Dating is very very hard.
After swiping left for a millionth time, you finally give up on the so-called love apps. A sigh escapes your mouth, and you declare quite frustratedly, ‘Modern dating sucks!’
- “Dating sucks! Complicated relationships suck!
- “Dating is impossible in today’s time! I would rather die than get back on these dating apps.”
- “I’m so done and frustrated with dating!”
Only to come back and swipe left again with a cry for help.
Perhaps, you now think, “Dating apps are the worst; I should find someone in real life.” However, the confidence to go and meet someone new in real life with the nagging fear of rejection and judgment doesn’t come easy either.
Why is dating so hard? I mean, we make friends quickly, right? So, why does it become absolutely terrifying to meet someone romantically? Initially, you just have to meet and talk to them, right? So, why does a simple task become super tricky when it’s related to romantic relationships?
For starters, you are not alone! Nobody is immune to the dating anxiety we have in this modern world. We all fear judgment, rejection, and the insecurities that knock on our doors daily.
First, we struggle to find ‘the one,’ then we struggle to keep the relationship going, and then we fear breakups. It’s an ominous cycle; it continues to wreck us up! Perhaps, that is the problem— the desire to find ‘the one,’ your perfect partner.
But that’s not the only problem!
10+ reasons why dating is so hard!
Why is it easier to somehow reach mars but still challenging to text your crush?
Why does our heart tremble with an unknown intensity, and our minds cease to articulate good sentences when in the presence of someone we find attractive?
Suddenly, a simple ‘Hi’ becomes the terrifying thing you have experienced in life. They say, ‘Hi’ is not a good conversation starter; imagine the anxiety we’d automatically feel when we have to articulate more than two words.
The intensity to come across as someone perfect is so high that we lose our senses and ridicule ourselves. It’s natural; it’s cute! However, wanting a perfect partner and wanting to be perfect are two more scary reasons why dating has become exceptionally hard.
In this article, we’ll discuss 10 reasons why dating is so hard for guys/girls/people in general and how to overcome this complex dating in this generation.
It roots back to the kind of love you received as a child.
Sounds ridiculous, right? Subconsciously, our mind roots back to its childhood and the emotional map we formed with our parents as a child.
What is your brain’s emotional map?
Since childhood, our brain starts to map out the relationship we share with our parents because they are the closest people to us. We rely on them for protection, love, care, understanding, food, shelter, and happiness.
As adults, we seek the love we desired as a child. We seek someone similar to our parents and yet ready to love us unconditionally.
Our minds unconsciously gravitate towards someone who mirrors our parents, even with the most toxic traits. We then expect them to love us, nurture us, tend to us, heal us, and undo the years of traumas we received as a child.
When our partner doesn’t meet our ungodly expectations, we automatically think, “They are not the one!” Childhood trauma? While many kids go through some trauma throughout their age, it’s worse for kids born and brought up by toxic parents.
For kids with toxic parents, dating is especially difficult. Because they are not only fearing rejection from their partners but also reliving the rejection they felt as a child.
Some more instances:
- You don’t fear society’s judgment; you fear your parents’ judgment. You doubt your choices, and you judge yourself. You consider yourself never to be good enough. This fear of judgment stops you from approaching new people because your parents have made you believe you are unlovable.
- You fear sexual intimacy because you were told it’s taboo, uncultural, and unethical. So, it’s challenging to bare yourself in front of your partner. You automatically lack physical intimacy in your relationships, which may ruin a special bond. Some teenagers even get beaten up by their parents for masturbating. So, you can only imagine how our physical relationship roots back to childhood.
These toxic occurrences are imprinted in our brains and unconsciously lead all our decisions.
A secure childhood allows you to develop secure attachments. A secure attachment style is a pattern where an adult follows healthy relationships because they have grown up in a mentally healthy environment.
On the other hand, a child who was abandoned, ignored, or unloved would have an insecure attachment style. Dating is especially hard for individuals with an insecure attachment style; the fear of abandonment, rejection, or the feeling of being unlovable and unworthy runs deep within you.
