Malaysian Gen-Zs Share Why Dating is So Complicated in the Age of Social Media

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Disclaimer: The following article contains personal opinions by the writer. Take it with a grain of salt. :p

The dating game in the Internet generation is vastly different from that of previous generations.

While the existence of dating apps appears to be promising for single people looking for their significant other, it is not entirely the reality we see today.

Many Gen-Zs today struggle to find the right person—the Timothee Chalamet to their Kylie Jenner.

To help those who are looking to settle down, JUICE looks into why dating has been so complicated in recent years.

The dating world is no longer relaxing and is now too fast-paced

(source: via Buzzfeed)

Dating apps, from Bumble to Tinder, are becoming increasingly common in our daily lives, with some people treating the swiping motion as a pastime.

While we may not realise it, these apps are gradually causing disinterest in serious relationships, with some feeling constantly afraid of settling down with the wrong person.

Picture yourself swiping through Bumble after downloading the app. You set up your profile, upload your photos, and write a cringe bio that doesn’t really reflect who you are. It’s impossible to describe yourself without sounding like you’re tooting your own horn.

You are then transported to a world where you can swipe through thousands of potential matches without stopping, and you now go through a few talking stages that don’t guarantee a happy ending.

(source: Pinterest)

While this obviously causes some to feel tired or overwhelmed, it also gives most people the impression that their options are endless.

The new generation is so quick to spot red flags in people that they are unwilling to give a potential significant other a second chance, all because they believe there is always someone better out there for them.

But have you considered lowering your ego and giving the ‘red flag’ another chance because perhaps there isn’t anyone better than them? Or do you regard yourself so highly that you cannot accept the flaws of others?

(source: Pinterest)

To make it worse, social media can be very misleading.

With countless influencers publicising their relationships and sharing their happy moments with the rest of the world, Gen-Zs are falling into the trap of believing that what they see on social media is the truth about those relationships.

In addition, this type of content misleads people about what a relationship should be. You can’t expect your significant other to buy you a Porsche for your birthday just because an influencer’s boyfriend did so. Hence, it is critical to remind yourself of what you and your partner are capable of doing in your relationship.

Aside from that, some of us have felt pressure from our peers to share our relationships on social media because, apparently, if you’re not posting your happy moments online for the rest of the world to see, it isn’t real.

If you think this writer is just venting because she’s tired of the dating game, think again. We interviewed a few Gen-Zs to see if these statements ring true.

The following is our conversation with two individuals, Danial Mirza, 24, and Adriana Za’ba, 23, who have both tried dating apps to see what the relationship (or, should I say, situationship) world has to offer.

Adriana Za’ba, 23 (source: Adriana Za’ba, provided to JUICE)

JUICE: Hello, have you used dating apps before? If so, how did it turn out?

Adriana: “Yes, I’ve used dating apps before, but they all turned out unsuccessful. With dating apps, everything is done online and we swipe on people based on their appearances, and I don’t really like that we don’t know if they actually look like their profile. Other than that, it’s a bit too much for me to come up with a conversation, and talking to someone without meeting someone first is tiring. You’re meeting someone new, but you don’t actually see them in person, which is actually tough. It’s also draining to just constantly swipe and talk to people one after another, while also figuring out what to say to them each time.”

Danial: “I used to use Bumble, but I’ve deleted it because I don’t think there’s any point in using it. For me, I think most of the conversations lead to something bad, such as inviting me to go to nightclubs for our first meeting or inviting me to have sex with them. Personally, I’ve never used that dating app to find a girlfriend, and my purpose for using it was to find someone to hang out with. So, sometimes I think dating apps can be good, but I also think getting to know someone from these apps can be boring.”

Danial Mirza, 24 (source: Danial Mirza, provided to JUICE)

JUICE: Do you think social media shapes how Gen-Zs build their relationships?

Adriana: “Unfortunately, yes, and I do it too. Personally, as someone who doesn’t really go on dates or has been in a lot of relationships, I tend to look at social media for advice and think their experiences are real. I am also quite gullible and naive when it comes to looking at couples online. For example, I look at a friend of mine and what she posts online about her relationship with her boyfriend, and I immediately assume they’re going strong and don’t have any problems. But when I check with my other friends, it turns out those posts are all lies because they actually fight a lot. So, I’ve learned that not everything online is true, and we should never look at everything on social media through tinted glasses.”

Danial: “Yes, but it can impact a relationship in both positive and negative ways. Sometimes, relationship content can inspire me to try doing something special for my partner, but there are also times when my partner expects me to do something that I can’t do. It’s hard when influencers set a benchmark for the rest of us to act a certain way in relationships when they’re not that realistically achievable.”

(source: Adriana Za’ba, provided to JUICE)

JUICE: Do you think social media influencers and lifestyle gurus should be idolised?

Adriana: “No, I don’t think we should idolise them because everyone has a different experience in their relationships and personal lives, and people might place unhealthy expectations on being like those influencers. You are not them, and you are your own person.”

(source: Danial Mirza, provided to JUICE)

JUICE: Do you feel it’s necessary to publicise your relationship on social media?

Adriana: “No, especially if the relationship is just starting out. I don’t do soft launches either. Well, maybe on my private account, but not post it publicly for the world to see. I’ve posted about my relationship before, and it just didn’t turn out well. I don’t want to do that anymore because what happens if you break up? Everyone will be in your business, and they will ask you so many questions. I want to show off my relationship, but definitely not when it just started.”

Danial: “It depends on the occasion. If it’s just the typical date, I don’t think I would post it online, but if it’s something big like her birthday, a proper dinner, or our anniversary, then I would share it on social media. However, I don’t publicise my relationship as soon as I get into one, and I don’t post a soft launch either.”

(source: Pinterest)

After interviewing Adriana and Danial, it’s safe to conclude that the dating game is still not easy in the Internet age

If you’re frustrated with your love life, just know that you’re not alone on this journey. Just keep your head up and be hopeful that you’ll meet your significant other in the future.

In the meantime, enjoy your own company, be free, and have intimacy with anyone you want (with consent).

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