Too much of a good thing is never good. Or so they say.
In a world full of dating apps, social media, incredible technology, global economy and travel – is too many choices in the dating world really a good thing?
Too many flavours
I recently read ‘Modern Romance’ by Aziz Ansari. Apart from the fact that it was a brilliant, relatable read, I loved the fact that his book was entirely supported by data, research and academic findings.
Take his suggestion that sometimes an excess of choice can lead to indecision and paralysis. In other words, as singles in the dating world, we now are not just limited to choosing between men from our local church, or men who live on our block… but we now have a multitude of options, from all over the world, right at our finger tips, every minute of the day.
This suggestion is backed up with his little anecdote about the jam tasting experiment conducted in a supermarket. I’ll paraphrase here, but basically…
Two tables were set up to offer shoppers a taste test of some jams. One table was set up with 6 various flavours of jams for shoppers to try. The second table offered 24 flavours to be sampled. It was fascinating to find that when offered 24 flavours, more shoppers stopped in for a taste… but less sales were made. As opposed to when shoppers were presented with only 6 flavours, which saw fewer people to stop in to taste, but more jams being purchased (shoppers were actually 10 times more likely to purchase!).
What does this say? THERE’S TOO MANY FLAVOURS OUT THERE! We have a multitude of potential partners literally at our fingertips. We don’t need to go to a bar anymore, we can access eligible (although this is often questionable, I’ve learned) suitors on Tinder, Bumble, Linked In (don’t judge, it happens), Facebook, Instagram, Red Hot Pie (be careful with this one, the display pics almost blew my socks off) or RSVP… So why settle on that guy who took you out on a date if he was a 9/10, when if you keep swiping you might land yourself a 10/10??
The double edged sword
As someone who always preaches to ‘never, ever settle’, this little experiment magnified a double edged sword; one I was perhaps aware of anyway, before this little anecdote.
Yes we have high expectations of our partner, but is this because we have seen what’s out there? We have met the nice one, the kind one, the sexy one, the intelligent one, the one who’s empathetic and the one who has his finances sorted – it is unrealistic to wait for the one who has all of these qualities, combined?
I think I have got to the point where although I have expectations in a partner, they are realistic and obtainable. I do not have a list of 34 non-negotiable check points that he must meet before he takes me on a date… but having said that, if you do, then that’s absolutely your prerogative… Take going on a physical date out of the picture though, I think I’m a little guilty of trying a fuckload of jam without committing to a purchase. This is true in the way I (up until recently) had both Bumble and Tinder on my phone… I chat to a multitude of potential men because I know if I get bored, it wont be long until another slides into my inbox. If I knew I was only going to get one man per month to chat to, would I put in more effort? Would I spend more time getting to know him? Would I let a few dumb comments slide here and there, instead of blocking him out of my life the minute he uses *your* instead of *you’re*? Would I invest more time and effort if I was only meeting one man a month?
I have also been on the other end of this argument. I have been on dates with men, fabulous dates, wonderful nights of slow drinking and loud laughter and subtle flirting, all to never hear from them again. I have no idea what goes on inside a man’s brain (where would be the fun in a blog that actually UNDERSTANDS the male psyche?!) but… a big part of me would happily bet on the fact that while I may have been a 9/10, he was holding off for that illusive 10.
And this, my friends, is why dating in 2018 is a jungle.
So, now what?
So now that the evidence is in, and it’s conclusive that daters in 2018 are spoilt by choice which has led them to be incredibly indecisive and insatiable, what the devil does that mean for the single woman?
Well. We’re fucked.
Jokinggggg – relax girls, we got this.
What we need to try to do is stand out from the crowd, be confident, indisputably authentic, and hope that we make a genuine connection with someone. Easier said than done, I know. But personally? I’ve decided to delete Bumble and Tinder off my phone. Yes, this may be temporary, but I’ve decided that it was getting to be a mindless toy for when I was feeling bored. If I (someone who is looking for her forever after) wasn’t putting in 100% effort with those I was chatting to, what makes me think that those I was talking to were putting in any effort either?
I’m focusing on being more present. Opening myself up to the universe when I’m out in real life – not just when sitting behind a screen. I want to choose fabulous first date spots and activities (yes, even if means breaking my 5km radius rule) and I want to engage in meaningful messages and phone calls to stand out from the dribble that consumes our phones. Have a look at your own chats – 100s of boys from Tinder and Bumble; what makes you think their phones are any different? We are overwhelmed by choice… we are just another option.
Set yourself apart, show some wit, some confidence, something other than a ‘wassup’, or a ‘heya’ and see if you can invest more time with a jam that seems delish, instead of going nuts and gorging on 15 various jam flavours you are only remotely interested in purchasing.
And if that doesn’t work, fuck the jam and buy yourself some ice-cream… ice cream is always good, regardless of the flavour.
You’re fabulous, girlfriend xx