The 21st Century is a century of technological progress when our lives become dependent more on computers rather than human resources. Nowadays we communicate through digital devices daily. They became the extension of our reality where we are creating our digital selves to exist in the digital dimension of the Internet. This dynamic of people transforming into lines of numbers and combinations of numbers was very well captured by brothers Wachowski in their movie “Matrix” produced in 1999!
The Internet takes over the world with all its endless possibilities of connecting users to pretty much anything and anyone without moving from the couch. Of course, this amazing addition to our lives is used predominantly to our advantage but there are downsides as well. The fact that people from different corners of the world could easily instantaneously connect to each other is definitely impressive. It helps to expand the horizons of our social circle, encounter new opportunities, create a new business or romantic connections. That is where the dating apps step in….
The initial purpose of inventing the dating apps was to make our dating life easier and more versatile. There is no doubt that when the apps like Tinder were just launched (2012) users were extremely happy to find out that now they can look for a romantic partner in a much larger social pool than they did before the apps. It indeed simplified the process. But maybe it simplified it too much? All over sudden within few years, the initially “dating” apps turned into a “hook up” apps. But who should we blame for this?
As a curious woman, I got to speak to many of my friends (both male and female) to get the inside picture of their personal experiences on dating apps. To summarize the collected data, I can only say that majority women are still hoping to find a romantic relationship while using the app and they are not “ok” with hookups. My male friends in their majority told me that whenever they are bored and look for novelty, they go on an app. In most cases, they can “get laid” with a girl on a first date or even without a date (classic scenario “Netflix and chill”). Sometimes, the sexual initiative comes directly from the girls… So here is the question: Why do we blame dating apps for becoming a “free sex” apps if this is technically what we use it for? And why do we even blame them?!
It’s all numbers game. You go on dates a few times every week as you would go to the gym or take piano lessons. Dating is kind of hobby nowadays.
The variety of options should be used to our advantage but unfortunately, lately, it was considered more as a disadvantage because it simply doesn’t inspire to commit to one person. The idea of "what if the better person is still out there" is pretty strong among many people when it comes to considering settling down. Apps constantly keep sending the updates that someone just liked us or that the best match is waiting for us. Just open the app and find the love of your life. Or someone to play with for a few times and then “ghost” them… It is not a secret that most of the dating apps tend to have a very simple interface with a few personal information. The main focus is on the looks that many could find as quite superficial. But does the superficial app cause superficial behavior?
One friend of mine said something shocking: “For me, - he says. - A girl is just a number till I actually meet her in person a few times.” Right after this conversation, my other friend dumped on me even more curious conclusion. “It’s all numbers game. You go on dates a few times every week as you would go to the gym or take piano lessons. Dating is kind of hobby nowadays”. It’s scary for me to think that humanity has been taken out of the romantic scene making it very consumptive and commercialized. Social media with all its hashtags such as #couplesgoals enforces the commercializing of the romance as well. Twenty years ago the monogamy wasn’t as widely argued as it is now. In the world of the Internet, it seems like there are no rules outlining how many people we can date at the same time or after how many dates we should have sex. It’s easier nowadays to find a “fuck buddy” than a boyfriend... The question here is if everyone does it and everyone acts like it’s totally normal, why our feelings still get hurt???
Despite the common “normalization” of “one night stand” and “ghosting”, I still read and hear complaints from women how this guy or that guy badly treated her. “He had sex with me and never texted me ever again. What a jerk!” - something that I hear a lot; or “He asked me to come over and of course, we ended up having sex. He didn’t even ask me out”. Actually, he did… Furthermore, he asked implicitly if she is “ok” to have sex at the very first encounter and she implicitly said “yes” by accepting his offer. We are all adults and are able to foresee the stereotypically inevitable future unless if we are coming from some ancient African tribe. Women nowadays feel sexually liberated because there is no more pressure to wait until the marriage or even till the third date to have sex. Women want no-strings-attached sex. Women have no-strings-attached sex. Women cry because of no-strings-attached sex… But why is that?
It seems to me that what used to be psychologically “abnormal” behavior causing depression, stress, anxiety, and other psychological disorders, is now becoming “normal”.
There are few explanations to this phenomenon. One of them is the hormones that are released during sexual intercourse. It’s happening naturally and the chemical reactions inside the body that trigger the formation of emotions also happen naturally. In women, the hormone Oxytocin is being released during sex. This hormone is mainly creating the feelings of the bonding and the attachment. What naturally happens after sex in women is that they feel closer to their sexual partner meanwhile men are feeling rather distant (because the opposite to Oxytocin hormone Vasopressin is being released). But regardless of nature, women try to "act cool." It’s totally normal that we just had sex and the girl is leaving right away or leaving the next morning without any further activity together. Maybe another hook up in a week or so and then never speak again. But what if they went out for a few dates and it seems that things between them might get serious but then she finds out on his social media that last night he was with another girl. Is it still fine to hook up with him because we live in a commitment-free world and it doesn’t matter who he is sleeping with or should she dump him and move on? To my surprise, I do see women continuing seeing men like these thinking that something will change… That he will change and finally will commit. There are also women who see multiple men at the same time and not willing to commit to any of them because she is just “having fun”. But is it normal?
It seems to me that what used to be psychologically “abnormal” behavior causing depression, stress, anxiety, and other psychological disorders, is now becoming “normal”. It somehow enforced upon us by society via social media, dating apps, and pornography. In most scenarios when women are not accepting the promiscuity of modern love, they get hurt easily. They called “drama queens”, “psychopaths”, “needy”. But this is exactly what the irresponsible behavior does to our psychics - it emotionally imbalances us causing psychological trauma. I think, that very often we just don’t realize the consequences of our actions towards other people. We just “have fun” and then euphoria turns into dysphoria. We try to pretend that all is fine but is it really that way? Why each year a greater number of young women are getting on antidepressants? Is this happening because we just can’t handle the “fun” reality that we created with our own hands?
I’d like to see how many women are out there who honestly think that it’s totally normal to date a man who sleeps with multiple partners at the same time and knowing it doesn’t mess up with their emotions. Some women try to adapt to the changing reality by changing their mentality and starting thinking like a man - it’s absolutely fine to sleep with many different people without any commitment. Sure, it might be fun while we are in our early twenties, but what is then? When committed relationship somehow become the thing of the past, will be there any value left for Love? Or it will be just sex, alcohol and “whatever” attitude?!?
by Natalie Poette