It stops you from approaching new people. When you do get into a relationship, you constantly live in fear. This fear further burns and ignites your insecurities, jealousy, envy, and doubtfulness.
Some people would cling to their partner without allowing them in their personal space, or others would completely dissociate themselves with emotions ghosting. This continues to happen until and unless you decide to heal yourself.
We have broadly discussed “attachment style and how to heal into a more “secure being” here in this article.
“Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
This is accurate for us humans. No matter how hard we try to change ourselves, our actions are still influenced by the society we grow up in. We unconsciously follow what we see and are told by our parents and society, like an involuntary reflex. Of course, people are changing how society perceives everything.
However, this changed perception also causes fluctuation in our dating world.
If you notice the dating world around you, it usually goes along these lines:
Why are relationships so hard?
- The boy always approaches the girl. In our current heteronormative society, men are always supposed to take the first call. For the same reason, women never approach a man; they wait for the man to take action. This only creates confusion and misunderstanding about whether she wants you. So, women care more about being picked by the male audience than worrying about other things.
- Because women think they need to be picked, they may inherit the ‘pick me girl’ traits. A pick-me girl would altogether reject her original essence and continue to behave how boys want her to behave. At the same time, she will condescend to other women to lift herself in the hierarchy.
- Why is it so hard to get a gf? All those fairytales with women playing the ‘damsel in distress’ and men playing ‘the knight in shining armor’ have made us believe that women will somehow always need men in their life.
- Society believes men are the only ones who receive pleasure from sex. So, women should naturally be a giver, and men should naturally be a taker. This sounds primitive, but this mentality still prevails in many societies.
Women think sex isn’t a pleasurable tool for them; it’s just for the man. So, they never wholly enjoy sex without feeling disgusted, guilty, ugly, or like a tool/vessel. This lack of physical intimacy further makes dating and relationships very hard.
Of course, this mentality is changing. However, this changing mentality also creates indifference in society. Many would continue to go by the traditional norms set by society, while others would appreciate the new change. So, people who adapt to new changes may find it challenging to find an equally evolving man who isn’t driven by society and vice versa.
For instance, a traditional man would desire a traditional woman. A modern man would desire a modern woman. However, ‘finding your type’ in this ever-changing crowd is extremely difficult. So tricky that multiple traditional men would rant about ‘not finding their ideal woman and dissing modern women in totality like it’s their fault.’
Social media influence
Why is dating so hard in 2022-2023?
Dating has been hard for a long, long time! However, with today’s overpowering social media influence, modern life dating has become more difficult, competitive, fake, and unapologetic.
Welcome to the scary side of the internet. It’s scary because people have made social media a breathing reality. It’s a sweet mirage, a fake escape, and an artificial world. The more you watch people meeting their “couple goals,” the more miserable you feel about yourself and your love life.
The pile of these ‘couple goals’ on social media continues to grow, and you are left to wonder why your life is so unfortunate. So, we naturally believe that our relationship isn’t good— it’s mediocre, boring, lame, and unfruitful.
The truth is, not everything is always rainbows and unicorns; it’s also rain, thorns, storms, and lightning in all those ‘couple goals.’ They just simply remain hidden under the mirage that is social media.
So, don’t let social media create ungodly expectations for you, your partner, and your relationship.
Social media can be a very misleading place. It shows the world in the light of rainbows and unicorns while completely disregarding our reality.
There’s a famous case of an influencer who got famous for creating ‘couple videos’ with his girlfriend. On Tiktok, they appeared to be the most romantic, happiest, and cutest. Many adorned and praised their relationship. This was until the influencer’s wife was shot dead. The influencer agreed to kill his wife on a phone call but later rejected the allegations.
Famous victims of domestic abuse would instead take a beating than impose threats on their perfect image on social media. That’s how fake, overpowering, delusional, and scary social media can get!
Wanting to find ‘THE ONE.”
