What are currently the most common dating problems of singles? What do they find difficult, what frustrates them? To understand this, I signed up for a week on the dating app Bumble. During that time, I had conversations with singles about what they find hard and where they have problems. It was important for me to understand what exactly difficulties are so I could offer tips and advice as an expert.
Problem 1: Consumerism in dating
The first problem singles mentioned was dealing with superficiality. More specifically, they have mentioned the attitude that it is very easy to find someone better. This is because as soon as small problems arise, people can move on to the next match. In addition, they said, people are not willing to invest more energy and work into a connection.
Solution: Don't consume yourself and set standards
Try not to become part of the problem and "consumption" in dating yourself. That is, if you like someone, give him/her a chance to get to know you. Don't meet 20 dates a week. Give connections time to develop. If you find that the person you're dating is "consuming" you, constantly going on other dates, and not giving you a chance to get to know each other better, then bring it up or date someone else. You get to set standards for yourself too! In fact, this is very important in finding someone who is a good match for you. Because not everyone approaches dating so superficially.
Problem 2: Fear of vulnerability and rejection
One man also described to me that his dating partners have difficulty opening up emotionally and allowing vulnerability. Another man described fear of rejection in dating.
Solution: patience, courage and honesty
It's normal to be afraid of being hurt and rejected. All of us have it! However, maybe your dating partners have a different speed at which they feel comfortable opening up and being vulnerable than you do. Give others and yourself time to open up, too. In general, though, it's highly recommended that you open up and show vulnerability at an appropriate time. Because if you really want to get to know someone, then you also have to show your vulnerable sides. If you are brave, then you can also talk to your dating partner about your fear or vulnerability. If this is all very scary and intimidating for you, then feel free to bring understanding to yourself as well!
Problem 3: Difficulty and frustration finding people you like
One man described to me that many of his dating partners are just looking for a nice way to pass the time. Others are looking for a fireworks display of emotion, and get carried away with the emotion and mood without really engaging with the other person. The experience with dating apps is also very unsatisfying for some. For example, one man shared with me that he rarely has matches, and he is often not messaged or ghosting on the part of the woman. For one woman, it was frustrating that she rarely meets people she finds attractive who want the same things she does. Often, she said, it's people who want something casual. "Finding a person who wants to connect in a human and empathetic way is not easy. Because the person has to have worked on themselves to do it, but even then there's no guarantee it will work." (S., male, 43)
Solution: balance, understanding, exchanging, checking expectations.
Dating is also difficult at times and can draw a lot of energy. Therefore, be sure you have a balanced life. Prioritize yourself, your friends, hobbies, and projects. It's important to give everything a place in your life, and not let dating become too big and time-filling. Also, allow for frustration, and bring understanding to yourself. In addition, talk to other single friends to share how you're doing and get support from them. Work on your expectations: Do you expect to meet a future partner every time you meet? Or might you go into a meeting expecting to have a nice time? Do you have too high expectations for potential partners? Take a break from dating if you realize your expectations are too high and you're permanently frustrated.
Problem 4: Not knowing where to search for partners
The experience some have with dating apps is frustrating. However, some women and men have told me that getting to know people in the real world has also changed since Corona, and it's not easy to find places to meet people. One man reported that, in his opinion, even only social media is used for getting to know people. Approaching in the real world is only an option for people who are very attractive, he said. Otherwise, addressing in the real world is for "perverts. Unless you're Brad Pitt," in his words.
Solution: evaluate options for yourself
Consider what makes you feel good. Do you find it exciting to use dating apps? Then continue to do so. Does it just annoy you? Then you can also search more in "real life" for potential partners. To do this, you can try new things (like a new hobby), or try to join other people in things you already like to do. Attend activities where you can easily meet new people. You could also try speed dating.
Problem 5: Too many expectations
Two men have reported to me that many singles they meet have many expectations of potential dating partners. One of them reported that he feels people are sometimes superficial on these apps: they would filter who they want to get to know more by appearance, but also by job, status and income.
Solution: Evaluate options, question your own expectations.
As with Problem 3, it may be important to deal with the frustration. You may also be able to find another place to meet people (Problem 4). If you are the person who has too many expectations, here's what you can do: Ask yourself why you have so many expectations. Are you perhaps afraid to get involved with someone? Are you afraid of rejection? Or are you very demanding and perfectionistic? Realize that too many expectations will reduce your chances of meeting a partner. Think about what could be more realistic expectations.
Problem 6: Too few expectations
Not having a filter at all and wanting to meet all people is just as difficult as having too many expectations. According to a single, this leads to not filtering out people who are looking for different things than you or who have unhealthy behaviors.
Solution: set expectations
Think about what are things that are absolutely important to you. For example, whether or not the other person is looking for a committed relationship. Or that he respects things that are important to you. Maybe there are also some essential qualities that the other person should have. Based on that, set some expectations for yourself.
Problem 7: Fear of doing the wrong thing
I had a few singles tell me that he was worried about appearing too pushy. Because they didn't want to say or do anything wrong that others might find too pushy.
Solution: Approach slowly, be honest
Under no circumstances should you behave in an obviously inconsiderate, disrespectful or pushy manner. Of course, respect and tolerance are important, as is respecting each other's boundaries! But if you're too insecure, it can help to be authentic and observe how your counterpart reacts. Maybe your worries are unfounded. Every person has a different need for closeness and distance, but you will quickly notice that. If you want to spend a lot of time with a person, then you can be honest from the beginning. Only in this way can you meet partners who also fit you and have a similar need!
Conclusion to the 7 common dating problems
Dating can bring out all sorts of insecurities, difficulties and doubts. Therefore, it's important that you know how to deal with these common dating problems well. After all, it's great if you can enjoy the adventure of dating!