I have long believed that technology does more harm than good when it comes to finding love, and, whilst dating apps and sites give us access to more singles, they can also lead to people thinking there is always something better one the other side of the proverbial fence. It’s a pleasure, then, to welcome Jacqueline Burns to the blog today, head of gay and lesbian matchmaking at Vida – to talk about exactly that and give us some solid advice about what really is the secret to nurturing a successful relationship! …
When the world was a bigger, scarier place, meeting your long-term partner was simpler. More limited, sure, but simpler isn’t it- “more simple”. You had a certain number of people in your town and the few surrounding towns, and you either met someone there, or you didn’t. But global culture has changed the way we communicate. Have a weird hobby, there’s a whole community just a few keystrokes away. And it’s the same with dating. Between meeting people at work, at clubs, online, on apps, there’s a lot of input. But while expanding your options is good, it can start to look like an endless parade of options.
Choice paralysis, or analyst paralysis, is where the volume of information is overwhelming and it renders the decision-maker unable to make a decision. You might think you’re looking for something very specific but then a person appears on your phone or computer and now you’re just not sure. Is that better or worse than what you want, or what you already have.
It’s very closely associated with “grass is greener” syndrome where one can develop dissatisfaction with their own lives because they see other people out there via Facebook and Instagram and other tools etc. -having more fun, or with more interesting people, and they want what’s on the other side of the fence.
In the world of dating, this huge influx of information makes it difficult to settle and stay settled. One of the important things that we’ve come to realize at Vida is that making your choices through an offline matchmaking agency, and keeping them that way, actually improves happiness. Once you’re in a committed relationship, you have to turn off the part of your brain that is actively looking around. You can’t focus on making your relationship the very best it can be if you’re waiting for “someone better” to come along.
It’s one of the reasons we keep our clients out in the real world, and set them up personally. There’s no what if this, or what if that, you meet, you see if you click and you go from there. That’s not to say there aren’t couples who met through Tinder or dating sites, who go the distance, but we find the limiting of options actually makes people more secure in their decisions.
It’s very important to put your focus and energy into the relationship you’re in. The old chestnut about grass being greener where you water it is entirely true. Committing yourself wholeheartedly to your partner is more likely to lead to that “perfect” (we like to say “perfect for you”) relationship than magically meeting The One if you look wide and far enough.