Miami’s noncommittal dating scene gets old when looking for lasting love

Photo illustration by Sarbani Ghosh

Valentine’s Day has gone from a celebration of love to another over-commercialized holiday saturated with anxiety and high expectations; and in Miami, the problems are even easier to see.

Having lived in Miami all my life and gone through high school and now college, I am underwhelmed by the city’s dating atmosphere, mainly because most people are only interested in surface-level relationships—a product of the constant partying that gives Miami its reputation. The situation is especially bad once you graduate: according to economist Jon Birger, the amount of college-educated women under 25 is 86 percent higher than college-educated men of the same age. This can make it even harder to find guys I relate with.

And of course, as a city known for its lavish yacht parties, beach-side cocktails and grand openings of high-end bars, there remains little room for sincere relationships to develop. The obsession with presenting a perfect image, too, makes it difficult to develop something real in Miami’s dating scene.

It’s difficult to really get to know someone when everyone is opting to hook up instead of forming a more lasting connection, or when people are more concerned with the image of a relationship than the work behind it.

A 2013 study by the American Psychological Association found that 60 to 80 percent of North American college students have had a hookup – even though 63 percent of college men and 83 percent of college women said they would still prefer a traditional relationship.

It can seem as though everyone is paralyzed with fear of commitment, causing them to ruin some great relationships or close themselves off entirely, preventing any from ever beginning.

Dating has become casual to the point that many people often can’t tell the difference between dating and “talking,” the hard-to-define phase in which you spend time together but just aren’t that serious.

Over the years I’ve had experiences with people who were content wasting my time, as well as their own, with endless “talking” and never moving forward. People, in Miami especially, seem so scared to be vulnerable and real with other people that they become emotionally unavailable. And that’s a huge turnoff.

In order to successfully navigate our city’s tricky dating scene, we really need to know what we want, and what we don’t want. We need to stand our ground and be firm in expressing how we deserve to be treated. We shouldn’t change who we are just because someone else is unwilling to compromise in a relationship.

It would also help us if we took a page from our parents, or people from a generation that worked to make relationships last. Maybe if we put more time and genuine effort into looking for the relationships we really want, we just might find it.

Nicole Macias is a sophomore majoring in English.