Put Down The Dating App: Why We're Looking For Love In The Wrong Places

Dating conventions and expectations have evolved with changes in technology, economics and culture.

Dating apps, a luxury and a curse that did not exist in previous generations, serve as a vehicle to introduce people to each other.

Unfortunately, the abundance of options that exist in our pockets affects the way we interact with people in real life, and it has caused Millennials to become jaded and dangerously judgmental.

This seemingly endless amount of options drives people to indecisiveness and paralysis, and it makes them less satisfied with their eventual choices.

That’s why people who live in smaller cities, where there are less options, usually get married at a younger age, according to Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg in "Modern Romance."

The digital generation struggles to pick a place to eat dinner, and they resort to using Yelp. When they can't figure out what tablet to buy, they read all the reviews on every single website.

They're committed to not committing because they're looking for perfection.

The Baby Boomers were looking for “good enough,” and that made things simpler for them.

And now, since people know they have endless swipes on Tinder or matches on Hinge, they never hesitate to drop someone who doesn't watch "House of Cards" or root for the Hawks.

Millennials judge people just by looking at their virtual profiles, and they treat their Instagram pages like they're the windows into their souls.

Right now, America looks like a hyper-competitive meritocracy that values self-promotion and self-indulgence.

Emerging adults are less morally articulate; they're better-versed at defining themselves by accomplishments, experiences and the type of work they do.

Our culture motivates people to broadcast information and pictures about themselves in order to maintain happy façades, hide personal voids, impress followers and receive social approval through the currency of “likes.”

This all results in inflating people's self-esteem and narcissism to supreme, godly and unfathomable degrees.

Many Millennials have become slaves to virtual validation, short-term desires and instant gratification.

The culture is saturated with opportunists who have developed a habit of making semi-commitments, and they treat their love interests like replaceable products. This is all because they’re afraid of missing out on someone better, and they would like to maximize their options.

But men and women with excessive amounts of self-esteem and poor character make matters worse. With their agenda to use people efficiently, they spend more time focusing on their résumés and careers.

They say if people can’t find love, they usually try to find sex, even though sex is better when it's with someone you admire and care about. It's difficult to find true love today because so many people pretend to be like others.

They mimic the attitudes of celebrities, religiously follow trends and take bad advice from their unsophisticated, sometimes bitter and jealous, friends.

Dating apps like Tinder are here to stay, and shallow people won't stop signing up. But whether you use them or not, you should have the mindset to build a full reciprocal relationship. This is the only way you will fulfill the emotional emptiness inside of you.

Once you graduate from college, you notice the game’s unrealistic expectations, and you'll learn that genius outlasts beauty.

Love doesn’t have an algorithm, and this shift in culture shows you that life is unpredictable. You don’t get to dictate when and how you fall in love.

Rarely, it will be right after you land your dream job and buy a new house.

In "The Road to Character," David Brooks explains that emerging adults, and recent college graduates who delay marriage to focus on their careers, should build good character because it can shield them from weaknesses such as lust, vanity, fear and selfishness.

Some of these weaknesses lead us to place our strengths on pedestals and minimize our weaknesses. But we need to reorder our mental furniture so we think about cultivating important virtues.

The way to beat the game is by spending more time focusing on inner-success and developing character.