In the western world, the on-line dating industry is truly enormous. At the time of writing, and not including ‘niche’ markets such as explicitly dating-for-sex only or off-line services, the total global income generated within the industry sits at around $1,600 million per annum.
There are around 1,500 different dating apps available, and about 350 million users around the world.
These (to my mind) incredible figures suggest a number of things, one of which is that there are a LOT of single people out there looking for a partner!
In one way, this is good news for single people who want to be in a relationship. There are plenty of options, and a high chance of ‘success’. Finding some kind of partner should be relatively straightforward.
But it's the 'some kind of' that's the problem.
As most of us who have experienced dating culture first-hand will recognise, there are a good number of potential pitfalls, pains and perils to dating.
- the high number of serial daters who manipulate dating for their own, often unstated aspirations
- the fact that many daters use dating as a means (subconsciously or otherwise) of working through or discovering their own unresolved issues
- the capacity for deceit that on-line dating struggles to constrain
- the difficulty in distinguishing between authentic and disguised personalities
- the huge variation in motivation for dating
- the physical risks
- the experience of repeated, arbitrary and unexplained rejection that is prevalent throughout the process of on-line dating
- the addictive quality of on-line dating
For all these reasons and more, for the person who has become single after a number of years in relationship, it pays to treat dating with extreme caution.
Don't get me wrong, dating can be great fun. It can also be a very harsh experience for those who are in any way vulnerable or unprepared. And there is some evidence to suggest that for some people, dating creates more problems than it solves. Are you absolutely sure you’re not one of them?
Before attempting to proactively find a new partner, it pays to ensure that all the main issues from your past relationships are at least known to you.
So before you sign up to a dating app or website, and before you start seeing new partners or potential partners, I recommend that you check in with yourself, and be sure that you're able and willing to commit to the following:
- you know what kind of relationship you're really looking for
- you're determined to be authentic at every step
- you understand and can handle disappointments
- you will be cautious with your heart and body
In the on-line dating world, honesty, patience, self-respect and clarity are essential qualities in order to ensure your physical and mental well-being.
It’s worth remembering that the person you meet on your date, may not know this.
If you're uncertain about any aspect of on-line dating, or need some support with any of the issues it can bring, don't hesitate to contact me here. Let's see how I can help you navigate the sometimes-bumpy road to finding a new partner.