Why It's Hard To Find Love in 2021
If you are reading this blog, chances are you are single and are looking for any sliver of hope when it comes to love (or you're just curious about dating during a pandemic). These days, it feels like every app created to help us find our soulmates or even just a wedding date has become a hookup app filled with creepy or underage people pretending to be older than they really are. Throw a pandemic on top of that and it feels like we are meant to spend the last of our waking days alone.
So why exactly is it so hard to find love? Well, pour yourself a glass because this is about to get juicy.
First and foremost we can thank Miss Rona for destroying our dating lives. We spent weeks not able to leave our homes and even after that, most places were at minimal occupancy and had mask restrictions. Even dating apps had altered to add a section to reflect your preferred method of “Covid Dating”. All that being said, some people just aren’t comfortable going out or meeting with a complete stranger in the middle of a global pandemic.
After all, you don’t know where they have been or who they have been in contact with and the last thing anyone wants is to spread the virus more or put their loved ones at risk. It got us thinking that when this is all over, we will all appreciate dates a little more, maybe even the bad ones.
I personally don't feel comfortable trying to go on a date in a pandemic without knowing more about a person, who they are around, if they've been exposed, etc. At the beginning of the pandemic, articles about the end of dating as we know it, and how we are doomed if we are looking for love caused a lot of anxiety for me. I had to resort to online dating in hopes that I could find a partner in my life.
Technology + Dating Apps
Many people believe technology is one of the greatest things to happen to dating, but in reality, it can have some largely negative effects. For starters, people are now available at the tip of our fingers. You no longer have to go meet someone or be introduced to them. Feeling like going on a date? Simply swipe until you find someone down for a hangout. Looking for a hookup? That's sometimes even easier.
At the same time, most people are attached to their phones now and always have technology with them in one way or another. So instead of making connections in person, we are relying on our technology to make or carry our relationships for us.
I hate dating apps. They feel so impersonal and cold. Most of the time the conversations or men I match with become quite predictable. My favorite part about dating is the excitement that comes with getting to know someone or getting excited to see them. Unfortunately, that excitement is rare because of technology. Sometimes you can go weeks talking to someone on an app, never go on a date, and unmatch or move on, which leads to feeling like you've just wasted your time.
Finding Love Outside of Your Hometown
There are over 7 billion people in the world and our soulmates are supposed to be in our hometown? Well maybe. People get so caught up with the "there's no one for me in my hometown" or "my soulmate is in another country" that at times they dismiss something great that could be in front of them out of pure stubbornness. Never settle when it comes to your love life. But also don't box yourself in or confine yourself to a certain location. After all, they say you usually find love when you aren't looking for it.
I have always felt the man I am meant to be with is not from Texas. But the older I get and as I have watched my friends fall in love and get married to local men, I have opened my eyes to realize telling myself that my soulmate has to be outside of my hometown is blocking out a handful of single young men who just might be perfect for me just miles away.
Ghosting + Priorities
We've all done it or been a victim to it. It's so easy to just peace out of a relationship these days. Instead of communicating effectively, people just move on with no word at all to the other person involved. This leaves one person wondering if something is wrong with them or if they did something wrong. Having a conversation about why you want to end things can be hard or uncomfortable, but it is the decent thing to do and is a lot less hurtful than never talking to them again.
When it comes to priorities, relationships are an afterthought. Everyone wants to put their career or other things first. Love is actually really important to our well-being. According to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, relationships are third on the list because everyone needs a sense of belonging. At the same time, sex falls under physiological needs placing it as one of the most important needs we have as humans. It's okay to have your normal priorities but remember love and intimacy need to be on there too.
I've been guilty of ghosting someone if I don't want to hurt their feelings, but I have also been in a situation where the dude wouldn't take the hint and kept trying. Ghosting was my only option at that point. My priorities are always my family, friends, and my work. Those, at this current time, come before a relationship, which probably makes me part of the problem.
Independence + Expectations
"I don't need a man" - most females in their 20's. And to an extent, they're right they don't. But being in a relationship doesn't equate to losing your independence. A good relationship allows you to be your true self and in fact, helps you grow and become an even better person. It should never hinder your growth. A partner is someone who is by your side through the good times and bad but also gives you space to be you.
Speaking of being you, we all have that "list". You know the one with everything you expect or desire in your partner. But oftentimes these lists have become unrealistic, skewed by the celebrities we see online or relationships we see in films. Comparison is the thief of joy or in this case, love. It's fine to have expectations, but it's imperative to make them realistic.
I have been independent most of my life. I never have relied on a man to help me with anything. I often fear I won't even know what to do in a long committed relationship because I am so used to doing things for myself. At the same time, I have (high) expectations. And although I will budge on some, I won't on most. I know what I want and what I deserve, and I shouldn't have to change that.
Fear + The Generation of Anxiety
These days it seems everyone suffers from anxiety which makes it even harder to let go and establish a true connection. At the same time, this generation has a great fear of commitment or failure. Maybe it's from failed relationships we have witnessed or maybe it's the pressures of the world forcing us to expect perfection in everything we do and pursue. A big source is social media because the 'couple goals' only show what they want others to see and 9 times out of 10 it isn't the fairytale we perceive it to be.
Regardless - it has made being in a committed relationship harder than ever before. Humans are not perfect, nor will they ever be. Therefore to an extent, unless we can let go of this fear of commitment or failure, we might not ever find true love.
Dating is scary and out of my comfort zone. The thought of going on a date gives me anxiety. What if they are a serial killer? What if they feel I catfished them? What if we sit there in silence and it's awkward? All these thoughts always go through my head but I still put myself out there, and you should too! You aren't alone in your thoughts and honestly, they're completely normal. Keep in mind, if you have to force it, it isn't right.
I once had a date who kept pushing back the time because of his anxiety and I tried to be understanding, because I've been there, but at one point he asked me to nix our very public date spot and meet him in the back of a parking lot instead. That's when my anxiety kicked in and I just canceled the date altogether. There's a difference between trusting our gut and letting our anxiety consume us. Always trust your gut.
Although dating in 2021 is hard, it isn't impossible. People still fall in love every single day! As the saying goes, good things take time and nothing worth having ever comes easy.
Which of these points do you relate to most? Let us know in the comments below!