A couple of weeks ago, I met a girl named Catalina, the cousin of one of my best friends from Colombia; she was visiting the U.S. to attend a conference in Orlando. She is beautiful, successful, and studied to receive her masters from a German university. She is somebody my Granny would call “a good catch.”
When the small talk ended, I asked her if she was dating. Immediately, she burst out laughing. I guess my puzzled look told her I needed some insight, so she took the time to explain what’s going on with the love-lives of single women between 28 and 40 around the world.
The first thing she clarified was that, for the past two years, seldom has she gone out with a man she met by chance or through friends. Now, she looks for her soul-mate as she looks for an apartment, via smartphone apps. And she is not alone.
Tinder is one of the most popular dating apps worth 3 billion dollars. According to recent statistics, it has 50 million active users a month of which 79% are millennials–people born between 1981 and 2004.
Dating apps and social media changed the way couples meet, hence the way they communicate by minimizing the personal contact. Dinner dates, trips, the first “I love you,” and even breaking up, are now arranged via text message. Therefore, a simple call by any party in a relationship is considered a violation of one’s privacy.
According to Catalina–even though some women do it too–men have taken advantage of the dynamic online dating, perpetuating their lack of commitment while playing with the feelings of several women at the same time. “It really is like XBox gaming for them,” she said.
In almost every major city, “sisterhoods” or solidarity circles have been created within the dating sites’ communities to expose the pathological womanizers and cheaters to reduce the impact of their deceitfulness and warn the future victims.
Now, once courting ends and couples decide to move forward and become exclusive, they must endure each other’s social media life on Facebook and Instagram–to name just a few–and survive the additional drama these platforms bring into life.
If jealousy were provoked by a suggestive look in the past, today an emoticon or a “like” on a picture has the potential to cause earthquakes in relationships–so much that psychologists created a new infidelity category called “micro-cheating.”
In my humble opinion, relationships fail in this era not because of digital media, but due to the narcissism and superficiality of individuals. Men and women create their own clone who lives a “perfect life” and they post it every chance they get. In the end, they don’t allow anybody to know their true selves.
The most amazing love letters such as Beethoven’s immortalized words “Ever thine. Ever mine. Ever ours” prove that it doesn’t matter how couples communicate. They just have to be willing to fall in love. But most importantly, they have to accept that love is not a selfie that can be edited with a filter, because love is, and always will be, imperfect.
Thank you for reading and sharing.