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Reader's blog; Irish prefer to date online than in life

Dating is hard and social media has not made it any easier. Dating websites are choc-a-bloc with timewasters, nasty people, and those who like getting endless messages on their electronic devices so they can play with them.

Irish people do not like directness when dating or when forming intimate relationships. There is much cautious texting and messaging, but very little dating. Few people want to talk to each other — given mobile phones’ ability to block caller ID and numbers. People prefer to send volumes of tedious text, while refusing to talk. They live in a world of virtual dating and lack all ability to do it for real or to interact with new people.

Irish people prefer dating within their own inner circle, or through alcohol, when they do not know what they are doing.

Ascertaining if someone is in a relationship, when asking them out in person, is often met with ambiguous answers, such as “I am kind of going with someone”; “I’m seeing somebody, but I haven’t seen them in a long while”.

Either they cannot deal with someone they do not know, or they want to keep their options conveniently open, hence the vague answers. The person making the approach is confused and they might make further advances, which can lead to misunderstanding and sometimes legal difficulties.

It is very hard to ascertain someone’s relationship status, unless they are wearing a wedding band.

You will also never be thanked for asking anyone out in this country. There is not the slightest gratitude for the compliment.

When dates do rarely happen, they are predominately about work and more akin to job interviews. There is also a contingent of serial-daters who want a free social life and want to be bought free drink and coffees at the other person’s expense and have no qualms about doing it.

Then, there is all the vetting, if you are lucky enough to form some kind of friendship.

The cute crowd weigh in with their families and friends, so you can be
approved, before things really get going — not having the slightest respect for the other person and treating them like a second-class citizen or subordinate, before they are given the all-clear.

Irish people seem to have a posse close to them all the time, advising them in the background. They cannot make their own minds up about anything and will choose a partner based on what other people think. There are very few individuals around.

Ireland does not have a dating culture, like North America. What we have is a clique culture and if you are not part of a clique, or have a good job, and if you are not big into drink, your chances of forming a relationship with someone is next to nothing — if it exists at all.

Maurice Fitzgerald


Co Cork

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