Love in the time of…

Dating in the 21st Century
Salon Night #5
February 14th, 2018

“We are all here today because we are lonely.” — Marc Nicholson

On February 14th — some call it Valentine’s Day, we gathered to hear what others had to say about love, and how to make better choices in love. Did the digital connection cure the heartache of the lonely? Or did we find transient relationships such an inefficient consumption of time that we vowed never to fall in love again? We put aside our phones and opened up — it is with unfailing vulnerability that we develop closeness and live out profound experiences that life has to offer:

Why dating apps?
You make friends so quickly and get to meet people with such interesting backgrounds. I once met a dancer from France. Yet after a while you get bored and delete the app. Singlehood and age soon creeps up. You feel the need to put yourself out there, so you download the app again — your dream man doesn’t just plonk himself at your door. So you start swiping again but eventually lose hope and grow even more cynical than before.

What good is it?
Men see it as a numbers game. Women go in with their hearts getting hurt. There are way more women who are willing to invest in the process than men are. Dating apps are good and helpful for busy professionals who have no time to date. Algorithms cannot substitute for human interaction. We can view online dating as networking but you still need to meet face to face.

How about matchmaking?
The dating sphere can be exhausting. People are more financially and emotionally invested when they hire someone to help them find love. Although, there might be a cognitive bias. Having paid for a professional service, they might think that they got a better match than if they had found it themselves.

Is chivalry dead?
Over the last 30 years we have been debating gender roles and equality. Chivalry has declined because we are still in definition phase.

Are we just, bored?
We are wired for love and connection. We are lonely. I have friends I call Tinderellas. They use the app only to make friends. The question is how do we nurture love? How do we make love last? We need to talk about self-esteem and boredom because these might be the things that are drawing us to dating apps.

Are things moving too fast?
Technology is disrupting the way we form relationships. It has made it too efficient. Technology expands the choice but it removes the chase. Some men are very aggressive on flirting. They are more aggressive because they are hiding behind technology.

Can we even link love to dating apps?
Love requires the human touch
Dating apps are digital and intangible

Should we lock phones up and really live life?
Yondr is a system that creates phone-free spaces. They implemented it in schools and they noticed that corridors became louder. At concerts, people started going wild. We need to live more uninhibitedly!

Is romance dead?
Romance is dead until you meet the right person. But romance has evolved. We are not serving survivalist needs. We seek a different kind of connection. Previously romance was seen as a single person — a sole provider of all emotional needs. People don’t look for romance as much as they look for connection. They like to give parts of themselves, and receive parts of others. The quality of exchange is more important than the frequency of it.