34 In College/ Dating/ Heartbreak/ Relationships

The Problem With Modern Dating

My friend tells me that guys seem to fall off the face of the earth after a nice date and a few texts. She can never figure out where she went wrong.

Another girl I know tells me she experiences the same thing and describes it as feeling like the “Almost Girl.”

Every time she meets a new guy on Tinder or reconnects with an ex, it seems to be going well but then he either swipes right on someone else, finds a cute girl in his DM’s, or gets a text from his ex and seems to vanish without warning…again. She feels like she’s almost pretty enough (until someone prettier steals his attention), almost interesting enough (until someone more interesting swoops in), or almost date-able enough (until someone more date-able pops up on his newsfeed). And just like that, she was almost enough but…not quite.

And it’s not just girls feeling this way. My own brothers have shared with me similar frustrations they have with girls that they meet.

There seems to be a lot of mixed signals, confusion, heartbreak, and many good things ending with ambiguity and silence instead of with closure and honesty. There’s a growing fear of commitment as millennials swipe left and right through the virtual catalog of possible mates the internet offers. And when one after another seem to crumble without warning, far too many are left asking: WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

I don’t know the specifics of your love life but I do think that the digital dating trend has become so convenient that real dating and true commitment are contaminated by it.

Digital dating is so convenient that it contaminates real dating and commitment Click To Tweet

Before you get angry and defensive, let me just clarify that I’m not saying you can’t meet someone online. Heck, my husband and I kind of met online. We had mutual friends and followed each other on Instagram (it was not nearly as popular as it is now, I didn’t even have my blog then!) before we had ever met in person. When we had to date long distance, most of our communication was on the phone and via texting. So hey, I’m not saying meeting someone online or using technology when dating long distance can’t work out.

I am saying is that always having a pocketful of other potentially ‘better’ options (or so goes the lie we believe) at the touch of a button makes commitment incredibly hard on a person. The excitement that comes when someone new finds you attractive makes it much harder to stay focused on the person you just had coffee with.

It’s as if our generation is becoming less and less equipped to meet a decent, quality human being, accept their flaws or mistakes, and have a conversation about the hard stuff because it’s almost becoming unnecessary. One can always swipe right and find someone else if any ounce of doubt crosses his or her mind. The options are virtually endless.

Again, I know not EVERYONE does this–at least not intentionally– but it’s like the world is obsessed chasing butterflies. I mean, who doesn’t like the thrill and excitement of someone finding us attractive (and virtually telling us by swiping right), a first date, a first kiss, etc.? But the problem with chasing butterflies is that they fly away.The problem with chasing butterflies is that they fly away. Click To Tweet

The temptation to chase that feeling of excitement and approval that comes with each new swipe and with something (or someone) fresh and new is escalated by the convenience of apps like Tinder. There’s always a new option…and then the girl (or guy) ends up feeling like they’re always ALMOST enough…but again, not quite.

Studies have shown that the feeling those apps bring–the feeling of approval and instant gratification–has been considered addictive for some (even after meeting a decent human being that they actually like!)

The Huffington Post published an article on this issue a couple years ago.

That deeply personal, useful and instantly gratifying information makes Tinder an addictive experience, with each match fueling a kind of emotional high. Research has shown “likes” on Facebook and retweets on Twitter can release a dopamine surge that, in some cases, lead to social media addiction. Now imagine the chemical effect of immediate e-feedback that’s even more personal: While Facebook tells you if someone liked your status update, Tinder tells you if someone likes you. How soon will it be before people go from enjoying that feeling to craving it?

Tinder’s popularity both underscores and feeds an obsession with constant acknowledgment and approval. It suggests we’re all but starving for likes, eager for affirmation, and will no doubt be suffering even more acute Tinderitis in our push to figure out which strangers, and how many, think we’re hot. — The Huffington Post

Other studies have shown that the very feeling you experience when you feel like the Almost Girl–the icky feeling of low self-esteem and not enoughness–is correlated to apps like Tinder.

So if you’re having trouble dating, if you constantly feel like possible relationships fall through before you even have much of chance, please realize that the problem isn’t you. The problem is chasing that “emotional high,” or, butterflies. And now there are literally apps for capturing them.

What’s the answer, then?

