Modern Dating Is Destroying Relationships

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Millions of people around the world are trying to find love online as we speak. For years I was one of them. In the wake of my divorce in 2007, over a period of five years, I went on hundreds of dates — most of which went on to involve a sexual liaison of some kind — because I was searching for someone to replace my wife, and because it was easy and I was trying to outrun my pain. Click and you’re on.

I expected to be able to find something perfect out there in the ether, beyond my laptop. I went halfway around the world looking for the perfect woman: from Sydney to New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles. A burlesque dancer. An escort. An actress. All incredible women with so much to give but who couldn’t deliver the instant bolt of love I had convinced myself was a prerequisite for any long-term relationship to blossom.

When I did get that “glimpse of eternity”, to borrow a great line from Stephen Vizinczey’s In Praise of Older Women, with an eccentric but beautiful artist who lived just around the corner from where I live in Sydney, our love affair ended after six months.

It was only when my daughter said something startling to me while driving in the car one day that my life changed. I was stuck in traffic. I was bemoaning my life. Getting frustrated and pissed off. Clenching the wheel. Then my little girl piped up from the back seat. “You know, Dad, you could try a little patience. Then you might find life gets easier.”

Out of the mouths of babes. She was absolutely right.

Last year, I wrote a book that was published in Australia called Laid Bare: One Man’s Story of Sex, Love and Other Disorders. It was the story of my comprehensive marriage breakdown, my even more comprehensive mental breakdown, my sexual escapades in Australia and the United States as an accidental but hardcore “player”, my quixotic search for love in the age of the internet and, most of all, how I came to repair the fractured relationship I had with my daughter, who was four when I divorced.

During the writing of my book — and later, in the car with my daughter — I became acutely aware of something that was not only missing from my own life, but also seems to be in danger of disappearing from all our lives. And yes, it’s patience.

We seem to have lost patience with everything. We don’t read books like we used to. We channel surf. We move on if a web page takes more than five seconds to download. We throw away perfectly good things. It’s quicker to replace something than repair it. We take our smartphones to dinner. We no longer listen and absorb. We like. We poke. We tweet. We put up selfies on Instagram when we just can’t bear to be in our own company for more than a few minutes.

When something comes along that’s newer than what we already have, our instinctive reaction is to throw away and upgrade, as quickly as possible. Just look at the ridiculous cult of Apple and its products. People sleep outside a store overnight to get their hands on a phone? The world’s gone crazy.

Read the rest at [Your Tango].

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  • Damar

    Great read. I'm really worried for my future as far as finding a decent not even good girl with the lack of patience my gerneration (Y) has for everything nowadays and no one wants to stop and apply patience into their lives. Al my friends lie to their girls and girls lie to their guys. It's also no trust at all either, it's sad.

    • Uit

      Cosign

    • http://twitter.com/jtSolBroSupreme @jtSolBroSupreme

      "Al my friends lie to their girls and girls lie to their guys. It's also no trust at all either, it's sad."

      Don't let it get ya down… hell, it sounds like some marriages I have seen as well.

  • DMarioIsajerk

    I've said for a long time, we live in a "microwave society" that wants everything NOW.

    He's right. We stopped courting, we stopped long term dating, and NOW its a problem to date for years before deciding to get married. They tell you things like "oh a man knows when he wants to marry you" …which is true. Thats why he makes sure you are the one he wants by spending so much time with you.

    This could veer off into a TOTALLY different discussion but i digress.

    we ALL need patience…in every part of our lives.

  • Kelley S

    I have been in the dating game for almost 6 years now post divorce and I must say that it is scary given the way society is now. No one wants to get to know you, take time to spend with you… We live in such a 'now' generation until so much is lost by the way side. While I keep up with technology and the changing times I still hold dear to a few well placed things poured into the foundation of my soul. I would give to have that friendship and watch it grow. I want to know that chivalry is not dead (yes I believe in giving just as much as receiving in the love dept). I miss the late night phone calls where hours are spent getting to know one another. Now everything is just a tweet or a txt…
    I will continue to patiently wait because settling is not an option.

  • balancedlady

    I like what another comment-er said on Your Tango, I feel as if I was just "word hugged". This gave me some really great insight.
    My recent post Daddy’s Girls: The 5 types of Fatherless Women

  • 12 Point Buck

    Is it the modern way of dating really destroying relationships? Or is it more of an evolution in response to natural shifts of society?

    It's certainly debatable whether dating was better back in the day. And life is all about evolving since the failure to evolve and adapt leads to death or extinction.

    Unless this new age of dating is detrimental to the continuation of our species, I say we should give it a chance and see where it takes us as opposed to lamenting the dating patterns of the past.

    In fact, the concept that you're so important that someone should actually take the time to get to know you and even more time being patient while you two form some kinda bond is just as ridiculous as the concept of rapidly iterating through your relationships looking for an emotional high.

    There is no right or wrong way of dating– your best bet is to keep up with the times and not let the nostalgia trip you up. Adapt or die.

  • Peter Parker

    Good points. Patience is key

  • Kiesha

    I completely agree. Technology is ruining a lot of things not only the way we find potential partners. I honestly would prefer the old fashion way of getting to know someone (face to face). Before you taking off your clothes maybe you should know their last name or if they have kids or if they have ever committed a crime.

  • Navaura

    The article was incomplete to me…

  • Harrison

    Great article with very valid points I can relate to myself. Echoing the sentiments of the author, I call it the “throwaway” syndrome. Using the analogy of Apple products quite appropriately describes the current state of affairs regarding the relationship department. We live in times where technological advances have contributed to the slippery slope death of the art of communication; dare I say, even manners and common courtesy.

  • http://evolutionwriters.com Evolution Writers

    That said I don't disagree that the internet, if not dating sites, is a great place to meet people with similar interests and friendships and romantic relationships can follow. I can't speak for dating sites, but I know of a number of couples who 'met' on online forums and eventually got together.