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Why Is Dating So Hard? 10 Reasons Why and How to Overcome Them

Morgan Mandriota
10 Reasons Dating Is So Hard — and How to Overcome It
Dating and relationships in today’s digital age have unique perks, but they also come with their fair share of challenges.

According to a 2019 study by Pew Research Center, dating has become significantly harder now than it was 10 years ago. And we definitely don’t always marry our high school sweethearts anymore like our parents did.

Nowadays, people can be quick to reject you, and it could take a while to meet someone you actually like on dating apps. But when you do finally find that person, it’s totally worth the wait and stress.

So why is dating so hard? Here are 10 reasons why modern dating is challenging, along with tips on how to overcome these issues.

1. People seem to be disposable

Dating apps make it easy to connect with anybody and everybody within a certain mile radius. So if you don’t like every single thing about someone who pops up on your app, it’s easy to reject them. People have a very disposable mindset and immediately move on to the next one after losing interest because there’s a seemingly endless flow of “more fish in the sea” to connect with.

How to overcome it: Give people a shot! Take some time to get to know them before deciding that they aren’t a good fit for you. You might be surprised to see who you end up liking who you didn’t think you would at first glance.

2. People don’t know how to hold conversations

How many times have you received a boring first message like “hey,” “what’s up,” or the same GIF that everyone sends? A lot of people don’t know how to start conversations with catchy opening lines, so you’re usually left to initiate the conversation … only to be left with crickets chirping after you send a couple of messages back and forth.

How to overcome it: Put in the effort to hold a decent conversation. Send an interesting first message. Ask thought-provoking questions. If someone doesn’t respond well, then you don’t have to continue engaging, but at least you tried.

3. Ghosting is too common

Most people don’t care or respect their dates enough anymore to give them a courteous breakup. Then those folks are left hanging, wondering what went wrong, and why they’re unlovable — even though they didn’t do anything wrong, and the issue is really that the ghost was disrespectful and didn’t know how to properly end things.

How to overcome it: If you don’t like someone who you went on one or three dates with, be nice enough to let them know that you’re no longer interested in hanging out. Meeting up to talk face to face over a cup of coffee or sending a simple text explaining the situation and wishing them the best will go a long way.

4. Most people just want to hook up

If someone only wants a sexual relationship or something casual, that’s fine. But it can be frustrating to navigate dating apps when most people are only interested in getting physical and your ultimate goal is to fall in love.

How to overcome it: If you want a serious, long-term relationship, make it known. State your intentions on one of your first dates, or even before you meet people, to make sure you’re on the same page. That way you won’t waste anyone’s time or energy. Learning what the bases in dating mean can also help you navigate through the dating world.

5. You’re not using the right apps

Have you been wondering why you aren’t getting lucky on the dating app you’ve been using? Well, it might not be the best one for you to connect with the right people. For example, if you want something casual, then you'd want to use a site like Zoosk. On the other hand, if you're looking for a serious relationship, Match.com would be the right choice for you.

How to overcome it: Do some research to figure out which app is best for your needs. There are dating apps for everything and everyone, from senior dating to hookups and beyond.

6. You’re being too picky

Yes, it’s important to have standards, and it’s good to know what you want. After all, you obviously don’t want to settle. But you’ll have a hard time building healthy relationships with potentially great partners if you’re too picky about every little thing.

How to overcome it: Let go of the expectation that you’re going to find the absolute perfect person. You might not even realize that someone is a great match for you until you talk for a while and see how they are in different situations. Be open minded, and know that the nitpicky stuff usually doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

7. You desperately want love

Being in love is an amazing feeling, and it’s a goal that many of us have. However, being desperate will compromise the quality of the people you connect with because you just want any connection — not exactly the right connection.

How to overcome it: Try not to obsess over finding love. It’ll happen in time. Until then, continue enjoying your hobbies, spending time with loved ones, and focusing on living your best life.

8. Media sets unrealistic expectations

How many times have you watched a movie or TV show that portrayed unrealistic dating situations? Watching this type of content on a regular basis will skew your expectations and lead you into thinking that dating in the real world is just like it is on the big screen.

How to overcome it: Remember that your dating life is not like the one in the romantic comedy you watched last week. Happy endings do exist, but what you see on TV isn’t real. Keep that in mind when you’re dating.

9. Caring isn’t cool

People might act tough because they’re afraid that their vulnerability will be perceived as a weakness, but this isn’t the case at all. Being open and honest about your feelings and putting in the effort is very attractive (to anyone who wants a committed relationship).

How to overcome it: In a world of careless people, be daring enough to give a damn. Be the one to open up first, make an effort, and encourage dates to do the same, too.

10. People play games

How many hours will you wait to respond to a first message even though you’re free to reply now? Who’s going to be the first one to text after the date ends? Mind games are so common nowadays that it’s almost shocking when someone texts back quickly and they actually walk their talk.

How to overcome it: Quit playing games! Respond to messages whenever you’re available. Send a thank you text after grabbing coffee with someone for the first time. Game-playing is toxic. Being honest and straightforward is attractive.

Make Dating a Little Easier

Yes, modern dating can be tough, but there’s a light at the end of the seemingly dark tunnel. So many people find love on dating apps – in fact, data from 2020 suggests that 54% of Americans say online dating is just as successful as dating in person. So what are you waiting for? Download one of the best dating apps today to put these tips to the test and find what you’re looking for sooner than later.

Morgan Mandriota
Morgan Mandriota writes for Top10.com. Morgan is a freelance sex and wellness writer with bylines at Betches, Health.com, and BuzzFeed. Her insight has been quoted in Cosmopolitan, Tinder, The New York Times, and more. When Morgan isn't writing about orgasms, dating struggles, or CBD, she loves traveling, eating tacos, and training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.