I’m not sure there’s a perfect solution. This whole dating thing is inevitably going to be trickier and trickier as these apps and sites become more and more popular (and addicting). The problem isn’t you but you don’t have to feed into the problem by having a presence on those apps or by playing into the culture. Don’t lower your standards. Because you’re not the almost girl. You’re not almost enough, you’re always enough–even if that guy didn’t like you back or ask for a second date. The butterflies may have just landed somewhere else.

You're not almost enough, you're always enough. Maybe the butterflies just landed somewhere else Click To Tweet

So I log off for a hot second, delete the apps, and stop asking what’s wrong with you when things don’t work out. Because you don’t need the emptiness of another swipe–you need the fullness of your Savior (Hebrews 13:6).

You don't need the emptiness of another swipe--you need the fullness of your Savior. Click To Tweet

What do you think? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    April 5, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Jordan, thank you so much for writing this. It is so encouraging to know that someone is thinking, not just feeling. This helped me so much. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Gianini Castillo
    April 5, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Than you Jordan! Your messages are always so uplifting. I do agree on the issue of Dopamine, we naturally crave likes and affirmation from others. The attention that we receive makes us feel liked. This is how social media can become addicting. We are good enough when we value ourselves first. Then the right person will come along and compliment you. All must be done in light of scripture because he will be in the midst of our relationships!

    • Jordan Lee
      Jordan Lee
      April 5, 2017 at 8:15 pm

      GIRL yes. I hear you so loud but I’m so glad this encouraged you. Thank you for reading!!

  • Reply
    April 5, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    I read all these blogs, websites, articles, etc., about this subject, which is SO true.. but where do we go from here? How do we overcome this? It seems as even if I decide to delete the apps, men don’t even KNOW how to date the old fashioned way! I don’t go out to bars and what-not, but even at church, at the gym, at the grocery store, men will look but never say one word. How does one even attempt to “date” in this generation? It’s just awful. 🙁

    • Reply
      April 5, 2017 at 5:32 pm

      Chelsey, never forget that the Father loves you so much and has a plan for you. His word says so. I will definitely agree on men not knowing how to date nowadays, but honestly, i am seeing God break so many brothers of Christ on this issue and who knows, you may run into one of them.. never loose hope and have faith that God knows exactly what you need and when. He is our Daddy. <3 We gotta stay strong and keep our eyes focused on the one above and all other things will be added unto us.

    • Jordan Lee
      Jordan Lee
      April 5, 2017 at 8:13 pm

      Such a good question! Like I said,there’s no perfect answer or quick fix solution BUT I think the more women that don’t play into the system, the more women that don’t use those apps, there will be less options available…one less participant each day adds up overtime and may be the very change we need. True change can take awhile, unfortunately. Starting a counter trend and not conforming even when the world says it’s the “only way to meet people now days” is really the only thing that will bring a change. Stay strong girlfriend!!

    • Reply
      Lilly Dyer
      April 6, 2017 at 10:28 am

      I cannot agree with this enough! Where are you supposed to meet people after college? No one approaches each other anymore for fear of up-close and personal rejection. Sometimes it feels like an impossible task!

    • Reply
      Promise Jones
      April 6, 2017 at 10:34 pm

      I was just reading the comments on this post. I saw yours and I am kinda struggling with this too so I thought I’d share what God’s been teaching me about this! I believe that when we have our eyes on the Lord, everything else will fall in line. I keep going through short seasons of staying focused on Him and then I have true satisfaction. During those times I’m way less worried about finding a guy because I’m more aware of the fact that God’s timing is perfect and He has my life in His hands. But so often I fall out of my great connection with Him (or so it feels, however He is still as near to me as always!) and then I get side tracked and want the attention of a guy. Mind you, I am only 17 so my struggles may be a little different than yours. But I just wanted to share that little story to say that God’s got you and your worries/struggles in His perfect hands. I will pray for you that you know what God wants you do as it pertains to what you said. Jesus love you Chelsey! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 5, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Thank you for this post! I have a very strong friend group. We all met in college and have remained extremely close throughout the years. I am one of the few that have not yet married. I tell my married friends all the time how thankful I am that they found their other half because dating is awful. Dating in this age does carry the mentality of “searching for better” and “chasing butterflies.” I’m thankful that so many of my best friends do not have to experience this feeling. Until I find my Mr. Right to take me out of the horrible world of dating, I’ll keep working on being the best version of myself, praying for my future, and for those that are struggling with allow self-esteem from continuously being the “almost girl.”

