It's no secret that relationships are hard work, and that trying to find someone to spend the rest of your life with can be a roller-coaster of bad dates, cheesy lines and heartache. But why has dating become so difficult? Without getting too 'Dr Phil' on you, here are some ideas that might help shed some light.
Privacy is a thing of the past
Gone are the days when we went on a date not knowing a thing about our candidate. Nowadays, all we have to do is punch their name into Google. Thanks to social media, you can view their whole life story, complete with a history of their exes, details of their favourite toast, the country they visited in 2004 and how many dogs they own.
We have lost the element of surprise, and in its place we have a long list of assumptions which help us make up our mind about someone's personality, worth and place in our lives before we even have a chance to get to know them.
Easy access to more options makes us fussier
Now that we have access to all the fish in the sea, why is it we still can't find the one we are looking for? Internet dating sites and apps have given us instant contact to thousands of choices -- not only locally but globally. We now have the mindset that we can afford to be picky about who we choose because we are clearly not the only single person looking for love.
We have chosen careers over romance
More people, and women in particular, are becoming CEOs, world changers, business entrepreneurs and leaders of countries... so who has time for a relationship? In one way, our career has become our first love, so we tend to find it hard to find someone that can fit around, or into, our schedule. A successful career demands a lot of time and attention, but so does a relationship, so, in most cases, one gets sacrificed for the other.
Courtship is a rarity
The word 'courting' seems like something of olden-day times, yet perhaps if we added a # in front of it we could once again make it a trend. We live in a society that is fast-paced and impatient, where people expect results without putting in the hard work.
Taking the time to court one another goes beyond just a few dates, yet many people have lost sight of what the foundations and first stages of a successful relationship should look like. People are intimate, both physically and emotionally, before they have even had a chance to get to know each other's character or intentions.
We expect more and give less
Because we have access to more, we expect more and aren't necessarily open to giving extra in return. I dare say we live in a selfish society which has been made and influenced by social media (#selfie). People are constantly justifying their behaviour without wanting to deal with the consequences. Giving more doesn't make you weak (especially if you know your self-worth and have boundaries). If anything, it makes you the bigger person. Give to give, not to get.
We have lost our values
How many dating shows are currently on TV where the concept is so far-fetched that we have no choice but to watch? Love has become a joke instead of a commitment of the heart and mind and we have lost touch with the real meaning of what it is. It's hard to find real love when we have no idea what it actually looks like, or how to give it.