Let’s Talk About The Crass Automation of Love

November 20, 2017

I’ve never heard a really fantastic story about love found on a dating platform. But I have spent lots of time with my mouth agape listening to the horror stories of dating gone south with these types of apps at the centre of the story.

I tell everyone looking for a date or anything else to think for an alternative option to the tech production line of love.

I will admit that, as an early adopter of technology, I did meet someone online in the early 2000’s. Yes, we had a relationship for maybe two years and ended up living together. And on the day that he came home from a business trip and said that he didn’t want to remain in coupledom, he was crying and I started to immediately pack up my stuff. I was entirely out the very next day.  

Turns out that he had been back online prior to the break up and had admitted to his friend that he was ‘kinda addicted’ to the whole online dating thing. But my motto has always been if you ain’t their Queen then they ain’t your King either. Good riddance to bad rubbish. I determined then that love didn’t come out of a computer.  

As mammals, and top dog mammals at that, you would think we could do better than using a swipe method to scale our opportunities of finding love. Herein lies the problem. There are a lot of people on love apps who are not there for love at all.  Many are in it for the validation, the opportunity to date everyone at once or just to get a bonk. Not necessarily even a bonk of quality.  

Us men and women, we like to see each other, how we move, how that uneven smile appeals to us or how the skin smells after a swim in the ocean. We like to touch, sense our connection, talk to one another. We like to see if people dance in an embarrassing way. We like to watch an expression on a face as we talk. We like to see how this person in front of us conducts themselves in a restaurant. Sometimes we just like to see if they can skip properly or use a knife and fork, or even be accepted by pets.

In the world of swipe right, swipe left, offerings of muscles on beaches from the holiday three years ago or the duck face pout covered in layers of makeup in gym gear with last nights pasta not evident, we offer up a caricature of ourselves.  On display like a chicken parma on a menu next to side of chips with aioli. Choosing lots of things because we have this appetite and we’re not sure what we want.  There we are devouring things which aren’t good for us.  But we have this hunger and we are desperate to satisfy it.

Our sales pitch pointing to our value add in this world; our love of adventure biking, raves, nights on the couch, the fact that we can cook. All the things we think we are and the clear message about what we want like skinny this, non-smoking that, no kids, must like camping, not ready for a relationship, wants to get married tomorrow (to anyone).

What is motivating this vacuous attempt to join in the ritual mating dance across phones and tablets across the world?  Do we not see anyone in our daily lives that may be suitable? Do we not have the opportunity to say hello to those we do not know in an attempt to share a moment? Are we hunting for love and so far into denial that faux intimacy is really the reason there is so much ghosting, fubbing and general bullshit in the game of girl meets boy?  

What do you all want?

What made the sending of penis photos fashionable? Surely a picture of a nice man in a suit would work better? Have men not made this connection as yet? And general pictures of women making their vita brits in a lacy g-string and bra mentioning ever so nonchalantly that it’s a great day ‘Yay!’ with a bit of photoshop and a filter to take out non-existent wrinkles from a mid twenty year old face. Are we broken as women?  Where is our strength? God, when did we lose our courage?

I met my partner five years ago in a boutique wine shop in a ten minute exchange.  Previous boyfriends I had met at parties, at a restaurant when our eyes locked across the room, on a dance floor at a jazz club, through friends, on a train, at work. Fancy. That.
The way to meet another person who may capture your heart or even better your soul is to go out into the world and put a smile onto your face and initiate a conversation with everyone, even those you don’t necessarily want to hang curtains with.

It doesn’t cost you anything. There are no lock in contracts and I can guaranteed you will save time and have a better success rate.

Look, I love my dishwasher and my washing machine.  I like how Facebook curates my news based on its stalking algorithm. Online shopping for me, as a person in a regional area, is a godsend. But love? I like my love organic and not facilitated by a start-up preying on how fucked up we are at engaging people within our presence. Love is not scalable. The universal force behind it rewards the basics and the slow dance towards understanding another for who they really are and not for some contrived sales pitch about their worthiness as a partner or a one night stand.

Be yourself. Get out and put your best smile forward. Speak to people who spark your curiosity and tweak your intrigue. Love will find you. Without a doubt.

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Libby Fordham

Writer, thinker, creator – Libby is interested in the things that make the world turn. She loves to explore modern life, its ironies, complexities and culture. She is currently writing her first book while also juggling a business, her art and her family.