The dating industrial complex is a significant problem that singles encounter in their lives. Society encourages singles to date. Popular culture focuses on external validation through romantic relationships instead of internal validation. While the dating industrial complex is an issue, there are fifteen ways singles can escape its grasp.

What Is The Dating Industrial Complex?

Dating Definition


Dating is a way to meet someone you may be interested in romantically. Today, dating can range from short-term to long-term romantic relationships. It can even be used loosely to mean a one-night stand. Given that what is considered dating has become greyer, it allows the dating industrial complex to evade single people’s lives further. Singles may also feel pressure to date from their peers, family, and society.


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Dating Industrial Complex 


The dating industrial complex feeds off the belief that singles must date. It includes a range of content, products, and services that target singles to get them to date. It includes magazines, dating websites, advertisements, matchmaking, dating apps, speed dating, dating coaches, dating books, couples-only events, dating advice, and influencers promoting romantic relationships.


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How Much Is The Dating Industrial Complex Worth?


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The dating industrial complex is a billion-dollar industry. According to Market Research, the American dating market alone is worth $2.5 billion! Verified Market Research projects the global online dating market to be worth $10.87 billion by 2028. As you can see, there is lots of money to be made from romantic relationships. It does not matter what the medium is: in-person, website, app, or content.

Is The Dating Industrial Complex A Problem For Singles?


The dating industrial complex is a problem for singles because it only presents one way for singles to achieve happiness: by dating someone. The dating industrial complex is a problem for singles because dating is a form of external validation. You are receiving your validation by being in a romantic relationship. You can also receive external validation from your co-workers, friends, and family congratulating you on being in a romantic relationship. You can also receive external validation on social media when people like your relationship status update and when people comment on your pictures and videos of you with a significant other.


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The Problem With External Validation


External validation is a problem because it is superficial. It is temporary. According to Psych Central, “many people learn that their fundamental sense of self-esteem and self-worth comes not from within but from others, and so they constantly seek other peoples approval or attention.” This is a problem because people change. Relationships, from friendships to romantic relationships, can end.


Internal Validation


In contrast to external validation is internal validation or self-validation. Internal validation is when you get your self-worth and self-esteem from yourself. You do this by working to achieve your goals. You set challenges for yourself. The best thing you can do to work on validating yourself is to focus on yourself. When you focus on internal validation, external validation, and by extension, the dating industrial complex will no longer be a problem in your life.


Focus On Yourself


Don’t focus on the dating industrial complex. Focus on yourself! There are a variety of ways that you can begin to focus on yourself. The three primary areas of your life that you can start to focus on yourself are health, money, and relationships. It is up to you to determine which area you must focus on most. Below are fifteen ways to focus on yourself while escaping from the dating industrial complex.


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15 Ways How To Escape From The Dating Industrial Complex




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When you start to take better care of your body by following a diet to exercise, you will feel better. You will also develop self-confidence because you look better and have more energy. Here are three ways you can improve your health.



A consistent diet will improve your health. Popular diets include the Mediterranean Diet, 5:2 Diet, Paleo Diet, Vegetarian Diet, Vegan Diet, and Carnivore Diet. Depending on your personal health goals, you can also do intermittent fasting and detoxes. A healthy, nutritious diet fuels your body. This is especially important when you exercise.



Exercise plays a vital role in your health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “the US obesity prevalence was 41.9% in 2017-March 2020.” Since more people are overweight or obese, exercise is essential, along with eating a good diet. Regular exercise will help you to lose weight while also feeling better. Here are some common types of exercises.


According to Harvard Health, there are four main types of exercise: aerobic exercise, strength training, stretching, and balance exercises. You can focus on one or do a combination of exercises depending on your exercise goal.


An example of aerobic exercise would be running in place or jumping jacks. Strength training exercises include squats, lifting weights, and focusing on particular muscle groups (arms, core, back, and legs). Stretching exercises include yoga, dynamic stretches, and static stretches. Balance exercises include standing on one foot on the ground or standing on a balance ball.




The gym also plays a vital role in your health. Besides getting fit, losing weight, and gaining strength, there are other reasons to go to the gym. When you consistently work out, you will have better quality sleep. The gym can also help to boost your self-confidence. Your confidence will increase as you reach your goals.  You can promote your quality of life and reduce chronic disease by going to the gym. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Regular physical activity helps improve your overall health, fitness, and quality of life. It also helps to reduce your risk of chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, many types of cancer, depression, and anxiety, and dementia.”




Instead of getting distracted by dating, you can learn about money. There are different classes of assets. Here are ten ways to become better at managing and growing your money.


Paper Assets 


When it comes to investing, most people think of paper assets. According to the Herold Financial Dictionary, paper assets “refer to assets that are a representation of something. Paper assets in investments literally are pieces of paper that define ownership. Classic examples of paper assets prove to be stocks, currencies, bonds, money market accounts, and similar types of investments.” Paper assets are different from real assets, which will be explained later in this article.




You can start to keep a budget. This will help you to manage your money. There are a few popular budgeting apps that you can use to keep track of your expenses and savings. You can start by following the 50/30/20 budget. Budgeting apps that you can use to track your expenses and savings are You Need A Budget (YNAB), Mint, Monarch Money, EveryDollar, and PocketGuard. When you get control over your budget, you will have more money that you can save!




