Why do men and women seem to have such a hard time meeting people these days?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Teacher_Lyn, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. Teacher_Lyn

    Teacher_Lyn Companion

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    Aug 6, 2010

    So many people swear by e-harmony, match.com, plentyoffish and other dating websites. There's chat hotlines, postings on craiglist, matchmakers and even groups like 8 at 8 that sets people up on dates.

    50 years ago, none of this stuff (except for matchmakers) existed, and yet somehow people were able to meet, mingle and marry.

    What changed? Why are we using so much technology now to do something that seems natural. Ya know. Boy meets Girl. Boy dates Girl. Doesn't work out. Boy dates another girl (and another and another if need be) before eventually getting married.

    I'm not knocking the technology -- I'm sure you all know that I've had an eharmony account TWICE and have issues meeting people.

    But it doesn't just seem to be me. It seems like people from every walk of life, are having issues meeting people to date.

    I won't lie -- I used to think only losers would need help meeting people. But, as I've gotten older and talked to more people, there're plenty of normal, attractive, successful people who need extra help.


    To hear my parents and grandparents talk about dating in their day sounds so different than what people are doing now.

    My Mom said she and her friends used to go out all the time and meet guys at parties and this dance hall. Sometimes it was serious, sometimes it wasn't/ But she said she NEVER was home on a Friday night. Always had a date.

    Same with my Dad and the grandparents.

    Doesn't seem that way now. Even my brother, who is older than I am and MUCH MUCH more outgoing and I hate to say it, but more attractive (well he's in better physical shape) has secretly been using dating sites to try and find the one.
     
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  3. Starista

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    Interesting question you pose.

    It seems as though it was easier to meet a potential beau in high school or college days. I think many men and women postpone wanting to be in a serious relationship or even dating until they are confident and happy with their education and career. :) For some that is later than others. :)

    During our high school and college days, it was easy to meet a person to date! They were everywhere!!!

    Could be a sign of the economy as well? Less money to spend on bars or club hopping or hosting a dinner party where two single friends might meet?

    I think that the internet has become a HUGE medium for online romance and it has its pros and cons for sure.

    Best wishes!:hugs:
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  4. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Lyn, I wonder about this at times too. When my mom was in her 20s (in the 1960s), she & some friends had their own grp/club going where they'd go out & meet people. But, my mom said things aren't the way they used to be then. Times are different...a lot more dangerous.

    So to answer your question specifically, IMO, it's a combo of:

    - times being different/safer back then
    - the technology to do all this stuff wasn't out there then
    - people are sick of or have no luck at the bars or wherever else they go

    In a way, I wish things were simpler the way they used to be when people (especially men) would have to work a little harder to woo a girl. Unfortunately, there's no turning back w/ technology.

    My mom & I talked about the whole internet dating thing once. For a long time, we thought only desperate people did that. Now, I'm definitely not the type to do it, but as we were talking, we were saying, at least they do a background check on these guys, so it's fantastic you know that much. I think the older I get, the more my mom wouldn't mind if I ever wanted to try it. I still don't really plan to. It's really hard for me to meet people though because I don't go out a lot & don't have friends to go places w/ really.

    My old pal's younger sis got married just a month ago to a guy she met on plentyoffish. I personally never heard ot the site before. It will be intereseting to see how long the marriage lasts.
     
  5. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Aug 6, 2010

    Depending on how many decades back we are talking ...

    Here are a variety of possible explanations:
    -- Sometimes having too much choice in potential mates makes it impossible to make a choice ... meeting someone from a different town didn't use to happen a lot
    -- Women didn't have much say in the situation ... they were courted by a parent-approved boy ... not ending up with the boy was scandalous, it wasn't a matter of meeting the right person, it was a matter of meeting one person
    -- People are postponing marriage until their 30s when they are out of the giant social pool of educational settings
    -- Some people seem to have more baggage that make meeting others more difficult
    -- I've heard people talk about college in the past being a place women would major in "husband finding." That wasn't the case for me or my friends, we majored in our degrees. Of course we dated, but didn't attend college to just find a husband.
    -- People don't have to leave their homes to find social interaction
     
  6. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I'm sure they have no skepticism over how long their marriage will last based on meeting online. Why would meeting online be a predicting factor in how long a marriage lasts? I would think "how" a couple meets would be a non-factor. The important factors would be a shared value system, how well they know each other, how they manage money, etc ... meeting online doesn't play into it any more than meeting at the market, at a bar, at church.

    Sorry for the hijack.
     
  7. Teacher_Lyn

    Teacher_Lyn Companion

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    It's not really a hijack. Ms. I brings up a good point. How much does how you meet the person factor into longevity of the relationship? Take me for instance -- I met a great guy in college my sophomore year. We dated for almost 4 years and were engaged for 1. Yet, he wasn't the right one for me and we didn't get married in the end.

