As I sat down to write this morning, I became overwhelmed with frustration which quickly began to crescendo into anger. What set me off was an email from It’s Just Lunch “IJL” the dating service that claims to connect successful, busy professionals with “career” as the common base for love.
What angered me this morning was the feeling that I was scammed. I joined IJL in January when received a phone call from one of their sales associates. She was personable and her pitch was brilliant, drawing me in with compassion and an understanding of how challenging modern dating can be. So I bought the service and was sold both optimism and hope.
I went through an extensive screening process which included a detailed questionnaire and in-person meeting to insure that I met their standards. But after my first date, I realized that none of my criteria was even considered. This continued as I was set up on dates with men that couldn’t be further from my type. And when say type, I don’t mean brown eyes vs. blue, I mean major life differences such as wanting to have children or not – total deal-breakers.
Throughout the summer, I read a number of articles in the New York Times about many others have has similarly bad experiences with IJL. Today I took the opportunity to write them a letter and ask for a refund. Let’s see what happens there.
I also took the opportunity to shut down my Match.com account. Although I have heard many success stories, I personally don’t know anyone who has met their partner on Match.com. And although I have gone on a number of dates, I left each one wondering if the person really wanted a serious relationship, or if they were using this service to simply play the field.
It seems to me that the single population isn’t necessarily interested in a committed relationship. I have also come to realize that over the last twenty years, the dating scene has changed more dramatically than it probably has over the fifty years prior to the last twenty. And the catalysts for the change, in my opinion, are internet dating and Sex in the City.
I came to realize this when a friend of mine was given a book a book on dating by one of her married friends. The book was written in 1999 and offered all the advice that our mothers always told us about dating; advice such as “play hard to get” and “never sleeping with a man on the first date.” These were simple rules that morphed from decades of tried behaviors and human nature. But these rules no longer apply and here’s why.
From 1998 – 2004, the series Sex in the City aired on HBO and became a national phenomenon. Carrie Bradshaw became the heroine for every single woman who was searching for love. Carrie’s character was endearing and women began to emulate her in every way, even by buying the same clothes she wore – sending a surge in the sale of Manolo Blahnik shoes. But Carrie was promiscuous and so were her three friends; even the career focused Miranda had slept with over 40 men. By emulating Carrie, single women have become much more promiscuous which has had a dramatic impacted today’s dating scene.
This casual approach to sex has virtually abolished any need for courtship. Men no longer have work to get a woman in the sack; in fact they don’t have to do anything at all. Because the ratio of women to men is so much greater, women have become much more aggressive in fear of losing out to heavy competition. Men can now just walk into in bar with a basket and the fish just jump right in. And if there isn’t enough fish in the bar for the man to eat, he can take his basket to the internet where there are many more fish in the sea.
So the balance of the scale has been tipped and the consequences of this shift will have long-term negative effects. The rules of dating, which were clearly unwritten and passed down from generation to generation, used to set a standard and maintained a level of quality control. But today with the lack of discernment and rampant promiscuity the single’s pool has become, well, shallow.