The 9 Most Annoying Things About Dating In 2021
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Ghosting, breadcrumbing, and love bombing — oh my!
Aside from all of the cheesy lingo that has been assigned to dating trends and habits, the actual process itself feels more like a black hole than an open field of possibilities.
As I tell my clients, though, it’s all about perspective.
If you can recognize the things that bother you, you can also find the things you enjoy, and craft your strategy around moving towards them.
What are some of the most annoying things about dating in 2021?
1: Everyone wants instant gratification.
Building a healthy relationship takes time, commitment, dedication, and consistency. This, however, is in direct conflict with what people are prioritizing in our society.
What do we want? Everything!
When do we want it? Yesterday!
This is great for ordering food, solving problems, and making last minute reservations at your favorite restaurant — but it’s simply not realistic for building a relationship.
Understand that anything worthwhile deserves the time and attention to be done properly. Take time getting to know someone. Ask questions. Spend real, focused, quality time together.
Slow down, take a breath, and do it right.
There’s no sense in rushing something you want to last forever.
2: We’re a lot more judgy.
The fact of human nature is that we make assumptions about other humans almost instantly (whether we admit it or not).
But, it seems to have become more accepted and even commoditized by the rise of online dating apps over the past few years.
To join these apps is to, essentially, willingly be judged by everyone else who comes across your profile.
I’m not anti-online dating, in fact, I think it can be a great tool in the toolbox of a single person — as long as the realities are understood.
This image-centric focus has permeated many other areas of our lives, as well. We spend our days looking at curated social media feeds, photoshopped models, and influencers who never seem to have an off day.
The pressure to be “perfect” (which, ahem, doesn’t exist) is felt across the board and makes actually getting to know someone exponentially more difficult.
Remember that these are real people we are looking at. People with ideas, feelings, families, pasts, dreams, and futures.
A three-dimensional human is so much more than what can be seen while swiping or even during an initial conversation in-person or on video chat.
The quicker we judge someone, the less of a chance we’re willing to give them. If we can train ourselves out of this tendency, we’d have a much better shot at happier relationships.
What’s the easiest way to end things with someone without confrontation?
Simple! Just completely ignore them!
The way we “communicate” these days makes it incredibly easy to block someone out of your life — literally. You can remove them from all social media, unmatch on a dating app, and ignore their texts and calls.
Ghosting is the coward’s way out of any situation because it completely avoids a difficult conversation — but odds are the person you’re ghosting will be more hurt by your silence than by your honesty.
Be open and honest about your feelings and intentions during every step of the dating process. If your feelings change along the way, be vocal and let the person know. Having someone disappear without warning is hurtful and can take a toll on self esteem and confidence.
Texting is a great way to communicate and it keeps us all connected to each other. However, it’s not a replacement for real, in-depth conversation.
Many people think they can carry on a relationship strictly though text message. Over time it feels like they’re avoiding in-person interaction, phone conversations, or video chats in order to put forth the least possible effort.
Understand that getting to know someone is a multi-faceted experience that requires nuanced communication, emotional expression, body language, and a full human experience of a person rather than just reading words on a screen.
5: Lazy dates.
Say it with me:
Someone’s level of effort indicates their level of interest.
This, admittedly, usually falls more on the man in a traditional dating scenario — which I just happen to be.
This is why I believe that when you’re truly interested in someone, you plan something in alignment with their interests and put in the proper effort to making sure they enjoy themselves.
Unfortunately — “meeting up” has become the norm.
“I’m going out with my friends, want to come by?”
“I’ll ‘swing through.’”
Laziness is a plague on the world of dating and eradicating it will lead to healthier relationships.
Raise the standards for what you accept from yourself and others. If you’re not willing to put in the work for a date, maybe you’re wasting your time (and theirs).
And, if they’re not willing to put in effort, maybe they’re wasting your time.
6: Rushing through the steps.
Building a relationship is a process, and we have begun moving much faster through all of the steps (See: #1).
Let me be clear, I am all for two consenting adults doing whatever they want with each other whenever they want, as long as they’re not hurting anyone.
That being said — I think expectations are being put forth that could make someone uncomfortable much earlier than they ever used to be.
We’re at the point that physical intimacy is a prerequisite, otherwise someone may lose interest and walk away.
This puts too much pressure far too soon and could be the demise of the relationship itself.
Take a breath. Slow down. Understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day and the love of your life won’t be built on the first date.
Good things take time.
7: Preconceived notions.
Unless you used to meet someone completely randomly, there has always been a sense of familiarity with someone you date. Maybe you were introduced by a friend or family member, or knew each other through work — something.
But, today, we have the internet. And social media. And Google. And everything is out there for the world to see.
So, unless you’re super private or operate under an alias, odds are that the person you’re about to meet for the first time has probably Googled you or looked up your social media profiles already.
Whether that’s good or bad depends on what they find — but the remaining truth is that they already have opinions about you before they even meet you.
Be mindful of your brand and what you post online. Whether we like it or not, this is the world we live in and how we present ourselves will have a direct impact on our personal and professional lives.
8: There are TOO many options.
The weird thing is that the options themselves haven’t multiplied, but our exposure to them has.
Suddenly we are flooded with faces and headshots on dating apps that never seem to end. Swipe, scroll, swipe, scroll…it’s so overwhelming.
How are you supposed to choose just one person with all of these choices?
We’ve always had a lot of choices (literally billions if you’re willing to travel the globe looking for “the one.”)
The difference now is that we can find countless local single people just by opening up our phones.
Get super, ultra, hyper clear on what you want and need out of your relationship.
Yes, there are a lot of options — but it’s easy to filter out the bad ones when you know exactly what you’re looking for.
9: People aren’t happy with themselves.
If I’ve said this once, I’ve said it a million times: The most important relationship you’ll ever have is with yourself. If that one isn’t healthy, none of your others will be.
In a world where we chase external validation and are constantly comparing ourselves to others, many people are unfulfilled, unhappy, and confused about who they even are.
The result is a slew of daters who’ve got no idea what they’re doing or why they’re doing it. They’re lost, confused, and lonely.
When you date someone like this, they’re inconsistent and flaky. They’re needy and seek validation from you because they’re not internally happy or fulfilled. The relationship simply will never work.
Take the time while you’re single to work on yourself, discover yourself, and learn who you really are.
Make a list of your wants vs. your needs. Work to define your identity and purpose. Pursue your passions and hobbies. Do something that matters.
When you fill up your cup first, you’ll be living a happy and passionate life built around the things that set your soul on fire.
There’s nothing more attractive than that.
I originally published this article on Medium.
Finding success in creating hundreds of viral articles and videos on building limitless confidence and healthier relationships, James has accumulated over 38 million visitors to his website and a collective social media following of over 400,000.
James speaks at live events and in the media across the U.S. and has become a go-to expert with outlets such as CNN, Bravo, The New York Post, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, CNBC, The Boston Globe, CBS, and more.
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