“Dating just isn’t what it used to be”. I’m sure we have all heard this statement and maybe you’ve even said something similar. While the statement is very broad and redundant in nature there is truth behind the meaning. It’s no secret that dating has become extremely difficult over the past decade. In 2019 Pew Research Center held several studies about modern dating. One study relieved that almost half of Americans, 47%, believe dating has gotten harder over the past 10 years. The dilemma of this epidemic is the result of a multitude of issues. Although shortcomings possessed by individuals regarding relationships, such as trust issues, the inability to commit, and disloyalty, have existed for centuries, today’s generation is tackling an entirely new beast.
The biggest problem Gen Z and Millennials face today regarding modern dating is social media. While there is no denying that living in the digital age has its benefits, the contrary is just as impactful. The market of dating apps and websites have amassed into an almost 500 million dollar industry, forging a new way of singles meeting and making connections. A more recent study by Pew, concluded that singles are divided on their experiences in regards to online dating. Half of which have reported mainly positive encounters and believe the apps are helpful in making genuine long-term relationships. While the other half report the opposite, implying having negative experiences and no luck in finding a potential compatible partner. Although there are a considerable amount of studies and statistics conducted on online dating the research isn’t exactly conclusive. Many believe online dating is essentially the only productive method for finding a partner, while others argue online dating is responsible for the loss of organic human connections.
Whichever side you lean towards in the online dating debate, we can all agree that dating, in any capacity is extremely hard. Social media apps, not directly linked to dating, such as Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter are less discussed in the discourse of online dating, despite subconsciously affecting the way users gain knowledge about relationships. TikTok dating advice is a huge reason why dating in 2023, has left singles feeling drained and hopeless. TikTok users who create content comprised of dating tips and relationship advice often have no credentials on the subject matter. Therefore speaking from only personal experiences and often project their own insecurities and mistakes onto the viewers. While most creators have positive intent, seeking to help others on the app unfortunately their efforts have caused the opposite. All-encompassing advice implies everyone is in a similar situation can be damaging and harmful. TikTok relationship advice fails to consider the complexities of human behavior and experiences. Every individual has a different set of ideologies, values, and morals which affects the way they date. The truth of the matter is there is no “one size fits all’ advice when it comes to dating, there are too many varying factors involved.
Scrolling through relationship TikTok is nothing short of confusing and completely contradictory. One video suggests that playing hard to get is the best way to get someone to like you. While another video advises, that being upfront about your feelings toward someone is the best way to form a connection. There are endless amounts of videos suggesting if a person text one thing they actually mean a different thing. All of the videos lack the proper information when suggesting any tips about dating. Context matters and dating is vastly complex. Dating advice on any social media platform fails to consider the nuances of dating. Being single and seeking a lifelong partner can feel overwhelming and isolating. It’s certainly important to normalize discussing the hardships and failures singles can face. However, Tiktok’s advice is perpetuating a certain agenda filled with biases and uncertain outcomes. Asking for help or advice in regard to relationships or dating is completely normal and valid. But, it’s crucial that we seek this information from those that are in our lives and not a stranger on the internet.