    • Jordan Lee
      Jordan Lee
      April 5, 2017 at 8:10 pm

      Whitney, your heart cry is all too familiar to me. My friend says the same thing and we can only hope that this wacky way of dating is only a phase that loses steam. It sure does make it harder though nothing is impossible with God. Sending you a big squishy hug and donuts. Xoxo

  • Reply
    April 5, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    I don’t like the repeat of what you just said as tweets, it’s confusing and just seems like you’re trying to get a tweet out more than the blog and belonging!

    • Jordan Lee
      Jordan Lee
      April 5, 2017 at 5:37 pm

      Totally hear what you’re saying girl! We’ve had several requests from readers to create the ability to easily share some of the memorable quotes from blogs so that they can encourage their friends, too. So my web developer added the feature recently to meet that request 🙂 Thanks for reading and sharing your heart!

  • Reply
    Kelsey Holmquist
    April 5, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    JORDAN! GIRL thank you so dang much for sharing this. I really value your wisdom and honesty. IT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE what you’re saying about how people literally get addicted to social media apps that give you instant gratification. No wonder I felt so insecure and inadequate when I would go on those apps… even with Christian Mingle! I am making a commitment to NOT meeting boys on social media because it really can ruin and hurt your mind and relationship AND heart. I think going on dating websites has kind of messed with my mind, perception and view on dating and lowered my self esteem! Sooo I am logging off of those… even facebook for now and just being with HIM. Thanks for the encouragement :). Also CAN YOU PLEASE COME AND SPEAK AT UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN EAU CLAIRE. WE NEED YOU HERE! XO

  • Reply
    April 5, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    I needed this more than you could imagine. Tinder has been so addicting to me. The fact that no one takes interest to me in person just makes the appeal of a lot of people swiping right even more addicting. But finding God and putting all of those doubts and worries in his hands is what I need to do. I’m deleting tinder and moving forward with the most important relationship, the one I’m building with God.

  • Reply
    Kelsey Holmquist
    April 5, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    JODAN! Thank you so much for your posts and for all of your posts. I seriously COULD NOT AGREE MORE!!! What you are saying has so much truth and I really value your boldness and honesty. When I was reading this, I was like WOAH, okay this makes so much sense as to why I would feel so insecure when i’d go on dating websites.. even Christian Mingle. It is totally instant gratification and then if someone doesn’t ‘like’ you on it, then you automatically are not good enough. I think going on all of the social media dating websites have really messed with my heart, mind and soul as well as warped my perception on reality: messing with how I see myself and how I view dating in general… so thank you for this. And it all comes down to where am I getting my worth and validation from?!?! A lot of time it has not been Jesus and that is why I fall so hard. XOXO please come to University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and speak!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kelsey Holmquist
    April 5, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    sorry i thought my first post didnt post! LOL sorry!

  • Reply
    Allee Sheppeck
    April 5, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    Thank you so much! This is exactly what I was needing to hear right now!

  • Reply
    April 6, 2017 at 1:52 am

    After a weekend celebrating my BFF bachelorette party, I decided to get back on Tinder. I met my Ex who broke my heart on there, so I figured I’d try again! My first messege is “are you looking to hook up”? Hell no! I shouldn’t have to write “not looking to have sex with strangers ” but that’s what it’s all about now. So bizarre!! I deleted it literally 30 mins later knowing I shouldn’t be on it in the first place. I am still learning to be content single, and I pray it doesn’t last long but I’ll take that over being someone’s “almost ”
    So glad I read your post, and so greatful you’re sharing your heart with us.

  • Reply
    Lilly Dyer
    April 6, 2017 at 10:26 am

    This is something that hits so close to home for me. I say all of the time guys “ghost” girls and it’s so annoying, only to realize I have done the same thing. I find that on Tinder and Bumble the initial attraction fade quickly and I realize I’m actually not attracted to them, or there are things about their personality I don’t really like. For me it’s easier to just stop talking to them than hurt their feelings, but from the other side of things I know that doing that can make things worse. I literally had a guy on Tinder look me up on Instagram and then never text me back…Was I uglier than my Tinder pictures? Did he think I was fat? What was on that profile that was so unnerving that he couldn’t text me back!? I mean it’s frustrating, but I also need to stop questioning myself in these situations. Okay, so he didn’t like me, but there will be someone else who does! Plus, I don’t need anything from a man to make me feel whole and complete, I have that through my Heavenly Father. I fear for the future of dating, it doesn’t look promising.

