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Dating and the Illusion of Endless Options

Scroll, scroll, click, click, swipe, swipe. This probably sounds familiar if you’re dating in today’s electronic age. Between online dating sites and dating apps we are inundated with options for how to meet potential partners. Not only that, there are numerous new sites and apps in the pipeline about to be launched that aim to provide us with yet more ways to meet people.

These sites and apps present us with seeminly endless profiles of men and women looking to date, hook up or find relationships. But how endless are those profiles really? Less so than we tend to think.

Let’s say you’re on a date with Jeff. Maybe he says something you don’t agree with, or you don’t like the way he’s dressed or you can’t stand his beard, so while you’re still on a date with Jeff you’re already thinking about checking your dating profiles when you get home to see who else has contacted you.

The thing is maybe Jeff would be more than happy to shave his beard, maybe all his other clothes are in the laundry and maybe he’s just nervous so he said something that he would otherwise not have. When your mind is on all your other options you are less likely to give Jeff a chance and find out whether your concerns about him are legit.

So let’s say you leave the date with Jeff, go home and check who has messaged you on your dating app. There are a few guys but none of them fit what you are looking for. Eventually you go on a few more dates with Brad, Steve and Scott and a similar thing happens and with each of them. You think “he’s not quite right.” So there are no more second dates with Brad, Steve, or Scott. Again, did you give them a chance, or did you dismiss them thinking, "there will be more"?

Sure, there will be more, but they won’t necessarily be well suited or looking for the same things you are. Eventually you'll start to notice the same people coming up in your matches not only on one site, but on many. The trap of believing that there are endless options is that the options are actually limited (at least in the online dating world), and you might not be giving the people you date enough of a chance.

These days we often don’t care to stick around to discover whether or not there is

potential for a relationship because we think there may be someone else out there who may be better. We get caught in a trap of superficial dating where we don’t get to know people very well anymore. We float around from person to person without making any meaningful connections because we have a belief that the illusion of endless options is a reality and that we just need to meet "the one", rather that "a good one."

After coming to this realization, I have started setting a 3-5 date minimum with the guys I meet because I would like to make sure I'm not missing anything. I do trust my intuition, and some don't make it past date one, but if things are going nicely, there's no reason to run on to the next guy.

What do you think? What will you do differently after reading this post?

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