It’s Not You, It’s Dating Culture

Shani Silver
7 min readSep 8, 2023

You can’t be good at something bad.

Photo by Shani Silver

If you’ve ever felt alone, as though the horrors of dating culture are happening to you and only you, I hope what follows helps you feel better. It is intended to.

The most common trait among all the singles I hear from shouldn’t surprise me, but it does. It isn’t that we all have the desire for partnership — it’s the feeling that no matter what we’re experiencing or going through, we’re the only ones. The severity and frequency of experiences are so astounding that they couldn’t possibly be happening to anyone else — that would be insane. So we feel alone and embarrassed and deeply flawed, otherwise why would we be having such a hard time?

The search for someone else is isolating us, while at the same time there are countless singles going through the very same thing. Does that make sense to you? I mean I guess it makes sense to me, but I hate it. A community, a world of singles experiencing the same abhorrent things needs to know that it’s happening to everyone — and if it’s happening to everyone, there’s no fucking way it’s all your fault.

You’re not alone. The things that are happening to you, the foul messages you’re receiving, the scheduled dates that are standing you up, the grown adults unmatching with you after you’ve met in person instead of having the maturity to tell you they’re not interested in a relationship with you, the people who disappear after they’ve introduced you to all their friends and family, we’re all there — we’re all fielding this shit. We are all living in a world that is confusing, frustrating, exhausting, and unfair. Can you believe this happened? Yes. Yes we can. It’s happening to all of us, we believe every word.

Please don’t take this the wrong way, but you’re not special. This shit is pervasive, it’s everywhere, and it’s happening to us in numbers. Anyone brave (or naive) enough to enter modern dating culture is going to get stung by multiple bees in that particular hive. It’s the shame of these experiences, of singlehood itself, combined with the internalization of fault and flaws that must be attracting all this shit to us like some sort of counter-intended magnet that keeps us isolated and alone, feeling as though we’re the only ones in the world that have it this bad. And to place a cherry…