I saw a tweet the other day that said, “The dating pool has piss in it.” This message came from a woman talking about an unfavorable courting experience she recently had online. Now, I’ve seen this phrase numerous times online and I’ve also heard multiple people say it when discussing their frustrations with dating in this day and age. The amount of times I've heard this line of thinking has me thinking that there may be some truth to this phrase. According to Olivia, an author/blogger on the website, The Right Kind of Black Girl, folks are tired. And I can see why.
In a recent post, she shared her thoughts on whether or not there's really pee in the dating pool, stating:
“Men are tired of being used as EBT cards. Women are tired of being asked what they bring to a table with no legs. I’m personally tired of the inability to hold a conversation and plan a date.”
If you ask me, she has a point! When it comes to dating, people are tired of being treated as objects rather than human beings. We have so many expectations around what men and women “should” be doing when they are dating because so many of us are afraid of someone seeing our insecurities, but when we set up all of these rules and expectations for dating, we rob people of the authenticity they need to express to cultivate relationships with people who are in alignment with their values.
Whether you want to admit it or not, we all have some red flags about us because we are human. The dating pool may have 'piss' in it but it’s all about your perception and what you’re calling in. Your perception of your dating experiences will come from the lens you are viewing them through.
Are you viewing your dating life through a lens of abundance and wholeness or through a lens of lack and insecurity? What are you learning from these experiences? How are you showing up differently in the types of people you are choosing? I believe now more than ever, people are becoming more aware and unapologetic about what they want out of their dating experiences and setting the standard to achieve those things.
As we continue to navigate through the “pissy pool” of dating (your words, not mine), the following are some dating trends to expect to see in 2023.
Emotional Availability Only
We are starting to see more women stand in their power of getting their emotional needs met in relationships. For many years, toxic masculinity has encouraged men to strictly be providers and achieve social/career status but now that women are more educated and financially independent, women no longer desperately need men for day-to-day survival (taking care of the bills, etc). Now more than ever, women are expecting more depth and emotional maturity in their relationships. This requires men to show up in areas they have been conditioned to disconnect from, which has lasting impacts on their emotional intelligence, emotional awareness, and emotional regulation skills.
Many women are no longer tolerating toxic masculinity or avoiding vulnerability. Many men have been getting more in tune with their vulnerabilities and having more conversations around mental/emotional health and dismantling misogynistic ideas/beliefs. Trust me, they are out there. The question is…are you checking for them?
Are you putting yourself in spaces with people who resonate with those ideas/values? Or are you listening to people with a microphone and a podcast spewing hate and their own insecurities onto other people? Put yourself in spaces with people who are like-minded and don’t entertain anything less than that.
Inner Work = Less Time for B.S.
During the pandemic, people all over the world were ushered into doing some inner work. The pandemic took everyone out of the security of autopilot and showed people how they really felt about themselves and their lives. Whether it was the loss of a loved one or the ending of a relationship, many people experienced loss and grief during the pandemic that completely altered their reality and forced them to confront things they may have been avoiding. Many people realized that life is too short and in order to stop having the same dating experiences, it’s going to require a different version of themselves.
For the past three years, people have become more interested in doing their inner work through therapy and various other forms of self-help. People have been reflecting on close relationships in their lives and most importantly their relationship with themselves. With doing inner work comes an awareness of not only your own insecurities, but you also start to become more confident about what it is that you are seeking and what your expectations are for yourself.
Now people are more in tune with their needs and their boundaries so this means fewer people seeking situationships/trauma bonds (unconsciously) and more people wanting healthy connections.
Side-Stepping Comfort Zones
Now with more people working remotely, people are becoming more interested in expanding their dating options. People who are dating are becoming more interested in the idea of long-distance relationships or even long-distance dating experiences because they have more time on their hands to explore and spend time with potential partners. Thanks to the new age of social media and a more flexible work life, finding someone in a different city or state has become more accessible without the hassle of work responsibilities.
In 2023, you can also expect to see people dating outside of their “type” as more people are learning that maybe their “type” isn’t actually their type and it’s simply just an initial attraction/pull towards someone due to familiar dynamics/characteristics in childhood. With this awareness, people are becoming more open to dating different people and giving themselves opportunities to have different experiences.
Self-Care Over Everything
This dating trend is like a part two for a couple of the previous dating trends mentioned. With more people starting their own businesses, working from home, etc., people are more interested in actually living a life that is fulfilling rather than simply surviving. In 2023, people are yearning for more of a work/life balance with self-care being a priority.
Also with self-care being prioritized, more people are willing to walk away from relationships that do not serve them or aid in their lives in positive ways. Have we become super rigid with this? Maybe to a certain extent, but in the case of abusive relationships, for good reason.
I think so many of us have lived through and witnessed the negative impact that staying in unhealthy relationships dynamics can cause and because we do not want to repeat those same experiences, we are quick to say no to physical/mental/emotional abuse and manipulation, making phrases like "choose yourself" a reality.
More Talk, Less Shame
With the rise of various social media outlets, people are becoming more vocal about various topics that were once taboo. People are more open to talking about sex and finances without carrying shame or guilt around it. People are starting to see that these topics are unavoidable and essential to have a healthy relationship.
We are also starting to see a rise in more research-based dating advice as people are becoming more open about talking about relational trauma, trauma bonds, attachment styles, childhood trauma, and how they have a lasting impact on their dating experiences.
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