Is modern dating doomed? Why finding love feels like finding a parking spot

 “If I’m being honest, the dating pool is a mess,” says Puae. “A lot of men are just looking for someone to wet their willy and ruin, and I’m honestly done with dealing with it.” 

Ever feel like modern dating is a never-ending game of swipe left, swipe right? You’re not alone. Puae’s frustration is a real struggle for many of us. Sure, some folks blame feminism or changing gender roles, but let’s be honest – the real culprit might be glued to your hand: your phone. Social media may have revolutionized communication, but it’s also thrown a wrench into finding love.

Social media and the death of romance

Is modern dating doomed?
Image Credit: Pinterest

The advent of social media brought many economic opportunities and avenues for genuine expression. However, apps like Twitter or X have become more of an echo chamber of opinions, great, and not-so-great alike. From dating apps to the excessive distribution of pornography and the division of views on these apps, there is always something stopping the efficacy of romance.

Lately, dating has become an extreme sport, with people playing the digital game of first to text and last to respond or the game of being the most calm and self-confident. As this becomes the norm, we must accept that dating in the 21st century has become the most hectic activity.

Why is the modern dating scene so hard?

A woman embraces a man from behind, gazing intently at the camera, capturing the essence of modern dating with a mix of intimacy and complexity.
Image Credit: Pinterest

In this transitional period, where gender roles and human rights are still rapidly being redefined, most people are unfamiliar with dating and romantic relationships. Based on a few people’s opinions, let’s look at why this is happening:

Comparison culture

The habit of comparison in itself is not bad, but when your comparison starts to define your reaction and attitude towards a person, it becomes a problem. Comparison culture is usually built on the idea that your partner is supposed to have the qualities and attributes of a random online personality. This idea can lead to an inevitable crash in the relationship.

“This is why I always try to avoid gawking at other men when I’m in a relationship,” said Esther, talking about comparison. “I’ll end up asking myself questions like ‘Why can’t my man have the sculpted bod and the g-wagon like some random person online?’ and stuff like that. It can get hectic if I’m being honest.” Comparing your partner is very much defeatist simply because you are second guessing your choices to be with your partner; therefore, you are creating loopholes for doubt and possible infidelity

Lack of emotional intelligence

A lot of this can be attributed to general selfishness. With everyone assuming they are “the prize,” it is hard to be wary or in tune with the emotions of people around you. A lack of emotional intelligence or empathy can easily cause emotions to fizzle out. Who do we blame? The popularity of self-help, self-confidence, and the ‘I don’t need anyone’ mentality. Emotional intelligence and empathy guide healthy relationships, but relationships end when they don’t exist.

The illusion of options

Dating apps and the effects of scrolling through endless pictures and profiles of people suggest that more romantic options are available for exploration. This illusion conceives greed and self-preservation in some of the nastiest ways possible. Having options might be great, but when you constantly ruin relationships and damage people’s perspectives of themselves, you only become an emotional monster.


Greed in modern dating is the pursuit of superficial qualities or material possessions in a partner rather than focusing on deeper emotional connections or compatibility. Individuals may prioritise factors such as wealth, status, or physical appearance over qualities like kindness, empathy, and mutual respect. This can lead to shallow and transactional relationships based on materialistic desires rather than genuine emotional connection.


The concept of breadcrumb is built on manipulating and making a person believe you like them when you don’t and just enjoy the attention they give you. Doing this leaves the other person in constant deliberation and confusion about what’s real and what’s not. A clear result of this is in the prevalence of “situationships.” These situations mostly comprise one person with many feelings and the other with no care in the world. Breadcrumbing is only possible when there is no effective communication between both individuals.

How to navigate modern dating

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Despite all the pros and cons of social media’s influence on modern dating, knowing how to navigate relationships today doesn’t have to be so stressful. Here’s what you need to do.

Set clear boundaries

Boundaries in dating include physical, emotional, and relational boundaries. Recognising and conveying your boundaries clearly and assertively to your partner or romantic interest is critical. This might involve addressing personal space, communication preferences, relationship expectations, and deal-breakers. Setting clear boundaries may help you build a healthy and respectful dynamic in your dating relationships, creating mutual understanding and trust.

Be open-minded

Consider people who fit a specific mould.  Step outside your comfort zone and explore connections with folks from diverse backgrounds and experiences. You might be surprised by who you hit it off with and the enriching experiences you can share.

Take things slow

Don’t feel pressured to fast-forward your love life!  Taking things slow is all about getting to know someone at a natural pace.  This means enjoying getting to know each other, building trust, and creating a genuine connection rather than rushing into intimacy or commitment.  Taking your time will lay a strong foundation for a happy and healthy relationship.

Trust your instinct

Remember to appreciate your gut!  That feeling in your stomach? It might be trying to tell you something important about your relationships.  Pay attention to how someone makes you feel.  Listen to your intuition if red flags or warning signs are popping up.  Trusting your gut can be a powerful tool for navigating the dating world and making choices, prioritising your well-being and happiness.


Strong communication is key! This means truly listening to your partner, trying to see things from their perspective, and being open to healthy discussions. Be bold and talk about what matters – boundaries, expectations, and even your hopes for the future.  Communicating openly and honestly can build trust, intimacy, and a strong foundation for a happy relationship.

Because the times have changed, we cannot say dating was better in the 19th and 20th centuries. We’d like to argue that dating is even better now because the playing field is slightly levelled for all genders. However, social media does pose a lot of issues for people who are choosing to date actively. If you’re part of this group, let us know the biggest challenge you face while dating in the digital age.


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