    Even though we shared A LOT of interests and background going to the same school and having the same social circles, it wasn't enough.

    On the other hand, I have two girlfriends that got married around the same time. One met her husband on a dating website, the other met her husband on the bus. Both of them seem to be happy with their mates.

    Each one is on year three.

    So really, I guess it depends on the people and how they relate to each other when they're face to face.
     
  8. Ms. I

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    Thanks Lyn. BTW, I probably said that about my friend's sis because this is her 2nd marriage now. The 1st one didn't last that long.
     
  9. bros

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    people are actually more likely to marry someone they meet online, I believe, a study I read a while ago said
     
  10. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I met my wife in a bar almost 18 years ago. Still married.
     
  11. Peachyness

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    I met my husband at a school I attended. He worked as an aide. I was still in high school. He tutored me in math. :D

    I'm thinking it's that times have changed. Back then, people spent more time with each other, out and about town. Now that technology is so much more complex, people are spending a bit more time indoors, on their computer (just my opinion, I don't really know for sure!). Heck, when I'm out an about, I see people who are by themselves attached to their cell phones/ipod/whatever hand held device. When I was in college, I refused to get a cell phone. I didn't want to become one of "them". I wanted to actually meet people and talk to them! I don't really know why else people have a hard time these days.
     
  12. Miss W

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    Well, let's see. I work at a school with almost all women. There are 2 males, but they're married. I never go out to clubs or bars, so that's out too. I didn't socialize in college because I was working 2 full time jobs to pay for college. I'm also an introvert. I'm not one to introduce myself to someone by myself, and I don't go to many things that are not just my friends (who happen to be married).
     
  13. heymiss

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    I think work takes up a lot more time than it used to. Also, if you still live at home with your parents or have roommates, you've got someone to help out with chores and household duties. I have my own home and am charge of doing EVERYTHING, plus working, plus taking care of the dog, grocery shopping, etc.

    Also, I think people tend to be more spread out than they used to be. I don't live near my family or very many of my friends from high school or college. While I take myself out to lunch sometimes, I am hardly likely to go to a bar by myself or out to dinner on my own.

    I met my last boyfriend on match.com, and it lasted for 3.5 years. I also met my current boyfriend there, and it's been 6 months so far. While the ex and I actually had some mutual friends, we probably never would have met in "real life", and I almost certainly never would have met my current boyfriend.

    Since I don't live near my family or my friends, there's little matchmaking potential there, and the friends that DO live here are either busy with work or married with a kid, which doesn't lead to much "hey, let's go hang out at the bar!"

    I used to think it was lame, too, back when I was in college and had lots of likeminded guys around me. But in my mid-twenties with a full-time job and responsibilities, it's a pretty awesome way to meet your future spouse.

    Don't get me wrong: I met my share of weirdos, but it didn't take me long to find the one who might actually be The One. :)
     
  14. Securis

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    I have no problems meeting women, in person or online. It's more or less deciding if they fit or whether I should inflict myself upon them. That's the hard part, determining the probabilities of things working out.
     
  15. myKroom

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    Sounds a lot like me!!! If you are out of school, don't go to bars, or do the online thing...it's kind of hard to meet people! I usually hang out with my friends who are, like yours, all married!

    We will see what happens, I might be forced out of my shell more since I am 5 hours away from all my friends and family! They keep teasing me that maybe I'll find Mr. Right in my new town!
     
  16. teacher333

    teacher333 Devotee

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    I think we were more social creatures back when we did not have big screen TVs, Ipods, a Blackberry and the computer. Plus, many work ridiculously long hours. There were lots of social groups you could be part of back then. We used to go to lots of peoples' homes for parties, and many times were "fixed up" by others with friends they knew they felt were perfect for us.
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I met my husband at a wake in 1986. We've been married since 1989.

    I think that part of the issue is expectations. I think that too many people buy into the idea of the "perfect guy/girl." And I'm pretty sure that that person, like the child-paragons I referred to in another thread, simply doesn't exist.

    And part of it is that we're so very busy that people sometimes expect instant chemistry, instant results. One tiny little "flaw" eliminates the person for consideration, and it's back to the hunt. We expect endless chances for our own mistakes, but are seldom as tolerant of others. We feel as though there's just so little TIME that we don't want to waste it on someone who might not be "the one." Once upon a time, we had more time, or felt as though we did. So we could afford more time to 'wait and see.'
     
  18. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    It may also have to do with both 'casual sex' and living together before marriage becoming more accepted and common. People are more apt to not marry because they don't have to.
     
  19. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    I don't think online dating is a negative thing. I think it's just one of the options people have now because of the available technology. It's a way to put you in touch with someone you might NEVER run into out there in the course of your day. You still have to meet them and decide if you want to pursue a dating situation with them or not. It's not a guarantee of anything. Just a way to put you in touch with others.

