life, love, relationships

Lost generation (dating apocalypse)

The Y generation is very fragile in this economy. For those who don’t come from the upper class, where their parents can provide their big networking, it’s difficult to find a good job, or even go to a prestigious college. In Europe, the recession has hit hard the young generation. In Spain, Greece, Portugal, Italy, and even Ireland, not to say Iceland, the young generation has a huge rate of unemployment. Even in my country, it’s difficult. The young people who just go out of college can’t find a stable job. Just in my newsroom, all of the new young journalists who got hired were just offered a three months or six months contract they can’t refuse, because very few medias are hiring. We have to let go several of them once their contract were ended. I have seen many who have collected three months contract in other newspapers before arriving in my newsroom, where they are not guaranteed to stay. Unfortunately for them, when our budget is tight, the first to get fired are the ones who hold a short term contract.

Yet, they have gained a precious experience, and most of my former young coworker have found a permanent contract in other newspapers or medias, sometimes abroad. My newspaper has an excellent reputation for those who worked there.

Unfortunately for them, as it comes to love, they are the most fragile too. Because they are not guaranteed to have a long term relationship anymore.

Vanity Fair wrote an article about the damage done by social media like Tinder. The topic is also raised in Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg in their book “Modern Romance: an investigation”. With social media and dating sites, you get that feeling of always having the possibility to find a better person. We’re never satisfied with our choice, and we can’t choose, because there are too many choices.  Vanity Fair even called that a dating apocalypse. But I can’t help thinking about all of those who hook up through Tinder, and how dangerous is it. Because you put yourself in danger with random strangers you find on that social media. We seem to forget, when we swipe to the right or the left, that there’s a human being behind that screen, with all what it means.

Womanizers can collect women, but some will make them pay. They can get pregnant even after a one night stand (or just ten minutes of sex…), crush them if they are powerful, stalk them, threaten them, not to mention the worst.

I really don’t think social media are a great place to find love, especially Tinder, where it’s more about consumption. I don’t think it’s possible to have a relationship with someone you don’t know send you a picture of his private parts as an introduction to himself.

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Risky business (Ashley Madison hacked)

Ashley Madison, the extramarital dating site, has been hit by a cyberattack. The hackers threaten to leak the personal details of users. This site has more than 30 millions users in North America.

It seems there’s nowhere to be safe on internet. And this case is a reminder that everything you publish online, even if it’s private, has the chance to be exposed to the public at least once. Not so long ago, stars like Jennifer Lawrence got their iPhone hacked and the hackers leaked their personal photos. The hackers picked all the stars who sent naked pictures of themselves to their significant other. And of course, they choose the young and attractive ones. Not to mention the numerous cases of revenge porn, where the angry ex-lovers publish their ex’s naked picture on forums and public website.

The hackers have a common goal: shaming. As various medias wrote, divorce lawyers could have a great week with this Ashley Madison scandal.

But who are the users of Ashley Madison? Not so long ago, GQ wrote an article about the Married women of AshleyMadison. Through these profiles, you can get an idea about their counterparts. Sometimes, there are politicians, athletes, CEOs, … I guess since Anthony Wiener got caught on Twitter hitting on women, other politicians have tried to get more cautious and use Ashley Madison to find women (or men) who will remain mum about their affairs.

In that article, the married women can also have a high-powered career, that could be torpedoed. Plus, in american companies, if you’re an adulterer,  you’re likely to be fired. In Europe, especially in France (and even in Germany), people are much more comfortable with infidelity, it’s not a big deal, as mentioned Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg in their book “Modern Romance”. I don’t say everyone here is ok with infidelity. But you can’t be fired because you got caught cheating on your significant other. In my company (in Belgium), one of my coworkers got caught cheating with the receptionist. He’s still working for us. As for the receptionist, unfortunately, after our company got merged, we had to let her go.

Cheaters never win.

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celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

A long quest

One of my friends found his match on dating sites after one year and a half of subscription and a series of bad dates. When I turned to him to explain him my bitterness over my recent disastrous date with a guy I met online, he said to me to be patient.

You will only appreciate your match more when you find him” he said. Maybe he’s right. When you visit the museum of horrors several times, you’re just happy to see daylight even more.

Most of the people I know who met their match online told me they had several bad dates, with sometimes weirdos, before meeting their significant other.

