How Modern Dating Is Robbing Us of Our Humanity
In today’s modern society, nothing seems to have been left untouched or unaffected by neoliberalist capitalism—including dating. Dating in the modern era has taken on a commercial quality that has made us perceive human beings as objects to acquire rather than real human beings to connect with. Instead of focusing on our shared humanity through community and connection, modern dating promotes competition, comparison, and consumption. We seek to fulfill ourselves through a significant other, emotionally consuming them in the same way we satiate our physical hunger with food.
We joke about online dating being like “shopping,” but have we ever stopped to consider the harmful ramifications this kind of attitude toward one another will have on the way we see the people around us? We want our fancy car, our nice house, food delivered to our door, and ah yes, a significant other! And so we take our selfies, write our manifestos, and put ourselves up for sale. We’re so busy swiping and searching, interviewing and testing, we’ve lost the notion that romance is about a deep connection with someone, whether instant or slowly developed over time, that makes us want to walk beside that person every day of our life.
Modern dating puts us in a mindset to find the perfect someone who will fulfill our dreams and desires, keep us from feeling alone, and stand as a testament to the fact that we’re worthy of love. And yet that perfect someone is determined by superficial criteria such as how good they look in photographs and how well they can represent themselves in a paragraph. Perhaps this is why so many people end up feeling disappointed or disillusioned in relationships. We forget to see our partners as just as deep and complex as us with their own desires, feelings, and wounds. Because at an unconscious level, perhaps we see their purpose as fulfilling our own ends instead of being a full, autonomous human being, just like us.
In this day and age when there is so much pressure to meet as many people as quickly as we can so we can weed out “the one” and put a nail in the coffin of our loneliness, perhaps we need to step back, slow down, and take the time to remember what relationships are all about in the first place. Let us take the time to truly connect and get to know one another deeply, not so we can figure out if a person will fulfill our unmet needs, but simply for the sake of appreciating another human being for who they truly are. In this, perhaps you will find the true love you have been searching for.