Why are so many single people late-30’s to 40s, and on dating sites, so self-absorbed? I’ve found this with men, and I’ve found it’s true of women I know, too.
Self-interest isn’t simply a common personality trait of would-be daters, but a result of the overwhelming impact of dating sites, since they first started in 1993.
It’s led to expectations that a decent date can/will be found through the site, and impatience at having to slog through countless tries before a like-minded, acceptable person may show up.
Perhaps some late-30s-to-40s daters have had enough disappointments when people online are, in person, less than they represented themselves to be.
So they become more definitive in their early online chats about what they seek in a date.
Marshall McLuhan understood this kind of human reaction, when he coined the phrase “the medium is the message,” in 1964.
Most simply put, it means that the change that a new invention or innovation "introduces into human affairs," also changes the inter-personal dynamics that the innovation brings with it.
McLuhan (1911-1980), a Canadian professor of literature and culture, developed his theory of media and human development, in his classic book, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man.
He’s celebrated as the man who predicted the rise of the internet.
So it’s little wonder that men and women alike, impatient about searching through the massive online shopping cart of profiles to find a suitable prospect, are increasingly selective.
“Self-absorbed” may be one way of seeing it. I suggest that self-protective, is a healthy way of looking for love, or at least a genuine candidate, through dating sites.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the long-term effects of cheating on a spouse:
“My father and mother met in their early 20s in university in China. Three years after their marriage, my father had an affair with a woman in the company where my father was an executive.
“My parents immigrated to North America by 1980. Mother loved him and waited for him till she passed away three years ago at 97.
“Mother raised all of us alone (with father's financial support) and became an accomplished teacher. Father chose to live with the other woman after she arrived here.
“The pain of his loss for my mother and for us, as his children, was immeasurable.
“In his 80s, he begged our mom for him to move back home because he was being treated badly. He died of mistreatment before the move happened.
“This woman is still collecting his spousal pension even though Mother was his legal wife. Mother didn’t want to retaliate by telling on her.
“The moral of this story: if someone is motivated by benefitting themselves, that’s all they ever cared no matter how much time elapsed.”
FEEDBACK Regarding “Financially Uncomfortable” who’s critical of his wife’s vacation plans (August 9):
Reader – “She wants to go to Disney World with her four-year-old but he thinks the child would rather play with friends? Maybe dad would rather have a golf holiday.
“She’s pregnant with another child and he complains that she was unable to get an education for a better job!
“I would’ve thrown him to the curb years ago. He’s a controller.”
Ellie – Yes, he uses overbearing control messages to “teach” her to be “financially accountable.” But the reality is a 17-day Disney stay is beyond their budget. He simply needs to show her that, and work out a compromise with her, not for her.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who never forgave her best friend for forgetting to include her in the purchase of a graduation dress (August 7):
“It’s sad that the writer’s future in-law died and she naturally had to attend the out-of-town funeral.
“However, she had to be there for five days and returned the day before the ceremony. Who leaves the purchase of a graduation dress to six days before the event? Perhaps one person, but four friends? Not likely.
“She should’ve understood that the other three would have to purchase their dresses while she was away.
“I think this young woman thinks the world revolves around her. It doesn’t.
“I don’t think the best friend “forgot” to get a dress for her, but said that as an excuse when she saw how upset the writer was.
“She needs to chill. Her expectations of these friends is more than presumptuous. The other friends have nothing for which to be sorry.”
Tip of the day:
Dating site users do need to assess profiles in a self-interested way, for potential connection.