“Do guys get scared when they meet the one?”
Your ungodly expectations can literally leave you single for the rest of your life. The search for ‘THE ONE’ is probably one of the significant reasons you have made dating hard for yourself. We look for perfection, the physical embodiment of our ideal type, and reject everyone that ranks below.
Furthermore, this ideal type again rejects every human flaw and creates an unreal, ungodly image for men and women alike. This, again, is influenced by what we see on social media. People believe this altered, photoshopped, and filtered beauty is real and expect something similar in their ideal match.
Humans are filled with flaws; flaws make us real and raw. So, please let go of these ungodly expectations. Instead, try to find someone who improves your life and helps you grow as a person and partner.
Why can’t I meet someone? Why can’t I get a date?
Don’t wait for ‘THE ONE’ to come. Instead, meet as many people as possible without evaluating them through your lens of perfection.
A pretty face can please the eyes for a couple of months. However, a pretty heart would heal you for the rest of your life.
The paradox of choice.
“Why is online dating so hard?
Imagine a restaurant menu so extensive it takes hours to read. Once you are thorough with the dishes, choosing what you want to eat becomes difficult— this precisely describes the paradox of choice.
In simpler words, more is not always merrier; it’s actually less. It confuses you so much that you choose neither of the given choices.
“The more is less, especially in the dating world.” With so many dating apps and social media platforms to connect, you have a swarm of options available.
- With so many choices on board, it gets complicated as to where to start.
- When you do start, the desire to know all your options never ceases to fail. You continue to swipe, swipe, and swipe.
- The desire to have the best for yourself is another scary game. One girl has a beautiful face; the other has a beautiful body. Guess what? You want both traits in one girl. So, the search continues.
- This happens until none of them seem appealing to you. The ones you do like might not swipe right for you. Here comes another demotivation.
Dating apps are as much of a blessing as it is a curse. It introduces you to many beautiful people. However, it also rejects you, confuses you, and misleads you.
The famous hookup culture— is dating dead?
“Am I too difficult to be in a relationship?”
“Why is it so hard to find love?”
So to speak, hookup culture isn’t bad when it’s mutual between partners. However, it becomes a problem when people look for hookups under the pretense of a relationship.
They lure people through dating apps and ghost them after hooking up with the other person. This inflicts fear in people who actually want to have genuine relationships.
Hookups that aren’t mutual often leave the other person feeling used and betrayed. Once they have been used and ghosted, the other person would likely become more doubtful and scared of such online dating scams.
For such people, trusting others becomes difficult, and they would often look at people with suspicion. ‘Being played’ makes people cautious, so they don’t make a move to avoid being hurt repeatedly.
Unfortunately, hooking up with someone without having their consent has become a cool thing in our current society.
Everyone wants to hook up in today’s generation. So, finding someone who wants old-school romance that blooms with time becomes nearly impossible. Please, don’t be scared! There are still people out there who want genuine relationships with real feelings and emotions involved. You might have to search hard, but don’t lose hope.
When meeting someone new, ensure you are not someone up for hookups if you are into them. Be clear and transparent about boundaries, and always remember nobody has the right to cross the boundaries you have created for your choices.
You are not uncool for not being a part of the hookup modern dating culture, don’t let others gaslight you into using you!
The fear of being Ghosted
“Dating makes me depressed!”
With non-consensual hookups, there also comes ghosting! These days, it’s easier to ghost than to break up like real adults. People find it easier to move away than to face their feelings and be honest with you.
Unfortunately, getting ghosted by someone can easily harm our mental health and self-esteem. When somebody leaves without an explanation or closure, we are left to wonder ‘what went wrong!
With no answers, it’s pretty standard for people to doubt and judge themselves for their partner’s actions.
- Did I do something wrong?
- Am I not good enough?
- Why am I so hard to love?
- Why do people leave me? There must be something wrong with me.
- I’m unlovable.
- I don’t believe in dating anymore.
And so on.
