediately. I was basically giving an opportunity to really low quality men to have an hour with me, which felt absolutely gross.
What bothers me is that today, men have to do almost no work at all to score a date. What bothers me even more is that they get to date women who are 20 times out of their league, and the women don’t even know it. Why don’t they know it? Because they are busy playing digital pinball with players who are just looking to score the highest points. And then they wonder why this gamer doesn’t treat them well, and doesn’t act like he values them? You want respect from somebody who pulled a lever to get you?
Some women say that Bumble is so much better because women get to choose. But how is Bumble better? You get exactly the same men listed on all the services, and they get to be even more passive on Bumble? All they have to do is create a listing then wait for you to choose them. Sooner or later a beautiful woman way out of his league will land in his lap.
Yes, this is a rant. I know so many brilliant women. I am lucky to know women who are extremely accomplished, educated, worldly, sophisticated, fearless, competent, rational, but when it comes to dating they compete for the smallest men. Half of these guys would be hiding in the bushes if they didn’t have access to Tinder. Many of them ARE those guys who could not even get a date. Why are we giving them our time?
We have to value ourselves more. So much more that we don’t have to compete for digital dates with drones who are just clicking our buttons. We also have to value ourselves so much to realize that being treated like a number is demeaning. We have to realize that we are being treated poorly because we give men every opportunity to have the advantage. Rather than withdraw, set some standards, cultivate real relationships we choose to compete for players on their terms. How do you expect to be treated like a valued human being when you are allowing access to everybody who can view your profile?
A lot of women claim to be rare, exceptional, one of a kind, but how are you rare if anybody can have your time? How are you rare if anybody can click you? How are you rare when I can book you online faster than I can book a hair appointment? What is the penalty if I book an appointment and then show up late, or don’t show up at all, or if I act like an asshole? No penalty at all, onto the next girl.
Why would a male treat you like a high-value woman if he can score 20 of you at the same time?
Women are much more likely to settle for a low-quality male when they believe that is all that is available. Imagine going on 20 dates and playing the same game with each player? Do you like me, do you want me, do you want to see me again? Will you give me the decency of a phone call? Will you treat me respectfully? Will you juggle me with other women? How should I answer this text to make him want me more? I guess I can only wait to find out. Are these questions demeaning to you? They sure sound that way to me.
Now, when she gets any common decency from one of these players, it seems like she scored something. She is much more likely to invest herself emotionally after she has found one who will play the game a bit longer. He looks promising, so she disregards that the male has a lot going against him, she is more likely to ignore the red flags because hey, at least he’s participating. Do you see how easy it is for even the smartest women to get wrapped up into playing with low-quality males? I even heard from a woman who dated a male she suspected was homeless or had no place to live, because he was hell-bent on making this work with her. Come on ladies, do you really have to consider every frog in the pond?
Ladies, you choose what you participate in. I am not saying don’t date online, but you certainly can’t expect to be treated like a real woman by some pigeon who pulled a lever to get a pellet. If there are no qualifications needed to score a date with you other than to click a button, then why are you surprised when you get deleted just as fast? If he can order you online, he can cancel you in a split second. You choose to participate in this game. It’s totally up to you.