November 30, 2021
Why You Might Not Find a Partner
I don’t want this post to be a downer, but I think it’s becoming clear that not all of us will partner up in this lifetime. The truth is that many might not ever find a partner. Modern technology has brought us closer in proximity to one another yet our ability to connect one-on-one and form long-lasting romantic couplings appears stunted. What’s going on here? Why did our parents and grandparents have no problem meeting and mating in a world with much less opportunity to meet new people than ours?
As a Jewish matchmaker, my life mission is to bring Jewish singles together and play my part in helping to create Jewish families. I throw my heart and soul into my work, but these issues affect my ability to be successful. I’m hoping that bringing these topics to discussion might help singles to make more conscious dating decisions in order to arrive at their goal - a happy and healthy long-term relationship.
Straight out of the box we can all agree that singles today have far more options than previous generations for meeting people. More options and more opportunity. We communicate daily with people from all walks of life and all corners of the globe and can easily connect in a virtual face-to-face with Zoom and other communication apps. Add dating sites, dating apps, social media platforms and well, what the heck? The world is our oyster but it seems empty of pearls.
It’s been scientifically proven that too many choices leads to more indecisiveness - not less. Researcher Barry Schwartz calls this “choice overload”, and it permeates all aspects of our lives. Too many choices tires the mind and if you’ve spent months or years swiping left and swiping right - you’re likely exhausted. FOMO (fear of missing out) doesn’t help the situation. When you think that the next swipe or next profile or next girl at the bar might be the one you’re truly looking for - it makes it hard to focus and commit to the one right in front of you.
Another aspect of these new opportunities and options in dating is that we’re also meeting people with more diverse life experience than people in previous generations. Hence, more opinions on more topics. More opinions means there is less of a chance that the people you meet share your perspective, opinions, or view of life. They may share some of your perspective, but if you will only accept a partner who shares all or most of your opinions; your goal has become a lot more challenging.
Not only were previous generations less likely to meet the quantity of people we meet today, their world was smaller on so many levels - and the degree of diversity in opinion reflected this. The majority of people in the community shared the same experiences, values, perspectives and opinions. Feeling “connected” with someone is usually based upon a shared perspective of life: shared interests and shared opinions. Without these shared perspectives, we don’t feel a connection or chemistry.
OUR FASTER PACE:
Long-term stability was the norm back in the day and time moved at a slower pace. It was common to graduate college, find a job in your area of study, and work in the same company until retirement. People married younger and were committed to riding out the storms of life together. Their focus was on creating a family and building something similar to what their parents had - only more affluent. It took something major to trigger divorce. Though wars and conflict came and went in the world, the basic family unit was alive and well.
In our fast-paced world, nothing lasts for long. We bounce from company to company like we’re switching phone carriers - whichever offers the best in monetary compensation and perks. Our disposable culture means we switch up our possessions on a regular basis for the newest and more technologically updated, while products that used to last for decades have a shelf life of a few years - and if it’s out of warranty - we toss and buy something new rather than attempt a repair. Sound familiar? Sadly, this is the way we are treating our romantic relationships. Everyone is disposable. Everyone can be upgraded. A lifetime commitment means little in this world - we don’t commit to anything for life: not our work, not our possessions, not even our spouse and family. And this pace shows no signs of slowing anytime soon. I suspect it will take a global mind shift in priorities and values as well as conscious effort to slow down this bullet train we’re on.
On top of everything else that’s changed, we’ve also changed our expectations of what our partner should be to us. We look for a partner who can fill many more roles in our life than previous generations. We want a spouse, a lover, a parent to our children, a best friend, a confidant, a travel companion, a counselor, a partner in crime, and so much more. Though we no longer expect one person to be the breadwinner, we still seek a partner who is successful in their career and able to contribute at least half of the living expenses. We want to be sexually compatible, emotionally compatible, intellectually compatible, share the same sense of humor, and as mentioned before, share almost all of our opinions on the world around us.
With all that I’ve put before you, can you understand why there are many of us who might not find a partner? For those who don’t want to end up alone, it may require a major shift in your dating behavior. If any of what I’ve written resonates with you and you see yourself in these behaviors, you are the one who must change. The world around is is plowing full steam ahead and taking no prisoners. The impartial world is not concerned with your long-term happiness; it focuses on instant gratification. You must slow yourself down; you must limit your own options; you must free yourself from the FOMO mindset; you must allow differing opinions; you must stop demanding so much of a partner.
Demand what is truly important: kindness, trustworthiness, fidelity, loyalty, honesty, commitment. And demand those qualities of yourself, for if you cannot offer those key relationship gems to a partner - you cannot expect them to be offered to you. Most of all, stop judging and dismissing people based on photos. Make time to meet people face to face before deciding he or she is not for you - NO MATTER WHAT THEIR PHOTO LOOKS LIKE.
If you continue to make decisions based on shallow values - you will never find the depth of character needed for a happy, healthy, long-term relationship.