Please, their actions have nothing to do with you! It’s only to do with their own insecurities and cowardice. They are not adult enough to face the problems. So they find it easier to ghost.
Please note hookups aren’t the only reason people ghost.
- Some are scared of commitment.
- Some are scared of emotions.
- Some are unsure of their feelings, etc.
When people ghost, they scar your heart with self-doubt and confusion. You again find it difficult to trust others. This is worse because it makes you doubt even the most loyal relationships and partners.
Unfortunately, this lack of trust can easily ruin even the most beautiful relationships out there. It’s bound to yield misunderstanding, jealousy, doubt, arguments, and fights.
I understand it can be hard to trust again after being ghosted. However, don’t let it ruin all your relationships. Relationships are hard but they are worth trying with the right person!
The fear of judgment.
“Why is love so hard to find?” because we fail to love ourselves first!
Judging yourself for something natural is far worse than others judging you.
However, it’s very deep-rooted, especially if you have been born into a family that’s overly critical of you, your looks, and your accomplishments.
If your family, especially your parents, have judged you for how you look and carry yourself, you may have created a negative self-image.
This fear of judgment stops us from approaching new people because we automatically think they will judge us and not find us good enough.
They have made you believe you are not good enough, pretty enough, successful enough, or simply not enough in any field of life. Society, including your family, will always have something negative to say about you.
No matter how hard you try to improve, they will be ready to judge and push you down. They will always have negative criticism for you ready at the tip of their tongue.
“You are too fat, too thin, not curvy enough, not fit enough, too dark, too light, too daring, too conservative, too ugly, and so on. Nothing is ever good enough for a judgmental society/parents.
If you have been judged all your life, I understand having a positive outlook about yourself is hard. However, it’s essential to understand that their judgment comes from their own insecurities and has nothing to do with it. You are beautiful, and some people would love you just how you are!
Before you expect others not to judge you, stop judging yourself. Stop judging yourself for things that aren’t in your control, things that are expected, natural… human!
It’s a misconception that negative self-judgment will make you a better person. You are already a better person! Self-judgment only accelerates negativity, lower self-esteem, and low confidence in every aspect of your life. It reduces your efficiency, nothing else. When you stop judging yourself and accept yourself the way you are, you become more confident!
Now, confidence is what people find attractive! So, starting today, don’t judge yourself. The right person would love you for the way you are— beautiful and unique.
After judgment, the fear of rejection is another reason people think dating today is so hard! The fear of rejection demotivates you never to try. So, you reject yourself before others can do it!
Partially, this fear of rejection comes from self-judgment and lower self-esteem. Low self-esteem makes us believe that people would always choose others over us.
While it’s not entirely true, social media does play a negative role in accelerating self-doubt in the crowd. Constantly watching so many beauties and builders online, we are left to believe who would want to pick us over them. However, not everyone is a materialistic bit*ch; not everyone relies on pretty faces and bulky bodies in a relationship. For many people, personality, kindness, and humanity come first.
Also, don’t forget attractiveness and beauty measures are subjective. Everyone will have a different point of view. So, you might not consider yourself to be attractive. However, others may find you dreamy! So to start, stop demotivating and condescending to yourself.
In a recent Tiktok trend, a beautiful man posted a shirtless video depicting how women love ‘mushy, squishy tummies’ over ‘six-pack abs.’ In the comment section of that particular video, all men were angry, saying six-pack abs are necessary, dude! Go to the gym! You fatso! Blah blah!
However, on the other hand, all the women in the comment section were drooling over that man’s body and awwing at his cute tummy. So, you see, men have made this perception for themselves that they need six-pack abs to impress women. However, women have to say otherwise! So, attractiveness is subjective.
So, don’t fear rejection. Fear not trying your luck with your crush. For all we, they might be waiting for you to say it! Try your luck, and don’t stop if people reject you. Their rejection will automatically take you to someone who appreciates you and values you! Never stop trying!