  • Reply
    Megan Walters
    April 6, 2017 at 10:42 am

    I seriously needed to read this right now! Currently trying to get over someone who I thought was different and was seriously interested in me and then out of nowhere backed off and left me feeling like I did something wrong. This was a huge encouragement and I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who has this situation happen to them.

  • Reply
    Heather G
    April 6, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    I really enjoyed this post and felt like I can relate to some of it, even though I’ve never used a dating app or website. In the past when I would be starting to talk to a guy it seemed like they were interested, but after a couple of months when I would try to get a feel of where things were going it’s like I became this girl they only wanted to hang out with (alone may I add…..like a date). I became “friend zoned” and thought of as a “cool girl to hang out with.” Then why were you sitting really close to me when there was plenty of room else where? I’m sorry, but I don’t sit that close to anyone I want to JUST be FRIENDS with. Also I sat down first so clearly you were trying to make a move!!!! mmmmaaaannn

    Ok sorry…back to my point.

    I’ve found that it’s true that people tend to only like the butterflies and don’t really see if they truly have feelings. It’s especially hard when you’ve been single for a really long time and finally have someone seem interested in you. Plus, then your hopes rise and soon enough you and your friends are planning your wedding. *Rolling eyes* I know I’ve followed those cute little butterflies and only found out that I really don’t like the guy. So I kinda built up this wall to protect me from the just wanna be friends but flirty guys. It’s not because I’m now a women scorned, but I’m trying to not go chasing butterflies. I truly believe that God will place someone in my life and to not rush into things. So I’m just slowly letting my walls come down. You know like Jericho. Sorry this turned out wwaayy longer then I wanted.
    Now I’m signing TLC “Don’t go chasing waterfalls” but changed it to “Don’t go chasing BUTTERFLIES” hahahaha

  • Reply
    Stephanie Kinsey
    April 6, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Jordan, your words always seem to hit home for me! After another failed relationship – especially at 29 – it’s so easy to think that I’m “almost enough,” but not quite. Thank you for continuing to pour your heart out in these posts that are seriously so encouraging to me and great at shifting my perspective <3

  • Reply
    April 6, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Thank you so much for this post!!! The reasons you mentioned above were the reasons I ended up deleting my Tinder app. I found myself only using the app when I was bored or when things weren’t working out with guys in real life to make myself feel better. However, I felt like I was constantly swiping even after already matching with people. Instead of making connections I would swipe and swipe looking for better options. “Wow if this guy matched I might match with another guy that’s even more attractive, even more taller, even more greater guy.” Also, the connections I made never seemed to amount to anything. I was becoming a little obsessed to the point where I would feel down or upset if I didn’t get any new matches. So I finally had to let it go. I am learning to fall in love with myself and where I am at this point in my life. Also, trusting that God has someone for me, so I shouldn’t have to feel the need to always be on the search…if that makes sense. The digital age may be killing dating, but I don’t want it bring me down 🙂

  • Reply
    April 6, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Thank you, Jordan! This has happened to me-its has been several months and I am still finding it difficult to get over it. I have criticized every aspect of who I am and why I wasn’t “enough” for this person. At the end of the day, you’re right- it’s often time not about us in these situations, but rather the nature of the current dating scene. I just find it difficult to remove myself from thinking it wasn’t something that was wrong with me because if it wasn’t then why would they leave? I try to push myself everyday to replace those thoughts of unworthiness with KNOWING that God created me in His image and for a purpose. <3

  • Reply
    April 7, 2017 at 10:13 am

    First off, I just want to thank you. Like, a HUGE thank you! The way you described the “almost girl” was EXACTLY how I felt almost 2 years ago. And there are days when I still feel like that, no matter how positive I try to be or how much I pray or remind myself I let him go, that feeling of not feeling enough would still be there. Now, I’ve completely, absolutely, and FINALLY let him go and allowed God step in.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Love this! Thank you for being so knowledgeable and knowing our hearts. <3

  • Reply
    April 8, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    Thank you, Jordan! I think the “almost good enough” idea is so voiced through Jesus’ tendency to cross cultural and social barriers to meet women like the Samaritan woman or the woman caught in adultery and about to be stoned in John 8. Jesus BROKE DOWN BARRIERS to know and speak with these women, and offered them grace. So what’s important to him is not that our lives look perfect, but that we accept and believe in the value of a relationship with him that he offers us FREELY. Why would he ever want us to forget that value, in the midst of whatever relationship status he’s blessed us with? Again, thank you!

