Let's face it, dating is hard. Dating in 2017 is especially hard. I've been single for a while now, mostly because I've chosen to be this way, partly because I've not met the right guy just yet. But with so many factors coming into play with modern dating, it's no wonder why so many girls (and guys to be fair) find it difficult to meet someone and settle down. Here's why it's so difficult being single in the noughties.
1. With so many dating apps, we've become dispensable. If I don't capture your attention within the first three seconds of looking on my online dating profile, then you swipe left and off I disappear into the heap of rejects that didn't fit your standards. No judgement, I'm guilty of doing the same.
2. You feel immense pressure from friends, family and society as a whole when you reach a certain age to find a relationship - or you run the risk of being left on the shelf with dried up eggs. Not only are you looking for your own happiness, you're also looking just to shut everyone else up. The constant "are you a lesbian" questions are boring. In this modern age, if I were gay then believe me I'd be out and proud. But I'm not. So there's no need to question my sexuality because I'm single.
3. People are shallow. I'm incredibly guilt of posting a picture with a thousand filters just because it boosts my confidence when I get "likes" on social media. And I feel like I have to use these great pictures on dating apps, just to get past the first round of swiping. The scary thing is though, when people meet me in real life, I'm pretty sure they're expecting that flawless filtered face and here I am, just average Joe looking for someone to share my pizza with.
4. You're either called too damn picky or not picky enough. The older generation love to remark on how picky you are, but the difference is, when they were young, marriage, kids and keeping a house was pretty much set out for them in their 20s. You met someone, you liked each other, you dated, you got engaged, you got married, you had kids. Simple right? Now you have to contend with guys dating 20 other girls at once, girls being so independent they don't make time for you and everybody on the hunt for the next best thing because they can.
5. Conflicting advice is fired from every angle. Play the rules, don't play games, text back, don't text back too soon. Everyone's got an opinion on what you're doing wrong and all you can think of are two words. Bore. Off.
6. Labels seem to freak people out nowadays, which results in a complete fear of commitment. When we were 16, the idea of having an actual boyfriend was amazing. You'd wear his coat, and everyone would know you were his and he was yours. Now? Now people are so scared of the word girlfriend or boyfriend, we've become a generation of confused singletons, not really knowing if we're in a relationship because we're scared to ask and confirm to him that, yes, as of right now you're not allowed to have sex with another girl again.
7. It's also easier to leave a relationship now if you're even remotely unhappy. If you don't want to work at something then you don't, you move on to the next. There are always other options just a swipe away.
8. We expect everything to be instant. We have the world at our fingertips and we expect dating to be the same. A guy hasn't text you back yet? That's rude because he was online 30 minutes ago and the message has a blue tick so he's read it. Never mind the fact that the poor guy is probably having dinner with his family, or out playing football with his friends like he does most Sunday mornings.
9. Which leads me onto my next point of being available online 24/7. I once forgot to reply to a guy's text message, which I genuinely often do, even to friends and family. It was only when he text me again to say he could see I was on Facebook that I realised one, I'd forgotten to reply, and two, he was a weirdo and needed to be blocked instantly. We spend a large majority of our day online, whether we're Snapchatting, Instagramming, Tweeting, updating our Facebook status or Whatsapping, which means potential dates have the ability to see what we're up to most of the time - leaving no room for mystery.
10. Our priorities have changed and with many of us either starting our own businesses, saving for our own place without a partner or generally just living life without giving a second thought to anyone else, finding love has been put on the backburner for a lot of people in this generation. Myself included.
There you have it, ten reasons why dating in 2017 is frankly, really bloody hard. If you've already found your lobster like Ross and Rachel did in Friends, then count yourself lucky you don't have to date in 2017. Cruising on the Single Train like me? I'd love to know if you can relate to any of the above, and leave me a comment below on how you're finding dating in the midst of swiping, shallowness and high standards.