With all the pink and red hearts floating around, I find myself sighing a little, rolling my eyes, and uttering 3 very potent words; I hate dating.

Let’s face it, this is one modern day ritual a lot of us probably wish we could forego.  Today, I am writing to validate these feelings especially on a holiday that can trigger a lot of frustration.

Let’s talk about why dating these days is so frustrating these days.

You Shouldn’t Have to Settle but May Feel Like you Have To

Part of what makes dating so obnoxious is the idea of not settling for anything less than our ideal standard.  While this concept should have some flexibility in it, you shouldn’t have to lower your standards simply because you want a dedicated partner.

I think I hear women being upset over this more than men (although settling is not a gendered issue).  However, this is only because there is still increased pressure for women in American society, whatever wave of feminism we’re in, to get married.  Otherwise, we run the risk of being perceived as a spinster.

There is a pressure to settle for what’s right in front of us, isn’t there?  Otherwise we run the risk of societal ridicule.  There isn’t any promise that someone will come along that we’ll want to be with.  So, settling feels legitimately tempting somedays.

It’s Hard to Meet People in Person Anymore

It seems that gone are the olden days of getting asked out or asking someone out at a bar or coffee shop.  Everything is online dating now.  Tinder, Bumble, Plenty of Fish, EHarmony.  Paid dating sites, free dating sites.  The list goes on and on and it many days feels like a list of empty promises that we will find our “one and only” when really what we’re often met with is lengthy, or brief, text conversations that never amount to anything.

Even when you do meet up with someone, it’s a huge roll of the dice and you may not really have much in common having met through a very isolated means.  Let’s not forget, women also have to legitimately worry about predators using dating sites to harm people.

Even if You Meet Someone You End Up with Long-Term, it Could Still End in Heartbreak

This is a really difficult one.  Anyone who’s ever had a really difficult breakup can automatically understand the difficulties with getting back out there after a wrecked relationship.  You still want your ex, you don’t want your ex.  Either way, you’re still clearly grieving that relationship.

Or maybe you’ve moved on, but you’re a lot more cautious now and aren’t willing to waste your time anymore.  While this is fantastic life wisdom, it came from a really painful experience.

Overall Thoughts

I hate dating.  This sentence comes from a very personal place for me.

Dating sucks and the pain you may feel around this subject is so valid. 

However, I also know it can be incredibly fun to meet new people.  Checking to see if there’s chemistry with someone I’m interested in can be a true adventure as well.

Through all the heartbreak, it is not worth killing the hope of the heart of connecting with someone in the future. 

So, while this is a holiday that may be very difficult for a great many of us for very legitimate reasons, we can use this as a reminder to have self-compassion, self-acceptance, and love ourselves (and other people who are single).  Being single does not make you less than anyone else, being single does not mean you have somehow failed, and being in a relationship is not what makes you complete.

You are loved!

Happy Valentine’s Day!