While these brave souls may be the exception in the dating world, the show’s popularity speaks to what may be a growing weariness with today’s dating process.
In his standup comedy and his relationship book , comedian Aziz Ansari likewise marvels at his own parents’ arranged marriage.
I wasn’t sure I had the wherewithal to ensure that I would treat these potential dates as human beings, not as commodities.
He notes with some irony, “It was quicker for my dad to find a wife than it is for me to decide where to eat dinner.” Ansari contrasts the community-focused way his parents met with online dating, which relies heavily on personal preference … It’s true, there’s a specialty site for nearly every demographic: Farmers Only.com, Equestrian Singles.com, Veggie Date.org, and even Mouse for Disney Parks fans.
In his book , Timothy Keller describes how the cultural view of relationships has morphed over the years from being community-focused to individual-focused.“The Enlightenment privatized marriage,” he said, “taking it out of the public sphere, and redefined its purpose as individual gratification, not any ‘broader good.’” According to a recent article on dating trends in New York, some singles are pushing back against dating sites after being burned by the impersonal, inorganic side of meeting people online.Suddenly it becomes easy to reject someone you might connect with in real life based on superficial qualities.When you’re faced with so many potential matches, you’re tempted to filter people based only on the information on the screen. Perhaps more to the point, that kind of rejection works the other way too.Dating portals put the responsibility on the individual to do the searching and selecting.
This format is challenging because we’re on our own—outside the social context of meeting through friends and far from the conventions of community matchmaking or arranged marriages.