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Online dating for me these days is like a virtual game of duck, duck, goose. I fucking love that game.
Swipe left, left, left, left, right - and the chase is on. Unlike my favourite childhood game, though, it's complicated - who messages who first, and the constant worry about coming across too strong mixed in with the tone of your message is frustrating and often misleading at the best of times.
Well, the online goose chase has been part of my morning regime for quite some time. Am I expecting to find the love of my life? Well the answer is no, even though a good friend of mine married a girl he met on Tinder. I guess he's proof that it can happen and the pair are certainly a match, but I would suggest it's the minority of people that find love as a result of swiping right.
So why do we bother and is it more damaging to our mental health than we think?
Physiology experts are concerned and from reading your responses to your worst online dating experiences, it's not hard for me to see why:
@hkilburn @TheLadBible I was dating a girl on club penguin but she cheated on me the next day
- Sisko (@SiskoVFX) August 11, 2016
@hkilburn @TheLadBible Met a girl off Tinder and she called me a fat piece of poo and threw my dinner at my bum!
- Dillane (@dillane_ko) August 11, 2016
And my favourite...
@hkilburn my mate met a girl online, wondered why she wouldn't put out, turns out she has a dick. Enjoy.
- CrippledAngel (@PiercedAngel96) August 11, 2016
"In our anthropological past, in our entire lifespan we are only processed to cast eyes on no more than 150 beings," psychotherapist and author, Dr Wendy Walsh told TheLADbible. "So when a hunter who smelt differently came into our environment, women sat up and took notice, and we got very excited about that."
Dr Walsh suggests that modern technology is leaving the majority of us overwhelmed. Put simply, too many tits, vaginas and/or cocks on display isn't always a good thing. "We live in an environment today where our biology is being seen visually by potentially thousands each day," she explains. "They are just a swipe or mouse click away to someone new. As a result, it is confusing our bodies."
The bond that used to be created through dating is lost and, I'm sorry to say, I'm worried that we are becoming a nation of whores losing track of monogamy.
"All of a sudden when humans started to become more social, there was a craving for sex with a new partner; because it was rare. Until then, remember, you only saw 150 humans in your lifespan. With evolution, we had to be wired to jump if we saw someone who could be a mate who had mis-matched genes."- basically, we find change exciting.
Fast forward thousands of years and now it's technology that's confusing people. It is a constant reminder that there could be a better offer just a few swipes away.
"Technology has therefore hurt monogamy and damaged relationships because it has created so many new sexual opportunities," adds Dr Walsh.
I can't imagine dating apps are going to disappear anytime soon. In fact, I only imagine them to become more advanced into the future. Think of the damage that 3D virtual reality dating sites could do. So perhaps we can instead all do ourselves a favour and just slow down a bit.
Here's what our expert thinks we should do:
I could very well by setting myself up for a loss with dating apps. Many of them are more widely known for getting a quick shag before anything else, but my argument is - like most things in life - you get out of it what you put in. If all you want is a shag, it's not hard. Keep swiping right and someone will eventually take pity on you.
On the flipside, if you want to find someone who is attractive, funny, smart and interesting, then filtering your search may limit your chances, but it will spit out more likely matches from your search.
"The one who is going to win the mating race in the next generation, is the one who learns to get on the phone and what we call, 'give good phone," says Dr Walsh. "Learning how to talk on the phone in a way that can win them over through your words. Basically, get on the phone as soon as possible," she adds.
According to the dating expert, the majority of men accidentally fall in love when looking for sex. Her expert opinion suggests that men will fall for the girl that doesn't put out. She believes that lads all want sex on the first date but they don't like a girl who gives sex on a first date.
"That is related to the fact that in our anthropological past, if a lad risked hooking up with a promiscuous woman, he literally risked giving his protection and proteins to another man's genes," she says. "As a result, men are naturally processed to put women into two categories," she says. I'm guessing she is relating to the 'right' girl and the 'right now' girl.
So basically, we all need to slow down. Get to know people face-to-face as soon as possible and stop being whores, you will only have yourself to blame as the ever-evolving tech world that we live in becomes even more complicated.
Words: Hamish Kilburn