After the Dating


It really is the dating apocalypse.
Just not in the way we think.

It’s obvious by now that the current dating landscape consists of millions of people going on millions of frustrating, meaningless, one-off dates. This constant pressure to either “be relationship material” or “get lost” leads us to an endless stream of rejections, meaningless hookups, ghostings, and lies.

Traditional dating is truly facing its apocalyptic end times, but rather than fear its demise, we should be rejoicing, because what comes next is light years better than anything we’ve experienced before. It will be a fusion of dating and social networking — I call it “dateworking.”

Dateworking is an optimal future state in which we stop treating dates like these make-or-break, high-pressure scenarios, and instead acknowledge the reality that the person across from us, up until this moment, was a complete stranger, living their own independent life, and that person owes us absolutely nothing. We need to get out of the contemporary trap of expecting/requiring romance on first dates, and treat dating in a much more social way.

Since pioneering this new style of “dateworking” in 2011, I’ve gone on over 200 dates, and nearly every single one has been incredible and turned into a lasting friendship. Dateworking is the future. It is also the solution to the dating industry’s problem. When you’re dateworking, you’re implicitly doing the things that you already want to be doing, and you’re using these dating & social networking sites to enable you to encounter fun, attractive, like-minded people along the way. Finding the right person does not preclude you returning to such sites and services, as these services continually assist you in building out your social and sexual referral networks throughout life.

What do these dateworking-style sites look like? Well, they’re looking a lot like the newest batches of dating sites to hit the market. Tinder’s “moments” feature launched in 2014 and is a fantastic glimpse at how it can be done. You initially match on Tinder based on rapid superficial judgments of attractiveness, but you ultimately begin meeting your matches based on your intersecting interests, and particularly, through the moments they’re posting from their day-to-day lives.

Seeing Tinder and OkCupid integrate seamlessly with Instagram only further reinforces the point that we’re increasingly relying on social networks to provide additional insights into who we are and how we live our lives so that we can identify more points of commonality and more opportunities for non-romantic, low-pressure encounters. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met up with from dating sites after something as simple as seeing a photo of them on Instagram vacationing in a place I’ve been before and subsequently messaging them to inquire further and thereby establishing the building blocks of a friendship.

I’ve already written about the friendship-first approach to dating, and I sincerely believe that while I may currently be an early adopter to this philosophy/approach, it will become ubiquitous within our generation, and with the rise of this perspective will come the rise of a new dating industry — a dateworking industry — one that helps us emerge from the apocalyptic wasteland of human intimacy that we’re currently enduring.

Are you ready?

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Related Reading…

The One Line You Need to Add to Your Tinder Profile Right Now
The Friendship-First Approach to Dating
The Power of a Personal Connection
How to Have the “Are We Exclusive” Talk