Match Making

By Shelley Galasso Bonanno, MA, LLP

The world of dating has undergone a significant shift in recent years, propelled by changing technology and evolving societal norms. Gone are the days of relying on friends’ setups or chance encounters at the local bar. Online dating platforms like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge have become the new matchmakers. Algorithms curate profiles based on shared interests, values and even location, promising a more efficient and targeted approach to finding love.

AI-powered matchmaking algorithms are becoming much more sophisticated. Information such as political affiliations and even one’s vaccine status are now immediately available with a swipe. Virtual reality dates and metaverse matchmaking are emerging, offering immersive experiences to connect before meeting in person. But has this evolution in dating resulted in increased connections and meaningful relationships?

Working with countless young adults in my practice, I am privy to chronic struggles related to the dating challenges for both men and women. A general feeling of disconnect prevails. While there is a yearning for a genuine desire for connection, this desire generally seems unattainable and frustrating. Subsequently, individuals are placing more emphasis on personal growth and understanding themselves before seeking serious relationships. This leads to more conscious dating choices and a willingness to prioritize individual needs and ambitions.

The effect of dating on mental health is also gaining more attention than in years past. Dating apps are incorporating features to promote mindfulness and emotional wellbeing. Platform developers are partnering with mental health organizations to offer resources and support for users navigating the often-challenging dating scene. Traditional relationship structures are becoming increasingly flexible and fluid. People are open to exploring casual dating, living together without marriage, and prioritizing personal fulfillment over societal expectations. With the opening of an app, the promise for finding love, in whatever way one chooses, continues to be available.

While online dating offers the availability of seemingly endless access to potential partners, the abundance of choices can also lead to a sense of “choice paralysis,” making it difficult to make a single choice and commit to a relationship. When presented with many options, the choices can seem overwhelming. Disconnect is common. Feeling overwhelmed and expressing decision fatigue, many express a general unwillingness to pursue the emotional work that must be dedicated to developing and maintaining a committed relationship.

While the world of dating has gone through this dramatic transformation, it’s crucial to remember that technology is merely a tool. Dating is a deeply personal journey, and how it has changed may depend on factors like your age, location, cultural background, and personal values. But the essence of love remains the same with the desire for an authentic connection, intimacy, and shared experiences.

The dating world will undoubtedly continue to transform. The challenge will be to embrace the evolving landscape and approach dating with an open mind, clear communication, and a focus on finding connections that genuinely enrich your life. The key lies in using technology to enhance these human connections, not replace them.

Shelley BonannoA lifelong resident of Macomb County, Shelley Galasso Bonanno is a practicing limited licensed psychologist who earned her master’s degree from Wayne State University in 1987. She has a breadth of experience in working with adults, children, families, and couples. In addition to working in private practice, Ms. Bonanno performs consultative services for State and forensic agencies. She performs custody and parenting time evaluations and is a court-approved mediator. Her writings have appeared in various online and print publications. An advocate for mental health, you can follow Ms. Bonanno on Twitter @shelleybonanno

Sign up for our email newsletters

Share This

Share this post with your friends!