Are you listening?
Sigh! The world of relationships has changed dramatically since the invent of the Internet and I would argue it’s not in a good way.
The dating industry is booming! Did you know the average annual revenue for the dating industry is more than 1 billion dollars? I know, crazy right?
Of the 54 million singles, 40 million have tried online dating. From pay-sites like E-Harmony and Match.com to freebie local off-shoots like Date Hook-Up, Plenty O’ Fish, and Mingle – there’s even a “Christian” Mingle.
First Off, There’s A Lot Of Single People
There are 88 single men for every 100 single women in America and more than 54 million of us are single. This figure does not account for individuals who are separated or going through a divorce, and with the sky rocketing rate of divorces and the dwindling rate of new marriages, you can see how these figures will continue to grow.
The old saying, “There are plenty of fish in the sea” may no longer be entirely accurate and when we say we are, “looking for the one” we could very well mean that literally. If you look at the numbers and connected all the single men with all of the single women there would still be single women left over.
There literally is not “someone for everyone” in the single hetero dating world. Is this why 53% of all single people are dating more than one person at a time?
The Great Disconnect Of Connectivity
The Internet has been both an amazing tool and a devastating weapon for humanity; the most positive impact is the access to anyone and everyone it has given us; the most negative is how we’ve evolved in communicating with one another. Both of these things have a direct impact on our interpersonal relationships and for single people, how we interact is the driving force of where we go.
Just because we are so “connected” doesn’t mean we actually communicate, and we often don’t.
Yes, we make “status” updates, we “Tweet” and “re-Tweet”, “share”, “like”, and even “LOL” things our family and “friends” post online. We even text one another frequently, but we don’t talk.
How can we? Nearly all of our communications are clipped to 140 characters or less while we are juggling other things that are vying for our attention simultaneously?
It’s like verbal intercourse is having bouts of impotence and no one can keep it up.
When it comes to dating and being single this element of the dynamic sucks and you really need to make a good impression the first time, and every time you meet someone.
Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock, Tick, Talk About Pressure!
Hurry, your first impression is almost up, especially if you are a woman. Statistics show a man only takes 15 minutes on average to make up his mind about a woman he meets whereas it takes a woman about an hour before she knows whether or not she wants to pursue anything further with a man.
Are you kidding me? Fifteen minutes? It takes that long to say hello, nice to meet you and would you care for a drink!
Zero To Sixty In Ten Texts Or Less
On the flip side of time, most singles meet other singles online and things can go from zero to sixty mighty quick. As impersonal as texting is, it can also be extremely intimate and I’m not just talking sexually.
Some people initially connect in text on such an intense level that it can be difficult imagining not liking them face to face. Within a handful of texts in the course of a day or just a few hours, two people can actually feel heart poundingly on the verge of the greatest love of their lives.
It’s called the “Hypersonal Effect” and it’s real. If you know someone who seems like they are racing at the speed of light into a relationship with someone they have met online and not yet face to face, chances are they are experiencing the Hypersonal Effect. Don’t poke fun, their feelings are real, they are just not based on anything tangible. If (or when) it happens to you, don’t be too hard on yourself if it doesn’t work out.
The Hypersonal Phenomena
When we text or email exchange with someone frequently before meeting we tend to talk about things we would rarely ever talk about face to face on a first (or even a second) date. We are much more open and affable when we are plugged in so by time we really do have that first date (if you ever get that far) chances are you have built the other person up into someone they are not and vice versa.
Unfortunately many singles meet online, connect in a big way and then meet face to face not only to be disappointed, but often times someone’s feelings are inevitably hurt (usually mine).
Guess What? Looks DO Matter
Nearly half (49%) of all singles say “physical characteristics” are the most important factor when seeking a date; everyone else’s top factor was “common interests”.
Men’s obsession with physical appeal might also be why 80% of America’s single guys are looking for someone who is at least five years younger than they are.
The truth is sex is a powerful motivator. Kingdoms and countries have been won and lost over sex. In a Rutger’s University study on orgasms effect on the brain, researcher Barry Komisaruk says,
“Orgasm is one of the most all-encompassing phenomena in the brain. The only other thing that is known to produce such widespread [brain] activity is epilepsy.”
A Crazy Little Thing Called Chemistry
A common physical interest in each other is important there is no question there! But, I would also say that if one took the time to get to know someone, they might actually find them more physically attractive than they did initially.
The brain is the biggest sex organ, unfortunately the appendages between our legs are often more vocal and can get pushy when it comes to the choices we make (or don’t make). When we will stop listening to our genitals and start thinking for ourselves?
Our Connected Disconnect
If more than half of all singles are dating multiple prospective partners could that have something to do with our inability to connect with one person on a deeper level for more than a few minutes at a time? Does this set us up to always live life looking for the greener grass?
If we are only giving someone we deem “attractive” – even if only from an outdated photograph, 15-60 minutes of our face time before making a decision of their worthiness I think we have a huge problem. Speed dating was supposed to be a ways to a means, not the other way around yet these days relationships can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 days because we are so disconnected – with dare I say, reality?
So, while most ask whether the “glass is half empty or whether it’s half full“, when it comes to dating I ask, is the glass half broken or half fixed? It’s hard to tell. What do you think?
*This whole article started with a Daily Prompt yesterday. I didn’t know it was going to turn into a two-day epic rant so not only is my glass half empty, but I’m a day late and a damn dollar short!
**Reposted from my original post at The Sexy Cynic