Of course there is the element of abundance of choice, London offers the hedonistic lifestyle of little commitment and a lot of fun. Everything is instant and doesn’t last long, a pop up mentality that extends from weekend activities to friendships and relationships in general. Why make something work when we seem to be on a constant look out for the next upgrade. It is this very 21st century syndrome of trying to find a perfect match that for me lies at the core of this generation single. It’s no longer simply about looks and personality or god forbid simple chemistry, no, its about obscure considerations such as university degree ( red brick? Ex-Polytech?), future aims (what area in London to eventually buy in and how many bedrooms), wage and dress sense. In today’s world if we want to find a limited edition, exclusive and sold out bag or dress we can find it on ebay, if we want to eat the best Italian food in town we will, without batting an eyelash, wait 2 hours in a queue- to cut it short we have gotten so used to getting exactly what we want when we want it that we are willing to abandon anything and in this case particularly human beings with their flaws and peculiarities that doesn’t fit this, prepared to go on a seemingly never ending search rather than making a slight compromise.
Even online dating goes on the assumption of match making people together based on endless surveys and personality classification rather than the things that ultimately make a long-term relationship work. Indeed the great romances in history were not based on total compatibility; they were based on compromise and a genuine connection that is not forged through common interests on Linkdin. The opportunities that our times have given us in terms of our working and medial life may be great but some of the simplicity of days gone by when it comes to finding love may have to be rediscovered if we don’t want to end up forcibly settling when middle age panic sets in, having perhaps rejected that one a great love for retrospectively minor reasons. Will I give up looking? Of course not but I will try and scale back the high expectations and sense of competition that inevitably emerge with living in London when it comes to meeting potential dates. As one of my favourite German sayings goes ‘every saucepan has its lid’ and that lid may not be the perfect fit but it is one that ultimately with sacrifice and a little work on both sides can give a lot more satisfaction than dating someone that is a carbon copy of ourselves and our ideals and may help us stop acting like emotionally volatile teenagers even when way into our twenties and thirties.