“At the moment, the dating market is saturated with options for meeting romantic potentials on-line, and the abundance of options can be distracting you from a vital resource – the physical spaces where you spend your time.”
On the November 21st episode of Saturday Night Live, Keenan Thompson re-appears as the Red Sox slugger David Ortiz on Weekend Update. When interviewers ask him how he will keep himself busy in retirement, Ortiz answers that he’ll stay active with his many endorsements, such as a new dating app called… “Go Outside.”
Thompson’s impression not only gets laughs because of his delivery of the line (complete with an adorable Dominican accent) – but it also hits a nerve with audiences around the world who are feeling a bit overwhelmed by techno-dating. At the moment, the dating market is saturated with options for meeting romantic potentials on-line, and the abundance of options can be distracting you from a vital resource – the physical spaces where you spend your time. Let’s bring it back to basics.
The places you tend to hang out are fertile grounds for meeting potential dates because in those places are people that you share some values, character traits, or status with. And, while occasionally the saying that opposites attract is true, the majority of people you date tend to confirm rather than challenge your core beliefs. So, for example, if you go to the gym regularly, you tend to be sharing space with others who also value fitness or vanity. Or, if you spend your nights checking out live music around the city, you are in close proximity to others who like supporting local artists or losing themselves into the beat.
I’m not suggesting you abandon techno-dating all together, but I do encourage you to alter what you perceive as your possibilities. Being aware of your environment is one of the primary tools in your belt for making great connections with others. This type of perception-change opens you up to quality people, instead of relying solely on technology to place you in a virtual matrix with a quantity of people to choose from.
And, you already have what you need to start searching. You’ve already put in the time and effort to be a man with interests, hobbies and passions – in this regard, your social life becomes your profile. All that is left to do is to let cupid’s arrow organically fly in the physical spaces you occupy.
Besides, shifting your perception and becoming more aware of your surroundings gets you out of the house more often, and turns ‘the everyday’ into an adventure. It reminds you to put your best self forward, to enter your usual scene with a style that represents your personality, a smile that comes from genuine interest in what you are doing, and – most importantly – to be present in your moment and open up to the people that surround you. Sometimes when options become too plentiful they only overwhelm and complicate us, and we need a gentle reminder that simply ‘being’ is enough. As Tompson’s impression satirically reminds us (as he explains his dating app), “If you wanna meet some people, go outside!”