  • Reply
    “Almost good enough” – Edified.
    April 9, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    […] read a great blog post by Jordan Lee talking about the ambiguity of modern (especially online) dating making women (and […]

  • Reply
    April 11, 2017 at 10:26 am

    While I can’t relate to all of this article, I do feel like it was speaking to me in some ways. My boyfriend of 4.5 years just broke up with me last week and I’ve been spinning trying to deal with it all. He was very ambiguous, to the point where I’m not sure where his head is at. He’s “treating this like an official break up”, changing his relationship status on Facebook and his profile picture, but we’ve already gone through this once before when he went off to IU. We were dating for about 2 years when he called it off, but it ended up only taking him about 3 weeks to realize that he messed up and wanted to be with me. We got back together and have spent another (seemingly) happy 2.5 more years together and this happened. This is the man I thought I was gonna marry. Like I’ve never felt so sure and so safe and so secure and so loved in a relationship and we just complimented each other so well. We dated from the age of 17 to 21/22, so that was clearly a period of time of a lot of change and growth on both of our parts and yet we made it work. This is is first year being back home at Ball State University, and it just kills me how we were able to make it through the long distance at IU and now that he’s home, he’s seemingly giving up. When God answered my prayers and brought him back to me after the first break up, I thought that was sure sign we were meant to be. Now with this happening completely out of the blue, I just don’t know what to think anymore. I feel like I’m losing a big chunk of my life and it just doesn’t feel right in the slightest. He basically phrased the break up in terms of him needing to “step back and evaluate” and needing “time and space,” so I don’t know if that’s truly it, or if something bigger is at play here. By the way, he did this all over text….after 4.5 years together. I’m just so hurt and confused. I just need prayer and a LOT of it. Thanks for reading all of this if you’ve gotten this far.

    • Reply
      April 12, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      Sorry to hear all of this, sounds likes a rough situation. God’s got you and will lead you right where He wants you. Keep your head up and focused on God. Praying!!

  • Reply
    April 13, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Wow. So crazy that I ran across you and your site during a time when I am feeling so confused in this dating world. After leaving my ex husband, for cheating, this new online dating world has been a serious problem for me and you explained it perfectly. The high you get when someone swipes right then the IMMEDIATE rejection feeling when they stop talking to you after 1 day and you don’t know why and what you could have done wrong though I know it wasn’t me.

  • Reply
    April 22, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Wow… Jordan, I’m so so thankful that God allowed me to find you and your encouraging blog recently (ironically through Instagram :). This post COMPLETELY spoke to me. I am a firm believer as well; I love the Lord and believe that a relationship with him is sooo valuable. But in all honest and rawness, this is one of my deepest struggles. Relationships with men. The story that you told at the beginning describing your friend, is me. All of last year, I went through an addiction to social media dating sites, specifically Tinder, seeking and longing for “happiness.” My heart knew it, but it took a year of all the pain of let downs and feelings of being the not good enough, or the “Almost Girl,” to realize that such happiness from other guys is so fleeting, and will only bring temporary happiness. Through a recent family hardship, I hit rock bottom and God made me realize that no human can bring stable and lasting satisfaction and joy. I stopped running and searching, and dove fully in to strengthening my relationship with the Lord. Let me tell you, it is THE MOST SATISFYING THING one could ever invest their God given time in! I am now just 19, passionate, vibrant, and on fire for God, but I am also fully trusting that the Lord will provide a husband for me in the future, when or if he wants me to marry. But still, the desires and struggles are constant, since this life is a constant spiritual battle, so stumbling across your blog is TRULY a BLESSING. It’s already been a great encouragement and reminder for me to keep fighting the good fight. So thank you for using your God given talents to spread the gospel and show God’s love. I will now be a regular reader, so see you in the next blog 🙂

  • Leave a Reply