Article By Griffin Wynne And Isabel Calkins
~ July, 2021 ~ My parents met their junior year of college, in line for a bar called What Ales You? 20-something years later, my older brother met his life partner before he could legally drink. It’s safe to say that I grew up assuming falling in love in your late teens was something that happened naturally to your body, like hormonal acne. But as I graduated high school and then college, I wondered, “Where the heck is my star-crossed lover?,” and more importantly, “Why is dating so hard for me?”
As the great Charlotte York once said, “I have been dating since I was 15. I am exhausted. Where is he?” But seriously. What gives? The worst part (or the best part — I am not sure yet) is that I am not alone in thinking dating is hard. According to Logan Ury, Director of Relationship Science at Hinge, “51% of Hinge users tell us they’re experiencing FODA, or Fear of Dating Again. Singles are experiencing fears around their health, their comfort meeting up in crowded places, and their atrophied social skills.” Validating, right?
But like any chatty young person with too much free time and internet access, I reached out to every type of relationship expert I could think of in order to truly understand why dating today just feels so hard. Pausing the Sex and the City episode I was watching (via my ex’s HBO account), I asked them about the culprit of today’s dating drama. Hookup culture? Addiction to technology? Inability to create real and vulnerable relationships? (Spoiler alert: It’s all of the above.)
In hopes of understanding why dating nowadays feels so hard, here’s what six relationship experts had to say.
From hiding behind phones to feeling overwhelmed with choices, there are a ton of reasons dating is so hard today. I’ve found that it can be helpful to try to see every happy couple as proof that you can (and will) find love, too, instead of comparing yourself to your friends in happy relationships. At the end of the day, while modern dating may be hard, you can sleep easy knowing that so many others are navigating this bizarre sea of love, together.
Logan Ury, Director of Relationship Science at Hinge
Claudia Cox, relationship coach
Dr. Joshua Klapow, clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show
Susan Winter, relationship expert and love coach
Nicole Richardson, licensed marriage and family therapist
Thomas Edwards Jr., founder of The Professional Wingman