By Charlotte Thun-Hohenstein
To those not already partial to the practice, speed dating might seem more Manhattan than LA. Yet it was invented in the latter city by a rabbi in the ‘90s. What a macher.
In any event, according to the Association for Psychological Science, the 21st century has given modern dating four distinguishing features: choice, speed, similarity, and exaggeration. This is apparent with speed dating, but the trends are much more explicit with online options. Digital catalogs of prospective love interests, via website or phone app, have given us greater diversity at a higher speed than ever before. In turn, we use this choice to reinforce our own characteristics, prioritizing ‘sameness’ in categories ranging from physical characteristics to political views. And apparently everyone is lying at least a little bit about their attributes (height for men, weight for women). The only thing missing is the romance.
Pessimists in modern dating might assert that success from these newfangled means is rare (23 percent of online daters find a spouse or long-term relationship), and that such dating habits encourage a more superficial approach to human interactions, attended by ever more unrealistic expectations of perfection from seemingly endless options. Defenders could respond that our time-deprived, career-oriented lives leave little space for any form of dating, let alone real-life romance—digital alternatives are a small form of adaptation. A good profile pic does seem to be essential to online success (according to OKCupid’s own research), and yet we might already be just that superficial in the real world: when 500 couples chosen from a pool of 3,000 individually assessed strangers were matched up based on psychological compatibility alone, 90 percent of them chose whether or not to go on a second date based on looks.
This week, BreakThru News chatted with Christopher Hudspeth, writer at Thought Catalog (and author of “7 Dating Trends That Should Stop Immediately“) about the modern world of dating online and off. A particular point of contention—when to act aloof?
Host, Writer – Charlotte Thun-Hohenstein
Video Editor – Andy Morell
Script Supervisor – Matthew DeMello
Research – Lisa Autz
with guest – Christopher Hudspeth