The modern world of dating can be complicated to say the least. The days of meeting your boyfriend or girlfriend at the local dance hall are but a distant memory confined to our parents generation, with the odd exception perhaps. When we hear the tales of romance from those days gone by it all seems so much simpler. There was no such thing as swiping left or right, writing a bio on how fabulous you are (without sounding too confident) or navigating your way through the seas of plenty of fish. The grass does seem greener! And that’s all before we even look at the social scene in Ireland.
It’s no surprise that Ireland’s social scene is fuelled largely by alcohol which of course has a knock on effect when it comes to meeting a potential partner on a night out. Our culture tends to nurture the whole concept of needing a bit of “dutch courage” which is fine within reason but unfortunately we weren’t really taught about moderation. The Irish dating scene, if you could even call it that, revolves around going out and hopefully “getting the shift” and if you actually like the person you hope the system repeats itself. After an unspecified amount of time the situation might evolve into a relationship but not before you have the awkward boyfriend/girlfriend conversation… which usually occurs again after a night out! Complicated enough as it is isn’t it? Enter online dating.
The rise of online dating is undeniable. The world of smart phones and countless new apps has us swiping left, right, centre, diagonal and God knows what else. Depending on your app of choice you choose your potential dates on an either a bio (which can vary from two words to an essay) or simply by looking at a picture. Neither options are ideal really. When you see an image of someone you have no idea what that person is like. You have no idea of their values, opinions or outlook. Then on the other hand you have a biography to read. Most people will choose to avoid this by writing as little as possible but you will of course have a few who give you an in depth analysis. The positive from this is that at least you get a minor insight into the person’s hobbies and interests. Striking up a conversation is the next obstacle. Who should message first? What do you say? How long before you actually muster up the courage to ask the person to meet? Will it be awkward? It’s a minefield.
There are plenty who say the best way to meet someone is to just stop looking. That if you go about your day to day life just when you least expect it that’s when you’ll be swept off your feet. For the moment I think it has to be some kind of combination of all of the above. With the rise of online dating blurring with the messy social scene there will of course be pros and cons. One positive outcome could be that we begin to see less reliance on alcohol in the world of Irish dating and more comfort with sober alternatives. Having coffee or doing a fun activity might even become the norm as opposed to going for drinks. Television shows like the compelling “First Dates” should also bring a fresh insight and hopefully encourage us to be braver with the world of blind dating.
We will have to wait and see how it all progresses and for now continue to navigate our way through the single life!