When you start to make a consistent income and know how much you spend a month on necessities, you can begin to save money. You can start to put money into a basic savings account. As you build up your regular savings account, you can expand to high-interest savings accounts, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit (CD). Once you have built up a little nest egg, you can consider investing.




Investing is another way that you can grow your money. According to Investopedia, “Investing, broadly, is putting money to work for you for a period of time in some sort of project or undertaking in order to generate positive returns (i.e., profits that exceed the amount of the initial investment).” You have many different options when it comes to investing. It will depend on your risk tolerance and your investment strategy.


Stock Market


According to Investopedia, “the term stock market refers to several exchanges in which shares are bought and sold.” The stock market is one way that people use to invest. They invest by buying shares in companies listed on the stock market. There are two main types of stocks available in the stock market: common stock and preferred stock. Common stocks may pay dividends, but they have the potential for a higher return if you hold on to them long-term. Preferred stocks pay a premium but have lower long-term growth potential than common stocks.




Bonds are another investment option. Bonds are typically less risky compared to investing in the stock market. According to Forbes, “Bonds are investment securities where an investor lends money to a company or government for a set period of time, in exchange for regular interest payments.” There are four main types of bonds: corporate bonds, government bonds, agency bonds, and municipal bonds. You can invest in bonds through an exchange-traded fund (ETFs), online brokerage accounts, or directly buying treasury securities from Treasury Direct.

Real Assets


Investopedia says, “Real assets are physical assets that have an intrinsic worth due to their substance and properties. Real assets include precious metals, commodities, real estate, land, equipment, and natural resources.” Real assets are attractive to investors because “they provide good returns, hedge against inflation, lower covariance with equity investments, and tax benefits as they can claim depreciation on assets.” Real assets are physical assets you own. Real assets have no counterparty risk.


Physical Metals


The first type of real asset that you can own is physical metals. These are one type of commodity, but you want to physically own them rather than own them as a paper asset on the stock market. The main types of physical metals you can buy are gold, silver, platinum, and copper. According to International Man, gold is the most inflation-resistant commodity, but Bitcoin will eventually catch up and surpass gold by halving. Doug Casey refers to halving as “quantitative hardening.” Physical precious metals are a way to get out of the fiat currency system.




There is debate about cryptocurrency, specifically Bitcoin, about whether it’s a hard asset. Others argue that Bitcoin is maturing into a real asset. Similar to precious metals, it is best to hold Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in a hardware wallet. If you don’t hold it, then you don’t own it. This will prevent counterparty risks such as keeping your cryptocurrencies on exchanges like Coinbase. Like precious metals, cryptocurrencies are another option to escape the fiat currency system.


Real Estate


Another real asset is real estate. Real estate is a real asset because it is a physical asset. You can make passive income by becoming a landlord. According to Connect Invest, there are six real estate types: multifamily, retail, office, self-storage, hotels, and mobile homes. These can then be broken down into real estate property classes. Today, you can even start small by renting out a room through Airbnb to make extra income if you can’t afford to get into real estate.


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You could also decide to start your own business. Today, a business no longer needs to be physical. You can start an online business. You will need a website, email list, YouTube Channel, and products and services you sell to your customers to create an online business. You can later add social media to expand your reach to reach more customers.


The most common ways how online businesses make money today are through advertising on websites and YouTube, affiliate marketing, and selling products and services. The type of products that your business will sell will depend on the needs of your target audience and customers. Many products today are printed on demand, meaning you will only pay the company that makes a product you sell each time it is bought. You can then get more control of your online business by creating a website into an e-commerce website.


International Diversification


If you are able, you may want to consider international diversification. You can invest in a second passport, residency, or citizenship. The advantages of international diversification are decreasing your political risk, decreasing your cost of living, and increasing your investment opportunities outside your home country. If you are interested in a Plan B or C, you will first need to visit a country to see if it is a good fit for you and your lifestyle. You can then look into the requirements for living in that country.




Instead of focusing on dating, you can spend more time with your friends and your community. Besides simply enjoying spending time with your friends and community, many benefits come with friendship. Here are two ways you can improve your relationships.



Hare three ways friendship can help you. First, it has been found that social connections help to lower blood pressure, lower B.M.I., reduce diabetes, and decrease inflammation. Second, friends can also make you happier as you age. Third, since people are naturally social creatures, friendships will help you to live longer. One hundred forty-eight studies found that people with stronger social ties had a “50% increased likelihood of survival.” In short, friendship plays a vital role in people’s lives.



There are many benefits to spending time in your community. You can build community connections that can help your personal and professional life. Community also gives you a sense of belonging when finding people with similar beliefs and values. While you won’t agree or get along with everyone in your community, it is vital to develop self-acceptance. You can also find places in your community to learn from people with more experience than you. Meetup is a great website to use to meet people who have similar interests or for networking.



The dating industrial complex is a problem for singles. But you don’t have to let its presence in society consume you. Instead of participating in the dating industrial complex, you can focus on yourself. You can focus on yourself in three key ways: health, money, and relationships. A significant other does not complete you. You are responsible for doing that yourself by working to achieve your goals.

Views expressed in this article are the author’s opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of Secure Single. It is intended for informational and educational purposes only. It is not investment or financial advice. James Bollen is the author of Thriving Solo: How to Flourish and Live Your Perfect Life (Without A Soulmate). Now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon. Subscribe to Secure Single’s Substack for free!
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James Bollen is the Founder and President of Secure Single. He is an entrepreneur and a content creator with the goal of helping all different types of singles to learn to thrive as a single person.
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