With Love Island gracing our screens nightly and Valentine’s Day just around the corner, love is on everyone’s mind.
Whether you’re single, dating, in a long-term relationship, married or sworn off romance, there’s no way to escape it. But with the advent of these new dating shows, such as ‘Love Is Blind’ and ‘Too Hot to Handle’, we are seeing a change in the conversations around dating and finding love.
These reality shows can be damaging in many ways, as already seen with the unrealistic beauty standards and issues surrounding mental health with Love Island, which has come under fire for many years. Contestants have been ruthlessly bullied by watchers, leading to the decision for participants not to be available on the likes of Instagram during the programme.
But there’s another side of these shows that has not been discussed: the way they impact our real-world search for love.
Dating expert and founder of Love Collective Global, Sarah Louise Ryan, points out, “It shows human beings and dating as a game show, to win something. It shows human beings treating other human beings as disposable. It’s like this “next, please’ mentality, which is aligned with the way that online dating is navigated.
“‘Next, Please’, like the grass could be greener, so they’re basically playing this game. They’re talking about people and the way they perceive them behind their backs. It’s created this environment that isn’t very kind”.
The ‘gamification’ of dating and the search for love by shows such as these is also then reinforced by the addictive nature of online dating and apps such as Tinder. Modern dating can be hard enough without these changing attitudes.
We can only hope the media and viewers alike are just as aware of the problems with this game show-style search for love portrayed on our screens and that changes are made, either individually or with the concept as a whole.
If you are still struggling with the swiping and liking of apps such as Tinder, sign up for some singles nights, which are often posted on Facebook groups, or get friends to possibly set you up. There are opportunities to find love that don’t involve super likes and bumble profiles, so don’t get disheartened.
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