Why Is Finding Love So Difficult in 2021?

Why is it so hard to find love?? women staring out a windowYou’d think that it would be easy to find love in 2021…We have dating apps, meet-ups, online forums, social media, and more. Before you read this article (in which I’m laying out some of the negatives), please check out our Facebook page where we’ll be focusing on the solutions rather just the problems!

Yet, we have many clients and friends who simply can’t seem to find the right person. And, this is after trying matchmaking, Tinder, Bumble, Ok Cupid, Hinge, virtually every other dating app, and attending singles events. They have taken the advice from well-meaning (but, sadly, mistaken) friends and family about how to “land a man” (or woman). In this era of information overload and access to thousands of people (and the advice of millions), things should be easier, but they aren’t.

And, this isn’t just me listing a few anecdotes. Research shows that people simply aren’t dating, committing, or marrying as much. And, it’s not just the emotional side of relationships that are failing. Despite claims of a “hook up culture,” people just aren’t having as much sex as they used to either.

Overall loneliness is on the rise too, as we become more socially disconnected. A recent Pew Survey found most people think that dating sucks and a lot of people have just stopped looking for love. It’s no wonder 28% of men under 30 haven’t had sex in the last year, an all-time high for men of that age group compared to anytime in history.

women standing by red roseDespite the promise of online dating, one study found that 70% of Tinder users didn’t even go on a date from the app! Even E-Harmony’s own data shows that most couples don’t meet online.

Most users of online dating are finding that the process of liking, matching, texting, and meeting someone is a lot of wasted effort, after sorting through the time wasters, ghosters, and fakes. Relationships that start from online dating aren’t as likely to last, so there’s that. This may be because online dating is unnatural for many reasons.

Despite people generally resenting online dating, we also feel compelled to use it as if no other option exists.

Another reason finding love is so hard isn’t due to a lack of choice, but because we have so much choice. This is called the “choice paradox” and it is basically that the more options we have, the less likely we are capable of making a good choice, if we can make one at all. So, when presented with 30 decent men online, it’s very hard to narrow it down to just one, or focus your emotional and social attention to just one. And, those guys all have options as well. So, nobody chooses to settle down with anyone, leading to ridiculous frustration.

Another reality is that daters in 2020 are just plain picky, and online dating is partially to blame. OK Cupid’s research shows that women ultimately find roughly 80% of men online to be unattractive. And, women are only swiping right on 4.5% of male profiles on Tinder (data contained within the full study). When getting online, women in particular seem to get into a weird mode where only the absolute most handsome and successful guy will suffice.

Graph showing Tinder like distributionAnother issue related to this is that most women are matching with the same 10-15% of handsome, successful guys. Look at the graph. The red shows that men are distributing their likes to a variety of women, while most women are liking the same 10-15% of men.

So, it may seem great that you’ve matched with the handsome, well-dressed, muscular manager of his own company, but so are all the other women on the dating app. And, that manager is going to have two options: attempt to date every woman he’s messaging (and try to sleep with them), or he’s going to pick the prettiest of the bunch. This explains why most women we know complain they only seem to meet players or guys who don’t want a relationship online.

Since most men aren’t getting a whole lot of attention on dating apps (women reject 95.5% of men on Tinder, remember), some men turn into thirsty (desperately sexually needy) weirdos, which results in a lot of overly sexualized messages, messaging random women, begging for sex, and even sending unsolicited “junk pics.” This in turn, makes women even more picky and men even more desperate.

In some of the examples I gave above, women have a big advantage: they can be super picky, and are. However, the research shows this applies more for younger women. Older women are finding the opposite problem of getting to be picky: they become more invisible on certain dating apps as they age.

In fact, a recent large analysis of online dating behavior found women’s popularity on dating apps peaks at age 18 and goes down from there, while a man reaches peak popularity at 50. Some of this is because older men are setting their age ranges quite a bit younger. Ok Cupid’s own data shows that men of all ages are browsing profiles of 20-somethings.

I have also noticed that the over-reliance on online dating has crippled people’s social interactions in real life. Even though most people think online dating sucks, people aren’t going out as much and are less open to in-person interaction. My anecdotal observation is that fewer people are leaving the house outside of work, thanks to the rise of delivery services like door dash, and how easy it is to find entertainment at home (like streaming movies and TV).

How can you meet your soulmate if you never leave your house? And, if when you are out, you are wearing headphones or meanly staring at every guy or woman who comes near you, then how can you ever meet Mr. or Miss Right?

I’ve even seen lonely-looking people in a place full of eligible singles staring at their phones swiping on Tinder!

Wow…finding love in 2021 is difficult, because we’ve entered a cultural and technological era that’s a complete mess (at least from a dating standpoint).

But, as I mentioned, we are trying to remedy this. So please join the discussion about this, and help us solve the problem, on the Double Trust Dating Facebook Page!

And, check out our Courses! We have exclusive discounts available right now.

About the Author

David Bennett

David Bennett

David Bennett is a relationship expert, and has been a dating and relationship coach for over 8 years. He is listed in the top ten personal coaches for 2019, and is the author of seven self-help books. He has been featured in over 400 publications and other media appearances, including The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, Men's Health, Bustle, Prevention, and Woman's Day.

Related Posts