s Ashley Carman and I took the train up to Hunter College to watch a debate.
The contested proposition was whether “dating apps have killed romance,” and the host was an adult man who had never used a dating app.
Last month, I started making a Spotify playlist made up of boys’ choices for the “My Anthem” field on Tinder, and wondered if it would be immoral to show it to anyone — self-presentation stripped of its context, pushed back into being just art, but with a header that twisted it into a sick joke.
Then a friend of mine texted me on Valentine’s Day to say he’d deleted all his dating apps — he’d gotten tired of the notifications popping up in front of the person he’s been dating, and it seemed like the “healthy” option. Certainly I would not make the argument that dating apps are pleasant all the time, or that a dating app has helped find everlasting love for every person who has ever sought it, but it’s time to stop throwing anecdotal evidence at a debate that has already been ended with numbers.
Smoothing the static electricity out of my sweater and rubbing a chunk of dead skin off my lip, I settled into the ‘70s-upholstery auditorium chair in a 100 percent foul mood, with an attitude of “Why the co-author Eric Klinenberg — brought only anecdotal evidence about bad dates and mean boys (and their personal, happy, IRL-sourced marriages).
While the possibilities seem exciting at first, the effort, attention, patience, and resilience it requires can leave people frustrated and exhausted.” This experience, and the experience Johnston describes — the gargantuan effort of narrowing thousands of people down to a pool of eight maybes — are actually examples of what Helen Fisher acknowledged as the fundamental challenge of dating apps during that debate that Ashley and I so begrudgingly attended.
“The biggest problem is cognitive overload,” she said.
“The brain is not well built to choose between hundreds or thousands of alternatives.” The most we can handle is nine.
But sometimes, we end up in relationships that don’t reflect God’s love at all, or we put the walls up and don’t know even where to start in dating God’s way.
Blaine provides you with tools and strategies to overcome these challenges and find the person God wants you to be with.