The thing is, when you meet someone online, and you really like to chat with him/her, things can really be different once you meet the person for real. Because online, it’s easy to lie. Easier than when you meet the person for real.

For instance, some people lie about their profile. They try to show their best side, sometimes with the help of heavy lies. And these never pass the test of the first encounter.

Yesterday, when I went to my first date online, I got served with a guy like that. He lied about his height. He didn’t look at all like the picture he put on his profile. And he said he enjoyed life in his profile, while he spent his time bashing his job in front of me and said horrible things about the city where I grew up. Everything was disappointing. And I didn’t feel at ease at all with him.

This is something you can never catch online, unfortunately.

But my bad date had a point: you can have a general idea about the person you meet online just by looking at his/her profile.

For instance, there is one guy who keeps on sending me emails for the moment asking me to meet him for real. We have barely exchanged emails so far, but he’s willing to meet me. On his profile, he described himself as a true hottie (to be fair, he has a great picture) and he said he’s looking for a true hottie.  He didn’t bother to fulfill all the criteria of his profile. I bet the guy is just good-looking but empty-headed.  I can only imagine a date with him could be boring to the maximum, because he has probably nothing to say to me except that I’m beautiful.

Yeah, I’m mean with the guys I meet online. But before accepting a date, I try to check if the guy is able to stand a decent conversation with me.

This is going to be a long quest to find my match online.

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blogging, celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Too difficult

It’s been two weeks I’ve been on dating sites, and so far, I haven’t got any good result. I’m about to meet tomorrow a guy I chatted one day with. But I’m really afraid because this has gone too quickly for my taste. Maybe tomorrow, I won’t go. I’m  afraid I won’t like the guy.

For the second, now that I think about it, maybe he’s simply not interested at all. I was the one who sent him an email. I thought he and I had many common points. But it turned out he didn’t bother to leave me long emails, just short ones. And he seemed more interested by my career as a journalist than for who I am. He’s not curious about me, apart from that.

The other emails I received are either from guys who want to get laid, or from guys who looked like they are single like forever. Those are really nice, but they sound a bit desperate, and frankly, this doesn’t appeal to me at all. And most of them are way too old/ too ugly/too short/ too dumb/ have an open conflict with grammar and writing.

I know that I’m difficult. But online dating just leaves me cold. It lacks an important thing: human interaction. Personally, I can’t fall in love with just an image and a profile, and some emails.

Love takes time to develop. I don’t believe in love at first sight.

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broken heart, celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Online dating, a hoax?

There was an article, really interesting, about online dating in this week’s Economist. It points out that those sites were once only for the geeks in lack of love, but now have spread to mainstream population. It has become the number three way to find love, behind introduction of friends and encounters in bars/restaurant.

Many years ago, people would be shy to admit they met online. But now, mentality has evolved. Among my friends, some have found their match online and are not ashamed to admit it.

So, is it the best way to find love?

It is commonly said that birds of a feather flock together. Those websites have matchmaking engines which put you in front of people of the same interests than you. But this alone doesn’t guarantee you will find love.

A friend of mine found a perfect match online. But when she met her match for real, the spark wasn’t simply there. Instead, she found in him a great friend. Her match did found the one online, though, three years later. And he’s married now.

Love is irrational. That’s why we can fall in love with people who are our complete opposite.

On the website  I subscribed, I already met two guys I really like and I’m about to meet. The first one carries with him a big project, which could easily match with mine. But I’m afraid I won’t find any chemistry between us when I meet him. That’s the trickiest part.

The second one is more like me. But I’m afraid he won’t be attracted to me.

These things are simply out of our control. When you meet someone online, you just have his/her picture and that’s it. You could probably hate his/her voice, his/her smell or get simply disappointed by reality because he/she doesn’t look that good for real.

This is something online dating can never monitor.

Like said a psychiatrist on a TV show I recently saw, everything starts again, from scratch, when you meet the people you fancy online for real. This is why it is important to meet the one you fancy really quickly. This will avoid a huge disappointment when you see him/her for real.

Besides, there’s a line between what we say and what we are. On internet, we can easily give an image of the person we would like to be. While in real life, it’s more difficult, because our body language can betray us. And we can also slip the truth behind the lies in our conversation. It’s difficult to lie when we are in front of someone else. Usually, we can’t look the other in the eyes when we lie. On the internet, we don’t have this problem.

So, I don’t think online dating is the best way to find love. It’s a way, like another one.

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