    People misinterpret online dating as doing all the dating stuff online. I suppose if it's long distance, you have to do it that way but for most people I know, you connect online then you plan a meeting, face to face. If you like each other, you plan a date. Just like in Real Life.

    Dating websites are the new hangout spots to meet people. We have to stop thinking of these sites as "out there" or as some magical place. They are real places that exist in the world of social networking. We can choose to go to a bar, go to the local bookstore, hang out at the grocery store, or go online. These are all places to meet someone in modern times. Think about when your kids say they're friends on Facebook. They say "on" but it's actually "at" Facebook. It is a place. We need to change our idea of what places are because technology has given us many new places and there are more coming. (Stuff I'm learning in grad school tech courses...cool huh?) LOL

    Right now, I'm online, at A to Z, hanging out with you guys. That's how we all met. Right here. Without technology, we wouldn't know each other. This is not a dating site but it is a friending site. If we choose to actually meet someone from A to Z and develop the friendship further, we know it wouldn't have happened without coming here first. :hugs:
     
  20. Teacher_Lyn

    Teacher_Lyn Companion

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    Wow, are you sure you're not my doppleganger (or maybe im yours) because you do sound a lot like me.

    You've got a point -- most of the other teachers at my school are married and there aren't many men. I found that I mostly used to meet guys in my classes in college or at my job.

    The guy I'm dating now in fact used to work with my almost six years ago before I changed fields and became a teacher.
     
  21. Teacher_Lyn

    Teacher_Lyn Companion

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    I have to admit, dating sites still seem pretty "out there" to me. Even when I was on them, I always wondered, "why are the other people on here".

    I tend to think that most all of the guys on dating sites are there because:
    1) They are complete WEIRDOS (by which i mean stalkers, serial killers, complete social rejects, immature, etc) that no one in the "real world" wants

    2) They want sex

    I KNOW I KNOW!:eek: It's such a double standard and backwards thinking. I'm hardly any of those negative things except EXTREMELY shy with men and I was on dating sites. But still, I always consider myself and people like me more the exception than the rule.

    :hugs: I DO love:wub: the A to Z community though. When I first joined two years ago, I was so depressed and in a horrible place.
     
  22. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Well, maybe because both men and women are busy working these days. I met my husband right out of high school. We both worked at the same place. God I love that guy...
     
  23. KinderCowgirl

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    I think a big part of it is more people are becoming single again later in life. Marraiges aren't lasting as long as they used to, so people are back in the dating pool again after being out of it so long. Sometimes it's nice to have a matchmaker screen out personality differences. People I've known have had a lot of success with online dating.
     
  24. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I'm not sure what I think about the online dating thing. It seems like it would be easier to meet someone who is local and then you would really know. But, maybe people are spending more time online and therefore maybe it is easier to meet online. I really don't know.
     
  25. Teacher_Lyn

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    that's another great point. a friend of a friend was married and divorced within a year. my boyfriend was married about 3 years, before legally seperating and eventually divorcing his wife. my brother also divorced after about a year. All these people are within their 20s and 30s.

    I think marriages don't last as long now because divorce isn't nearly as taboo as it used to be, so some people RACE to the alter and think in the back of their mind, "worse case scenario, if this doesn't work out, I can always get a divorce. it's not like i'm stuck with them forever" :eek:
     
  26. Securis

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    I have been using a dating site on a lark for just about a month. I'm none of those things. Not even remotely. :( Which leads into my biggest gripe with the entire situation. The whole farse is anonymous, however, few people reply. How much safer could it be to have email exchanges across a text medium?
     
  27. Jem

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    Kinder-that's exactly what I was thinking. It's amazing to me how many people are divorced. And it's acceptable to date outside of your 'age range', so maybe it IS because so many people are back on the market, where as it use to be just 20's and under dating each other. Just a thought.

    I did online dating in college because I found most guys wanted to just hook up at that time in their lives. They didn't want to get serious about marriage until they got their career started. So I went online and dated all the guys that had waited and realized they weren't going to find many women in their workplaces to date-that's why they were online dating. Dh and I met on yahoo personals. He went online because he had just moved to Michigan and didn't know anyone, and the girls at his office were very superficial. He was looking for a very specific personality. We did e-mail for about 2 months before meeting, but then all of our dating was in person on the weekends. We were married about a year and a half after meeting, and just had our four year anniversary. I never think about how we met in terms of if it would make a difference in our marriage. It's a fun story to tell, but that's it. Our relationship is very, very real. We're best friends that just happened to meet online.

    I'm having a really difficult time making a good girl friend. I'm trying to use GirlfriendConnect.com, but they aren't very active in my area-I really don't want to make friends in the city because it's a pain to drive across the bridge back home after going out. I'd love a friend in the area that I could shop with, have tea and brunches with, etc. Grrr-I wish online dating worked for that! I know Girlfriend Connect is trying to do it, but it needs to get better. I miss having a girl friend....
     
