Romance in the Tinder age: the paradox of choice

I have had many conversations with my friends about the uninspiring treadmill that is the dating scene. In London it seems to be particularly atrocious though it can be hard to pinpoint exactly why this is.

London is a city with a population of over 8 million people. Reports indicate that in 2014 25% of people living in Inner London and 16% in Outer London were aged 25 to 34. What this shows is that there are a lot of young adults living in London. I don’t know exactly how many of these people are single but my guess is that the dating pool of unattached singletons should be vast. Maybe that is where the problem lies.

A couple of years ago I read a fantastic book called The Paradox Of Choice, which argues that excessive choice can paralyse our ability to make decisions and leave us less satisfied with the choices we do make.

When applied to dating it would seem that having all those young people on the dating scene doesn’t necessarily make things easier. In fact, it would suggest that the more fish there are in the sea, the harder it is to catch one.

That may be because there are plenty of other fish that catch your attention all at the same time, which creates paralysis and reluctance to stick with just the one fish. Or once a fish has been chosen there is less contentment with that choice, leaving fears that better options could be out there ready to be caught. Okay, enough with the fishing analogies!

Dating apps don’t exactly make things easier. In fact I think that they exacerbate the problem. In the past people would traditionally have met their partners through friends, or work, or some kind of social activity and the pool of people available to date would have seemed to be relatively small.

With dating apps the options appear to be limitless. On Tinder you may match with hundreds of people all living within a 5 mile radius of you. While this may seem great, for one reason or another many guys then go on to waste away most of the matches they get by sending monosyllabic messages, ignoring them or sending them a lewd message that is only hilarious in hindsight once posted to the Tinder Nightmares feed. In fairness, I am sure some women do this too (I just don’t know about them).

When dates do get arranged many have a one date mentality, which consists of going on a date and if there is no immediate connection, moving on to the next, and then the next, until you have had 20 dates with different people in a one month period.

So what is the answer? I think there is something to be said for going on a date with someone and giving them a chance if there is even a glimmer of a spark which might develop over multiple dates. First impressions may not be the best indicator of a person’s true qualities, especially when first date nerves are also involved.

What we can take from all of this is that dating in London is hard. Perhaps it is time to start giving people second (and third and fourth) dates so that you can narrow those choices down and invest more in people. Hopefully that will eventually lead you to someone you really connect with, which will save you from that nasty paradox of choice!

Down the rabbit hole: celebrity news addiction

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Anyone who has ever been on the Daily Mail website and been drawn to their showbiz column knows exactly what it is like to lose an hour of your life without knowing or remembering what happened.

These days I rarely allow myself to get caught down the rabbit hole that is the never-ending showbiz column, namely because I inevitably want to scan through every single story headline and there are a lot of them. I end up opening at least 10 of these articles in succession, thereby crashing my Safari session, which then begins to draw me out of my celeb-addicted haze and back into cold hard reality wondering where the last half an hour just went.

Whilst this was once a daily activity, a few years ago I decided to go cold turkey on engaging in this zombie-like consumption of useless news and I haven’t turned back since (bar the odd relapse which then reminds me why I went cold turkey in the first place).

I now find out celebrity news through the grapevine (Amal Clooney is pregnant?? Beyonce is pregnant? Everyone it seems is pregnant!). I find it odd being so out of the loop with news I was once so up-to-date on, but I need to stick to my guns on this if I am to maintain my sanity and prevent countless hours of time wasting.

Moderation has never been my forte which such things, which is a shame. But I rest easy in the knowledge that I have gained back countless hours of my life that I would have never seen again and that is really worth something. I am not sure what those hours were then filled with alternatively (watching TV, eating?) but I have to believe that whatever it is must be better than being stuck down the celebrity news rabbit hole.