They say that love happens when you least expect it. The element of fate and chance have embodied fairytales for years, bur ever since the explosion of online dating the art of seeking love rather than it finding you has become widespread. Whilst many hold differing opinions on the subject, one can’t deny there is one element holding all these pieces of the puzzle together; love.
As I said in my first blog post, online dating has quite arguably changed dating for the better. It’s convenient for those with busy working lives and schedules, those who are perhaps too shy to approach people in public or those who just haven’t quite found what they’re looking for in the ‘live’ dating scene.
However, there are certain views and traditionalists (like myself although I’m fairly liberal with this term) that feel online dating is almost ‘unnatural’ and diminishing the sentiment of ‘chance’ where love supposedly happens.
Throughout the course of researching and writing these blogs posts and looking at everything I’ve learnt, I finally feel able to challenge this and with integrity too. Whilst I can see the arguments for depreciating the sentiment of fate, destiny, chance etc. I feel that in this modern world, sometimes this simply isn’t possible or rather, the universe just isn’t that kind to every one of us. So instead, I pose to you; is online dating devaluing the sentiment of love or is it simply redefining it?
An article from The Guardian broached this very subject (I’ll link it down below for you to have your own read) and I found some pretty interesting arguments. “Is online dating destroying love?” now, whilst destroying is rather a strong term and I prefer depreciating, the question still remains.
Behavioural economist Dan Ariely argues that online dating is ‘unremittingly miserable’. The main problem, he suggests, “They think that we’re like digital cameras, that you can describe somebody by their height and weight and political affiliation and so on. But it turns out people are much more like wine. When you taste the wine, you could describe it, but it’s not a very useful description. But you know if you like it or don’t. And it’s the complexity and the completeness of the experience that tells you if you like a person or not. And this breaking into attributes turns out not to be very informative.”
Whilst a large part of me is inclined to agree with this, I can’t help but think need’s must. Yes, in an ideal world you’d be able to meet all kinds of people in just a few outings with friends, and by chance bump into the love of your life who couldn’t possibly be described by any number of attributes or qualities. However, the sad truth is that this isn’t always possible or realistic. Life today is so much fuller than years ago and whilst this is a positive thing, it can unfortunately make it very difficult to find something sustainable and right.
The article continues, ‘We have more freedom and autonomy in our romantic lives than ever and some of us have used that liberty to change the goals: monogamy and marriage are no longer the aims for many of us; sex, (reconfigured as a harmless leisure activity) and minimising the hassle of commitment, often are. Online dating sites have accelerated these changes, heightening the hopes for and deepening the pitfalls of sex and love.
From what I can gather this is the article’s main issue with online dating, the promotion of casual sex, which granted, is much more obtainable thanks to online dating sites, and as forfeit, the devaluing of love. Not all people are necessarily on dating sites searching for ‘the one’ and I agree this is something to be aware of. However, the same can be said for meeting someone through friends, not everyone in the real world is looking for a serious relationship or their soulmate. By being honest and frank with someone it’s soon easy to find out. And as stated in the article, it is only ‘some’ who are on them for perhaps more illicit reasons.
A final word
Whilst I do believe love happens when you least expect it, it doesn’t mean that it has to and, in a way, doesn’t online dating give new meaning to this? Ok so you’re on an online dating site in the hopes of finding love or a relationship of some kind, but you can’t predict with certainty that A) you’re going to find it and B) when you’re going to find it. So I would argue that this still equates for the unexpected to happen. Ok so perhaps not as traditional as 40/50 years ago but times are changing, and love is too, or rather our ways of discovering it are.
So, I say bring on the future, to continuing changing times and above all, finding love and happiness however and wherever that may be.
Article mentioned: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/06/is-online-dating-destroying-love