A Single's View of Modern Dating: Style Over Substance [SOS]?
T his article begins with the view of a singleton looking for someone to share their life, only to discover the dating scene is not what it seems, it questions, the reality versus the perception of reality and the duality of needs not meeting expectations. The aims of one being fulfilled by short term thrill seeking in the absence of a longer term proposition and the disappointment of failure and an increased despondency. What has caused it? Or is it a skewed view from a skewed mind?

In the light of many in this situation or plight (as those in love or married might view it) the search for love may now have become worse than a meat market. The free dating sites, (its said by some) offer nothing for the serious seeker other than a succession of disappointing trysts between the usual misogynists who jump straight into pornographic conversation or pathetic attempts to woo.

It would appear that social conventions of decorum and respect are left out of the equation. The barriers to entry into the trust of a woman online nowadays is harder now because of the largely male driven desire for instant gratification.

The porn industry has its part to blame with its unrealistic portrayal of sexual encounters that feed this demand along with the depiction of women being willing participants of such behaviour that feed into a vicious circle of demand vs expectations and reality not meeting the fantasy. What is a person to do when you just want to meet a man or a woman in a world where a healthy loving relationship has far more barriers to entry than arguably ever before?

The disparity and variety of expectation vs reality is a minefield. The constant stream of disappointing encounters can wear the seeker down and the recipients of pictures of genitalia along with suggestions of a graphic nature put a distorted image of the actual and this is the reason why there are more misses than hits.

Profile pictures that present the person in a suggestive manner in so far as they are selfies that accentuate the physical will attract physical comments, suggestion and imagery.

Ordinary imagery is likely to attract the ordinary. We seek the ordinary but the freak in us would like the excitement so we find ourselves in a battle of self and our quest for romance is blighted with our need for excitement and instant gratification. The disappointment comes when we give in to our needs over our expectations.

The other viewpoint is those of either gender that seek nothing but gratification and a succession of trysts to remove oneself from the obligations of emotional commitment and the vulnerability it creates in having to commit to one to achieve a situation where it is feared one partner has an over commitment to a relationship than the other.

In a world where pursuit of a romantic relationship at work could be met with accusations of harassment and potential censure or dismissal, the sexual tension built up at work along with the usual frustration and apathy of not liking ones job, the working week can be a trap which sees the explosion of drinking and partying on the high street of the nation on a Friday night.

So what is the upshot of this situation?

We are no more likely to meet our dream love in a place where the mixed realities and expectations are driven by a yearning to be attached. In a urbanised society where you can be in a crowded room yet still be filled with a gaping chasm of loneliness that will lead down a road of excitement and experimentation in pleasure seeking hedonism to fill it, only to come up wanting more of the ideal but the self loathing could resign oneself to the life of serial trysts.

In order to find that which you really seek, is it to hold out for the one that wants the same as you?

We've found that there is a double life being led by many which is to say that we seek the ideal but we feed the freak in the absence of the ideal, but will we ever find the ideal if we feed the freak? Never the twain shall meet? Unless you give in to the freak and accept that this is your reality then you might have found your nirvana, but will it be as great when your age and carnal desires no longer matter? What will matter is whether you have been on a journey with someone?

Is the freak is a manifestation of disappointment, hurt and tragedy or a failure of some kind that has led you to this point which is to gratify oneself, to feed you inner demons that have sold you the lie that this is your lot in life?

Where has this change come from and why has it happened so quickly?

Has it always been here among us? In particular is it something that is more commonplace in the lives of the working class, the poor and the destitute? Has the absence of faith in society left many adrift without an anchor outside of family and friends? When moving to a new city where family and friends are not available to hand the remaining anchor might've been faith communities. So what are newcomers to London doing nowadays?

What has decreasing influence of faith done to society?

Of late it has done little to change the dissatisfaction that's fills the coffers of oneself. Have reports of sexual abuse by the clergy, Paedophile rings in the corridors of power, and elsewhere; so called 'Islamist' preaching puritanical violent rhetoric and extreme doctrine coupled with an increased lack of respect for the sanctity of life, colluded to make us more despondent to the reality of our own (Im)mortality? In a world where it has become increasingly perceived that we could fall victim to an atrocity not of our doing made us despondent? Has increased sharing of information and reporting of events reinforced this perception that we are more fragile than we care to admit which possibly has fed this unconscious fear?

In reality, we are living a lot longer than before, improved healthcare and diet has led us to an obesity crisis. The world is reported in extremes, everything is a question of our being on a cliff edge between stability and a global catastrophe that will extinguish all life on Earth.

The reality is we are victims of our own success. Rapid change can detach us from our anchors, in other words stormy seas can cause sea sickness. The world is not so bad, the end is not nigh. It may be reported as such in some quarters, with the political climate of fear and age of austerity is upon us; does this do little to alter our collective perception so we seek solace in fantasy and escapism?

Getting back to singletons; why has it become necessary to feed a need in a frenzy of trysts? Is it not true to say that our warped perception is the greater enemy not the actual reality? Is there some element of truth that in a fast paced, evolving environment in a rush to succeed we are losing sight of that which is most important? Like many things, the questions that life presents today, might be answered tomorrow or the next, maybe never and certainly not in a few column inches of this article.

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