With all that catfishing, hooting, catcalling, and unwanted dick pictures (avoid these guys online!), today’s dating world has definitely gone crazy. It’s highly unsafe, especially for women. Some men simply don’t understand the definition of consent, mutual sexting, and even the most straightforward words, such as NO.
So, it’s natural for women to play safely while dating because they never know who turns out to be the classic creep.
If you are a man reading this, try to make your woman/date feel safer.
Why is dating so hard for guys?
“Is dating harder for guys?”
While dating is hard for every person out there, it is definitely a struggle for men today. Whether it’s your inability to express yourself more openly or the pressure to carry the relationship on your shoulders alone, men in the dating world are somehow riding a broken boat; it’s deemed to sink soon.
The double standards for men and women in the dating world are definitely a concern. However, it’s not the end of the world. There’s still a possibility that you find a woman who doesn’t thrive on double standards, judgment, unrealistic beauty measures, etc. However, to have someone so open-minded in your life, you must be enlightened, too!
Here are the main reasons why men struggle in the dating world:
- The inability to express their emotions: Society has constantly made men believe that ‘stronger’ means ‘a man who doesn’t cry, laugh, smile, or express.’ They are expected to be stronger and have the support system of their family/wife/girlfriend, etc.
This mindset has made men numb to their own emotions. They feel everything just like any human out there. However, it’s too difficult for them to express and show their vulnerable side.
- Double standards: Men should be successful, independent, and respectful but not overly a momma’s boy. Men should be tall, ripped, and fit. Men should pay on the dates. Men should provide. Men should be traditional. Men should be the alpha male, etc., etc.
On the other hand, women don’t have to struggle with a career, building a home, education, etc., to date a guy. Of course, this isn’t the case everywhere, but it’s heavily present in our society.
- Women expect men to carry the relationship single-handedly: Men should ask you first. Men should ask you out on the second date. Men should plan every date in the relationship. Men should remember all the anniversary dates and surprise their women.
There’s a lot of pressure on men! So many expectations would scare anyone away. Of course, many women put effort into the relationship. Sadly, many also believe their existence in a man’s life is enough for the relationship to go on, which is wrong.
- Men fear judgment over their abilities as sexual partners: Men are often judged for their genital size and stamina in bed. Please, men and women, size doesn’t matter when it comes to sex; techniques do! Your techniques can easily improve with practice; there’s nothing to fear!
Is dating easier for women?
“Why are women so difficult to date?”
You must have thought, women are complicated! However, dating has never been easy for women, either. Both genders go through different sets of difficulties, which is probably why both genders think it’s easier for the other half of the population. Men think “why are girls so complicated?”. Women think “why are men so complicated?”
While women have the upper hand in attractiveness, men easily approach women for their looks and beauty. However, getting attention from someone is different than getting love from them.
That’s not the only problem women face while dating.
- They constantly rely on and struggle with the hopes of another date. Culturally, women don’t make the initial moves in the relationship.
- They also go through rejections, unconsented hookups, and ghosting.
- Finding quality men in the crowd.
The attention women receive isn’t a blessing either. It’s filled with creeps who catcall, grope, abuse, comment, and insult women.
How to have a better dating experience?
“Does everyone find love eventually?” Yes!
Expecting the world to change without bringing change in yourself wouldn’t allow you a better dating experience. You must bring changes from within to have better, more purposeful, and exciting relationships.
- Work on yourself, your goals, passion, self-care, and self-love. Invest in a life that you want to live; it will naturally attract people toward you.
- Meet as many people as you can! Don’t wait for them to appear in your life magically.
- Faking it isn’t helping your dating life either. Try to be yourselfno one an, for starters. People dig that thing, my homies.
- Don’t be judgmental towards others. Leave your ‘beauty standards’ at home! Instead, enjoy people for their personality, and appreciate them for their originality. You’d enjoy your dates better if you looked forward to knowing new people rather than scrutinizing them through a specific lens.
Are relationships hard? Yes, relationships can be hard, but they are also very rewarding if you find the right person!