The Paralyzing Effects of Endless Dating Possibilities

January 15, 2017 • Melissa

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My dear Millennials, my generation…We have come to the height of what can be known as the era of possibilities, options, and even more options…

We have more dating apps, social networks, and forms of communication than ever before. I’ll admit, at first it had me feeling like, oh shit, this is fucking amazing, my dating pool just went from the size of my middle school to a sold out Beyoncé concert. Check that out.

But, alas, blessings sometimes are followed with a set of curses and in my years of dating in this realm of never ending possibilities, I’ve come to recognize some of its potentially paralyzing effects…

There is such a thing as too many choices

Here’s the thing, a larger dating pool also means juggling more people, more personalities, and more emotions. I admittedly get overwhelmed, and while I don’t mind multitasking, I’m not the best at multi-starting or continuing brand spanking new conversations with people I’m not really quite invested in.

These dating apps turn into mindless hours swiping through hundreds of pictures just to find that kernel worth seeing! Not to mention, the time invested doesn’t guarantee chemistry.  It’s bad enough I get overwhelmed with group chats, with dating apps like Tinder & Bumble in the mix and we’ve got a whole day’s worth of work just to keep up with our social game.

Say what you will but when your time is limited with a job, a blog, and a side hustle you really don’t have time to waste going out on a different date every night.

Side note: I’ve since turned off all social media notifications and “do not disturb” mode is my best friend for when I’m really trying to get into my flow.

Sorry I have to reschedule our date I’m having a serious case of FOBO

There is this thing we now call FOBO (Fear of Better Options) that inhibits many of us from forming any real, deep, meaningful connections.

This is the FOBO dating cycle as interpreted by me:

  1. Meet a great guy or girl whom we have this awesome connection with
  2. Meet another one, and again sparks fly
  3. Ride out these connections as far as lust can take us
  4. Lust wears out
  5. Shit hits the fan or starts to fade
  6. Rinse & Repeat

We let ourselves get swept away with the exciting but temporary allure of lust when meeting someone new but disengage before the real interest creeps in, thus failing to really get to know anyone past their first few layers, just when we’re about to get to the good stuff. Almost sounds like a modern tragedy, doesn’t it?

When things get hard and by hard I mean, when they don’t text or call you back, we fall back into the safety net of our options. Out comes the phone and we instantly start the swiping or direct messaging, and there we are again looking for something new and shiny before we ever let ourselves dive deeper in our last connection. And so begins the black hole of serial dating or what many call the millennial “commitment phobia”.

That’s a lot of effort for so many people

There’s something nostalgic and beautiful when I think of how my parents first met. My father had to memorize my mother’s phone number if he wanted to call her. He’d walk to her place just to see if she’d go on a date with him. If I told my father that Snapchat messages are a form of communication and virtual hugs and kisses forms of admiration, he would cringe!

With easier forms of contact and the number of people we talk to higher, less and less effort is required to woo. Now I’m not saying social media is our problem, on the contrary- it’s a fantastic tool for many things. For example, it’s a great way to track someone and break the ice or initiate a conversation. It’s also, a very low maintenance way of engaging in see-saw relationships with more than one person.

Ladies, while some guys may be comfortable playing all their cards as it comes easiest to them (there is a limited time of investment with so many balls in the air after all) it is your responsibility to hold true to your own standards. Their lower standard doesn’t mean you have to compromise yours. With that said, there are some pretty great advancements to technology I will say have made life easier, Face Time and video chat is a huge life saver when it comes to seeing people that you may not see as often otherwise.

While there are obstacles in today’s dating world that didn’t exist years ago, at the end of the day, YOU have the power to find and communicate what works and doesn’t work for you- at all times. Once you do that, your chances of avoiding these potentially paralyzing effects increases exponentially.


Melissa Rodriguez

Hi everyone! I’m Melissa. When I’m not lost in thought about what to create, where to adventure out to, or...
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  • Hemi

    Good stuff…..well said. As always

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