What is dating like in 2020?
If you’re coming out of a failed marriage or long-term relationship in 2020, it’s going to take a while to adjust. The dating marketplace has transformed drastically in recent times, and if you haven’t been single for a few years, it might shock you.
As such, the idea of “playing the field” might be overwhelming at this time, especially if you’re still dealing with a broken heart.
Don’t panic though. We’re here to help.
The guide below is packed with ideas of what to expect and how to navigate this strange new world of dating in 2020.
Give yourself some time to heal.
You might feel the need to rush back into dating new people straight after a devastating breakup. Many people do this to avoid having to deal with their feelings. But all it usually does is paper over the cracks.
These feelings of sadness, inadequacy and resentment will remain inside you until you address them. They’ll still affect your mood. They’ll weigh you down subconsciously, and your dates will usually be able to sense that something isn’t right.
When you lose a loved one, it’s often recommended to give yourself time to mourn. Have a good cry. Share your feelings with a close friend. Let all your emotions out into the open. When you do this, it’ll do a lot to help you permanently relieve yourself of them. It’s an exorcism of sorts.
From there, it’s a great idea to take some time to reconnect with yourself. A lot of married or cohabiting men and women create a self-identity as one half of an awesome team. Now is the time to rebuild your self-identity as an awesome individual.
Re-engage with your hobbies. Start a new passion project. Perhaps spoil yourself with some new clothes or a haircut. Spend time with friends, but most importantly take the time to learn to enjoy who you are.
When we learn to truly love ourselves, we become so much more attractive to other people.
Girl Power: The biggest change in modern dating.
The biggest dating culture shift of the century arrived in 2012 with the emergence of Tinder.
Online dating existed for decades before this, but Tinder made it cool.
Before 2012, finding a date on the internet was seen only as a pastime for nerds and introverts. Now, everyone is doing it.
Tinder’s success led to hundreds of copycat apps being formed. But more importantly, it led to a huge shift in the power dynamics of modern dating.
And it’s one which hugely favors women.
Any reasonably attractive woman with an online dating profile is now overwhelmed with options. Even those without one are likely to have plenty of thirsty men sending compliments on Instagram and other social media platforms.
Naturally, this has raised the typical woman’s (and highly attractive man’s) standards for who they consider good enough to date.
If you married your ex before 2012, you only needed to be as good as the other singles in their immediate circle (who were brave enough to speak to them).
Nowadays, you need to be better than the thousands upon thousands of singles inside their phone.
This abundance of options for most women (and top tier of men who also have plenty of options to find and meet a single older woman) has made them a lot pickier when it comes to settling down, and a lot less forgiving of flaws and mistakes. The “grass is greener” syndrome has made it a lot tougher even for attractive people to choose a partner.
To date or not to date online?
Honestly, this mostly depends on your appearance and your tolerance for the things people do online.
If you’re a woman who has never downloaded an online dating app, the idea of being peppered with compliments by hundreds of virtual dudes might sound lovely. Perhaps this is the confidence boost you need after your break-up?
However, a lot of women do get frustrated by fears of being catfished, scammed, harassed or meeting a guy who turned out to be a creep. Many never feel truly comfortable with the idea of actually meeting their online matches. (While Love The Network has taken several steps to prevent this by introducing background checks and anti-catfishing tests for all members, other mainstream dating apps need to catch up).
Meanwhile, most men get frustrated by a lack of matches. This experiment suggests that women regard 80% of male profiles as “below average”. This one suggests that this “bottom 80%” of men (in terms of attractiveness) are competing for the bottom 22% of women. That means the top 78% of attractive women will only settle for the top 20% of men.
The main argument for trying to find a partner offline is that you give yourself the chance to stand out.
You put yourself right at the front of the queue for their attention, you get to find out who they really are, and you give yourself an opportunity to make an emotional connection using your personality.
This is especially recommended if you’re in that bottom 80% of attractive men. (Your personality counts for a lot too, so you might as well give women the chance to see it.)
Don't be frustrated with the modern dating climate.
A lot of people are complaining about what online apps have done to the modern dating climate, but there’s no need to become frustrated.
There are still plenty of fantastic singletons and these apps do make it simpler to put yourself out there and connect with them.
Either way, you should be heartened to know that there are still plenty of people excited to meet a partner “the old-fashioned way.”
So, once you feel ready to date again, don’t be afraid to put on your best outfit, don a big smile and start mingling with some singles.