Preamble: this is a dating advice series from a formerly long suffering comrade in the struggle. I’m out of the game for life but I’m offering up some hard earned wisdom for those still grappling. (See bottom of this post for legend, mission statement, and credentials.)
The Paradox of Choice was a significant social science book written by Barry Schwartz in 2003. Basically it says that when people have more choices, they find it more difficult to make a decision.
About a decade letter several news articles came out claiming the effect was a total myth. This was typical, sadly, journalistic cherry picking. The truth was not that the effect never happened, as the clickbait media wanted people to believe, but that it depended on the context, the arena, and the relevant choice amounts being compared. It speaks to a journalist’s integrity and/or understanding of science when they trumpet a study that calls into question a portion of a previous study’s results and then leaps to the illogical concludes that the original study is entirely invalid.
I am not a scientist.
But I do have years of experience with the paradox of choice in the realm of online dating.
When you first venture into online dating, you probably have a lot of preconceptions. Up until recently, you were probably embarrassed that you had to resort to the Internet to find love or something like it. But nowadays it’s weird if you DID NOT meet your one online.
But when you start you must be struck on some level that you can peruse hundreds of strangers as opposed to getting ignored by the same women at the same happy hours and bars and clubs you usually go to. When you first start, you probably will reach out to the first gal who strikes your fancy. You might get lucky and she might reply and maybe you’ll get more lucky and get to meet and have…
…a most likely…
Time passes and you go on a lot more dates and some are good and some are bad but most are numb. It starts getting less exciting and you will get less optimistic. Reaching out to the first cute bird hasn’t seemed to work very well so you start browsing more.
And even more.
It feels like there is an infinite number of women so your selectivity rises.
And rises even rises more.
Then why start asking more questions to yourself about why you should you settle for her.
Her hair is weird.
She likes a lame band.
She roots for the wrong team.
She’s too fat.
She’s too old.
She’s too thin.
She’s too young.
But it’s worse than not settling for her.
She’s not a her anymore.
She’s an it.
She’s warm weather in Phoenix.
She’s rain in Seattle.
She’s evil in the Republican Party.
She’s a commodity that seems to be infinite and growing every single day.
My belabored metaphor takes corporal form in today’s swiping apps (Tinder, Hinge, Bumble). Even the traditional profile websites have swiping interfaces. Yes or no runs the game now. People don’t have the energy or inclination to write profiles anymore. It’s 99.9% about looks. But if we’re being honest, the percentage was t much less with the traditional profile sites.
I’m not an idealist. I’m not romantic. Looks dominate most people’s dating decisions. And society has made a mission of promoting a certain kind of physical beauty and if you don’t conform to that kind, you might as well join a monastery (unless you have other mitigating circumstances).
She’s an object.
I’m an object.
We online are all as inanimate as our digital photographs.
That being said, despite my cynical myopathy, people are getting into relationships and marriages and procreating and all of these things are starting with swipes.
Two objects make an animate coupling.
Two negatives make a positive.
Mankind has given me many names. Among my names is Dr. NoLove, House Foolsrush, Thirteenth of My Name, the Burnt, King of the Unlucks and the Last Men, Khal of the Cul-de-sac, Breaker of Mine Own Heart, Big Baby Deezus, Father of the Rejections, the One True Holy and Apostolic Dating Jesus (the photo below is my cousin Buddy – we have the same chin).
All of these rubrics are meaningless.
I am the state (of dating).
I am the one scrub with many faces.
I am the erring and the untruth and the dullness.
Your finite measures cannot contain me.
I am become dating, the destroyer of love.
The key master is here, in the days after this shell’s darkest hour, to pass on the lessons we have learned after 7,882 days (we have dated 200+ women dated in 22 years) in this latest desert. I have suffered for your dating sins so you do not.
Who am I to comment on dating?
- 22 years of dating (IRL and Online)
- Dating experience on three continents and seven major metropolitan areas
- Early online dating adopter (suffering since 1996)
- I’ve been on a date with 200+ unique, and all wonderful in their own way, women
- Produced a 90,000 word creative writing portfolio devoted to online dating trials and, well, trials
#miracle #heterosexual #dating #datingadvice #platonic #loveislove #asexual #starwars #yoda #jesus #drstrangelove #buddyjesus #desert #sacrifice #wisdom #lessonslearned #agot #got #gameofthrones #khal #mentalhealth #depression #anxiety #teachablemoments