The days of catching the eye of a handsome stranger from the far side of the dance hall seem all too distant in today’s dating world. From online dating sites to apps which can actually show when you have crossed paths with ‘the one’, being single in the digital era is not for the faint hearted romantic. Despite several failed relationships, disaster dates and terrible Tinders, I still tell myself that Prince Charming is somewhere out there waiting to sweep me off my feet. Or swipe my selfie to the right.
The modern working world has altered the relationship boundary. Correct me if I’m wrong but finding time to date between the daily 10-6 slog, pilgrimage to the gym and meet ups with the girls is pretty difficult, so technology has come up with the solution. Call it research, inquisitiveness or desperation, but I found myself joining in with the rest of you and searching for singletons within a 20km radius. Fast forward thirty years though and I can’t picture describing, to a bright eyed and innocent child, the moment Granny first laid eyes on Grandad’s profile, so I think we have to take these types of dating tools at face value. Don’t get me wrong I have several friends who have been on a string of dates with Tinder hopefuls but the majority haven’t lasted. Call me cynical but I find the whole process much like bidding at auction. As a young, free and single female, instead of restoring my faith in the promise that ‘The One’ is just a swipe away it made me even more disheartened about the lack of eligible batchelors out there, the majority of who are looking for more than just coffee.
But never fear, for it seems that all hope is not lost as there are a number of apps out there if Tinder isn’t your thing. Topping the list is Happn. Never heard of it? Neither had I until I suddenly found myself being inundated with profiles of potential partners who just happened to have walked past me on the high street or in the lunchtime queue waiting behind me until I had finished at the self scan. Instead of wishing that it might happen ‘just like in the movies’, this app actually tells us when and where our paths crossed exactly. And then we can choose to like them, charm them and then take it to the next stage and hold an actual intellectual text conversation with one another.
I wonder if we fast forward ten, fifty, one hundred years in the future how the dating scene will look. And whether we will have forgotten the laws of attraction and how it feels to meet our next suitor through a mutual friend or workout class. When it comes to dating in the digital era, we are quick to make judgements, quick to let partners pass us by because their hair looks too flat or they look like they’d take longer than us to get ready in the morning. Call me a hopeless romantic but I’m still waiting for that chance meeting across the dinner party table. Because even Bridget Jones got her happy ending girls.