  28. Teacher_Lyn

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    i read somewhere that sometimes online dating can make it harder for people to meet because people become EXTREMELY picky and when they see little teeny things (ie: the person is into techno music or something) they don't like, they just skip to the next profile, instead of messaging and getting to know the other person.

    i felt exactly the way you felt though. i did not get many replies.
     
  29. Ms. I

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    I'm the same way too. Don't really go out socially. I go to work, the gym, grocery store, mall, etc. I don't have friends to go out w/. I may go to lunch w/ a gal pal every few mos or so. And teaching's the WRONG field to get into to meet guys. If that was the case, I would have gone into engineering or maybe architecture.

    Long ago, I started a thread about where do people meet people. I should try to find it.

    Even my schooling is completely online these days.
    More educational facilities are online, so although people still actually drive to college, it's less than it used to be. I'm finishing up 2 summer online classes right now. It's a university in Utah & there's about 75-80 students all from around the country...even another country or two.

    I guess my BF & I are becoming a rare breed. We're in our mid-30s & neither of us have been married before or have any kids.

    BTW, Lyn I love your avatar!
     
  30. scienceteach82

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    My parents met in college at LSU...still married 29 years later. 2 of my brothers met their gf's in college. One is getting married in Jan. The other met his gf in HS. They are 20&21 now.
    I met some guys I was with from online. One in kinda with now sold me my car.
    I don't want to pay so much for eharmony. Wish I had more friends that I could go out with :-/
    I agree with ms.I....times are more dangerous now :(
     
  31. TeacherNY

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    I would probably still be single if I didn't meet my husband while I was in college. We were only friends for a while so I still dated other guys even after college and I did go out with one guy I met online. He lived with his parents so when I went to his house it was pretty tame LOL
     
  32. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    There just aren't many opportunities in my area for my... "set" I guess we could call it - young-ish professionals/people committed to their jobs. My community is very much a retirement/tourist spot; bars generally cater to the young, non-professional set; not really many hang-out spots other than the beach.

    Conclusion? Online dating. Further conclusion: Yes, I get a fair amount of hits on my profile, but it's easy to tell when someone is responding to my picture and not what I had to say about myself. It's also really easy to ignore people who come on too strong or too creepy... so I ignore them :dunno:
     
  33. Irishdave

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    I wonder if I should chime in?
     
  34. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Yup.
     
  35. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I think it is because we are pickier in what we want in a relationship.

    I think in the past there were standards in what you wanted in a man or woman. Those lines are completely blurred now. Also, getting married was what you did. I think people kind of settled for who they were with in many cases because getting married and having kids was the next step in life after high school or college. Today, I think we sometimes go to the other extreme and question or second guess whether the person is THE ONE because we don't HAVE to get married.
     
  36. Irishdave

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    I have use online services but found out it was mostly like a singles bar with all the hormones but without the booze and smoke (on my end)...
    but I have noticed that online services based on religion seems to to be less hormonal.

    "Connecting" is still the same as it was in high school: should I call? what does my pic look like? should I tell her I am not the son of rich IBM VP? etc. It does allow (requires) more intellectual discussions, "talk," since many times there is a physical separation.
    An online service resembles speed dating.
    When you make a profile you have to "make it good" as to attract the type of person you want to meet but not so "good" to make you sound like Superman/Wonder Woman (just a little under that)
    Basically it is like fishing and your profile is the bait, you can use "worms" or "artificial lures."
    The biggest thing is a online services makes you be a little more intellectual to start off.
    It is a good time saver you can read profiles in your PJs, throw on a shirt, comb your hair, "look pretty" from the waist up, and use a webcam, and if you don't like the person you can say your computer crashed or you got a virus.
     
  37. teacher333

    teacher333 Devotee

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    I think I have dated MANY of those guys! LOL!:lol:
     
  38. Chrissteeena

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    Aug 13, 2010

    My co-workers and I were actually discussing something like this in the last few days. We were saying how people aren't going out, to a club. a bar, etc. to meet someone as often as in the past because in a way… some may not know how to anymore.

    If you look around you even in a short period of time [lets say an hour] (if you're outside, going places to run errands, etc.) you will see *this many people* attached to their blackberry, iPhone, laptop if you're somewhere that has wireless internet, etc. All of the technology has made some unable to communicate without it.

    I see posts on my facebook from people all the time. A conversation going back and forth between roommates- they are sitting right next to each other. My supervisor and I text each other if we need something during the day…..and we are in the same room for eight hours! Why not just walk over to the person?

    The ability to communicate without that medium (facebook, twitter, online dating service, etc.) has become harder and harder as more ways are available to not go up to someone and just start talking.
     

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