Are we Swiping Left on Love?

I’m a Midwest girl who has lived in Los Angeles for two years now.  It recently occurred to me that most of my friends back home in Michigan are married, while in LA, I don’t know a single person in their mid-twenties who has settled down yet. Why is it that in the small town of which I’m from, so many have managed to find a spouse, but in an overly populated city like Los Angeles, the general complaint is “how tough it is to date here." Obviously, this could be for a myriad of reasons.  One of them being that many of the people who flock to Hollywood do so in pursuit of chasing self-absorbed careers in modeling, acting, and the like.  People here are often on an agenda, putting off serious relationships to focus on their own selfish goals. However, I believe there is another crucial piece to this puzzle. Perhaps the problem is in numbers.

There is a famous study conducted by Sheena Iyengar, the author of “The Art of Choosing,” in which jars of jam were placed on display at a grocery store for shoppers to taste test as they walked by.  The consumers were also offered a discount coupon to encourage them to make a purchase. Every couple of hours, the selection of jams would be switched from 24 different flavors to only six. The result was that of the people who stopped to try a sample during the 24-flavor display, only 3 percent ended up making a purchase.  However, when the selection was reduced to only six options of jam, consumers were 30 percent more likely to walk out with a jar. This experiment credits the fact that when consumers are faced with too many options, they feel debilitated to make a decision.

In the words of Beyonce, I don’t think they're ready for this jelly.  (Just kidding, i needed a humor break in here)

Anyways, regardless of small towns or big cities, marriage rates in the United States as a whole have consistently dropped every year since 1960 and divorce rates have simultaneously skyrocketed. Relationships are drastically changing and part of this shift is due to increased options and our inability to commit to a decision as a result. Our generation now has countless dating applications and websites available to us that have made access to meeting people greater than ever before.  Yet, isn’t it ironic that an increase in the number of avenues to date people has resulted in a decrease of committed relationships?

The truth is we are overloaded with decisions, and it’s not just at shopping malls or restaurants, or with career choices; it’s with choosing someone to love. Social media has made it hard for us to commit to one person because we are over stimulated with alternatives.  One swipe to the right is all it takes to replace one pretty face with another.  We have become so desensitized to dating, unsatisfied with what we have, and constantly in search of the next best thing. I’ll admit it, there have been times where even I have collected so many matches on tinder, I forgot who was who and had to start deleting matches.  I simply felt overwhelmed by too many men waiting in my queue.

I recently heard someone say that Facebook shouldn’t be called a social network; it should be called an anti-social network, and it’s so true. Studies show that our society is more unhappy than ever before and it's probably because many of us feel so alone.  

So, now I'm on a mission.  I'm on a mission to find the people out there who ARE in a committed relationships.  Where did they find each other? How did they meet? What is the key to a successful relationship? How are they turning insta-happy into a lifetime of happiness? Stay tuned..........