Tag Archives: relationships

Relationships in the Digital Age: Dating Ironies in Today’s World

The face of dating has changed dramatically over the last decade. There are quite a few reasons for this: from the rise of mobile interactive media such as Tinder and Badoo, to the fast pace of life and our inability to approach dating with patience.

The rise of the digital dating age seemed to be the next logical step for our technology-centric society. And sure, while this has given hermits and reclusive people a chance at reproduction, it has also transformed the dating terrain for large portions of the population that grew up learning to meet girls at clubs, work or any other example of real-life.

However, whether you like it or not, digital dating is here to stay and it is growing in popularity. So, to prepare yourself for engaging in the medium of romance with success and not awkward terror, here are some sheer ironies for you to watch out for when using online dating platforms.

Whatever happened to face value?

While good looks do help with getting a foot in the door when it comes to dating, they will only get you so far. We have been raised in a society that teaches us not to judge a book by its cover, a man by his hairline or a woman by her waist line; and while we all like to believe that we are a little less shallow than that, dating platforms have been set up, and are used in a way that is contrary to our positive self -image.

So why then, is a user’s image on a dating platform the most important piece of information you can get? Sure, you don’t want to be surprised by a hot date with a blonde donning a swastika tattoo on her forehead; but surely getting to know someone requires a little more than a few photos, a generic one-line description and a list of unimportant interests like ‘handbags’, ‘makeup’ and ‘sleeping’.

Now everyone is photoshopped

You would think that the shallow nature of online dating would give those who are aesthetically challenged quite the handicap in the dating world; though not necessarily.

If there is one thing that has always been true about digital dating, is that you rarely get what you see. But as photo-editing software and applications become more advanced and user-friendly, it’s getting harder and harder to tell who is who.

You can straighten your hair, lose a ton of weight or clear up your skin with a swipe of a finger on your phone; and everybody knows it. So why then, are images so important in the first place?

Though it’s not even the image manipulation that is the most misleading. On social media, you can be anyone you like. You can be a philanthropist, mountain climbing rock star with super-powers, a billion dollars and a doctorate. Okay, not quite, but you get the picture.

People don’t talk about who they are online, they talk about who they would like to be; or rather who they would like to be seen as. You do it, I do it, even your nan who just discovered Facebook does it. It’s human nature, but that doesn’t help when the super-model you’re supposed to be meeting up with for drinks turns out to be an oil-rig worker.

You think it may be separating us

Not all of the irony behind online dating is negative (although that might be a perspective thing). It is generally assumed that the use of digital media is separating us since it stops us from interacting in the real-world. This is a logical assumption, but oddly enough, in the land of online dating, it isn’t always true.

And what do we have to thank about that? Honestly, I think it might be ethics:

Designers of online dating platforms need to be careful not to encourage user behavior that is openly prejudice, for example. When filtering your searches on most dating platforms there are a number of options which are available, such as income and race.

In a world where we all struggle to build and navigate cross-cultural relations, dating apps put people in a position where they can meet people from different walks of life which traditional dating (being subject to social circles) would rarely allow.

So, who knows? Keep at it and you might actually shack up with a princess.

Not looking for hookups

Different users of online dating platforms have varying opinions on why they exist in the first place. They are widely believed by men to be a great place for one-night-stands and booty-calls, while more than a few of my female friends scour them for prospective long-term partners.

The varying opinions are easily settled though, by looking at how the majority of users interact with the medium; that is to say, it is mostly for flings, short term regrets and a shot at something which will likely fizzle if you’re lucky.

So why then, is everyone online so coy about it? Just about every profile on Tinder talks about anything but sex. If you want to get to know someone you need to actually meet them; so why scare prospective dates off by telling them they need to commit to you when all they have seen of you is a poorly photoshopped picture of you standing in front of someone else’s car?

Okay, fine, so it isn’t only for sex, and I’m sure that some lucky people have met their perfect matches by swiping right on their professionally edited face.

