Today during my hour of cardio at the YMCA I couldn’t help but laugh at the TV screen as it played a new episode of The Bachelorette. Viewers get a sneak peak of a glamorous dating life. A gorgeous woman has the opportunity to date 15 attractive, successful men all at once! And she gets to kiss them too—every girl’s dream right?
So here I am listening to Drake on the highest level of the elliptical, sweating, and laughing at the five different men’s reactions after kissing the same girl. This show is just another medium to fill our minds with lies about dating.
Not all of us can sign up for a TV show set to find our “perfect half.”
Wait, so what’s the problem with modern-day dating?
Well, no one is really “dating.” People enter relationships after months of “talking” (aka sending unclear messages that try to put on a confident front, when the reality is the person has no idea what they are feeling or doing).
No one is actually going on dates. We are investing our emotions into a phone screen instead of people. We resort to online dating or dating apps because we don’t want to pursue someone face-to-face.
Instead of fantasizing about that mutual friend you barely know, why not remember all the tangible and compatible potential partners that surround you? Many of the best relationships begin with the best friendships. One of your close friends you may not “see that way” right now, just may be the most compatible person for you.
Society has fostered a negative perception about going on dates when they are supposed to be a fun way to get to know someone and sense the one-on-one dynamic with another person. Going out on a date doesn’t mean you’re signing your name in blood.
The media distorts authentic dating by using shows like The Bachelorette, which brainwash us to think that dating means finding the perfect person who has all the qualities we ever wanted and nothing else.
Dating is not a custom bowl made to order from Chipotle—it’s seeing a person for their whole self, choosing to appreciate their qualities, and accept their faults. Technology has instilled in us an expectation of immediate satisfaction. We have become accustomed to editing and filtering our lives on Instagram, but we can’t “edit” our significant others or even ourselves. A genuine relationship cannot be shared with a person you only know on your phone screen.
When it comes to dating, attraction is important, but isn’t a stable foundation. Being attracted to someone isn’t enough to carry a relationship. No one wants to invest their time or emotions into something that is inauthentic and purposeless.
If you’re in a relationship, ask yourself; Is your relationship helping you become a better person? Helping you expand in knowledge? Helping you grow in faith? If not, I encourage you to look more deeply into why you are in a relationship with that person. At the end of the day, your relationship will either evolve into a marriage, or diminish into a breakup.
It’s great to have high standards, but be realistic. Don’t forget those around you, and be courageous, because dating requires initiative and effort (from both sides.)
Society has fostered an untrustworthy feeling and fear of the other gender. Fear of rejection. Fear of the friend zone. Fear of heartbreak. Fear of ruining the friendship. Fear of judgement. Some of the greatest things in this world started as fear, so don’t let fear paralyze you, and stop you from taking a step into what could be a great conversation, friendship, or relationship.
This journey of dating and marriage is all about becoming the best version of yourself as you see the best in another person. In the end, there is somebody for everyone who is called to the vocation of marriage (which is pretty awesome if you ask me.)
Look up from your phone screen, and look at the possibilities that surround you—not just romantic relationships, but fruitful friendships.
Veronica Macias is a guest writer for Lifeteen and The Porn Effect. Veronica is currently studying Theology and Psychology at Ave Maria University. A native of Miami, Florida, she hopes to turn the tide against the Culture of Death by helping eliminate the Hook-Up Culture. She blogs at veromacias.com.