I was chatting with someone I met online recently, and I asked her why no one ever puts that they are looking for a loving and caring relationship in their profile. In fact, the word “love” never shows up among the constant quest for queso, partners in crime, or group pictures where you aren’t quite sure who you are actually swiping on.
She suggested that it’s something everyone takes for granted, and is the baseline, and I think for her it is certainly true.
However, I think it is more indicative of the sad state of online dating in modern times; which isn’t based on kindness and love, rather on social positioning and inauthenticity.
Love comes from a place of giving, a place of tenderness, and a place of vulnerability. The issue is that, the cycle of bad behavior of others online, pushes love to the background. It is divisive. How many times can we keep showing up, just to have someone take advantage of our openness. And in turn, we might do the same to others, who do the same to others. Eventually, we have the messy situation that we call online dating.
Frankly, these are things modern dating apps could change. They could reward users who don’t leave conversations hanging, with no plans on responding. Or reward users who connect with others via video dates or in person. The technology is there, but the incentives to the apps to implement them are not aligned, since their goal is to keep users coming back to their platform as much and for as long as possible.
I think that heart forward people should reclaim dating apps, by communicating that they are looking for love explicitly in their profiles. Perhaps, this in turn would impact others who see these messages; breaking the negative cycle and better focusing each of us instead on one of love and connection.