While reports on why people use apps like Tinder are varied, their CEO would like you to believe that 80% of their users are looking for long term relationships. I wonder how many of them actually find them.

What are some of your biggest challenges in dating online? Weigh in with your stories in the comment section below!

 

Guest contributor bio: Terrence Kennedy is the man’s man on a journey to self-discovery. A traveler, extreme sports aficionado, an observant wanderer, a DIY man, an ultimate outsider and documentarist of culture, sex, dating, relationship, fashion, style and gentleman’s etiquette. He has learned a lot through his escapades and continue to do so, and is happy to pass that knowledge to you.

 

6 Things Every Guy Needs To Create A Strong, Vibrant Relationship

Guest post by Tyler Williams

I thought I was good at relationships. I felt I was a good listener. I cared about people. I paid attention to the little details others often missed. Yet here I was sitting alone in my apartment after my second long-term relationship ended. Four and a half years. Gone. The aftermath was like the fog of war. Unsure of what just happened. Wanting answers immediately, yet knowing it would take days and months to fully understand how I got where I was.

Have you ever felt the same way? Think about the start of a new relationship. A blind date, the ferris wheel and of course the first kiss. Okay, maybe not that perfect of a night but you know what I mean. Even in the awkward moments you feel alive. So you go all in, believing and hoping for great things. And for a while life is good. But what happens when you wake up one day and things are different. What was easy is now a challenge. Conflict grows and little progress is made. What do you do?

Do you engage and go deeper or do you run, looking for a way out?

Me, I used to run.

Looking back I could see how I was good at relationships. Those things I thought, they were actually true. I was a good listener. I did pick up on the small details. But I also missed other cues, things I didn’t see or hear. Things I didn’t know.

Once the fog of the relationship was far removed I could finally see what caused me to run. If you’ve ever found yourself in love yet running from conflict here are 6 things you need to know to create a strong, vibrant relationship. The first three take a look inside at who you are. The last three are all about building connection and intimacy in your relationship.

1. Self-Awareness

The ability to understand yourself and how you react in any given situation. This allows you to process events with greater clarity and how they affect you. Get to know yourself and how you react to emotional triggers.

2. Identity 

Love yourself before you dive into a relationship. Don’t look to your girl to validate you as a man. That’s not her role to play. Know who you are and if you don’t know, start the journey now to find out. She’ll thank you later.

3. Significance 

Your personal value produces confidence and strength. When you work hard and contribute to the world it feels good. Find a mission in life to live. You become significant by helping others become significant. Your relationship will thrive when your world isn’t only about the two of you.

4. Listen Well 

Hear what your significant other is communicating. Give your undivided attention in the moment. Respect her with good eye contact and engaged body language.

5. Understand Fully 

What is your significant other communicating? Simply repeat back what you heard. Ask for clarification. “So I hear you saying __________________. Is that correct? And it makes you feel _________________?” This is a game changer. Practice makes permanent. Do it.

6. Validate Without Exception 

What you hear matters. You don’t have to agree to validate. But you must acknowledge the realness of the experience for your significant other. This creates an environment of trust and support that is essential for sustaining long-term intimacy.

Gentleman, let’s be honest. We want great relationships as much as women. We want trust and intimacy. Yet we don’t earn those without stepping out of our comfort zones and engaging in the unknown. I get it. It’s not easy. But what is true is that you and I, we only know what we know in any given moment. So I challenge you to go deeper, to ask the bigger questions and begin your journey to a more intimate and connected relationship. With these 6 things I found I don’t have to run anymore.

Tyler Williams is an author, motivational speaker, country music singer-songwriter, and former NASCAR All-American driver based in Atlanta, GA. Williams is a trained life and business coach, a Ziglar Legacy Certified speaker and trainer, and emotional intelligence trainer. In his spare time, Williams enjoys motorsports and living a life of exploration. He currently races a sprint car for Cory Kruseman in Southern California.