We’ve moved on from discomfort or embarrassment about using technology to connect with other people.There’s a whole generation of millennials who use dating apps as a matter of course, and it makes sense that we think a bigger pool increases the likelihood of finding someone we’re actually compatible with.However, it also makes it easier for us to close ourselves entirely to the potential of ‘non-ideal’ candidates, some of whom may like hats and smoked bacon but be great anyway.Depending on what you’re looking for online, this can be problematic because, interestingly, we are terrible at knowing what we actually want, and should really have a lot less faith in our criteria.They’ve taken our immediate social circle out of dating, so you can do what you want without ever having to deal with the judgement of a peer group.Women can enjoy casual sex if they want, without having to deal with the inane stigma of being labelled a slut.Undoubtedly, online dating can detach us from other people’s humanity, and foster the worst in some people.
Despite living in an age where your every dating preference can be catered to online, being face-to-face matters.
One in four relationships now start online, and that number will only increase.
However, research seems to suggest that vast choice – although alluring – actually works against us, and that online dating compounds our biases rather than challenging them.
About three years ago, I was sitting with a female friend in a bar on a frantic Saturday night in Dublin.
By the end of the night, several worse-for-wear men had wandered in our direction and attempted – some more ably than others – to strike up a conversation.