Can I afford to snooze the alarm for another ten minutes? Should I wear the red skirt with leggings because I haven’t shaved my legs, or should I just stick to pants? Do I have time to make an omelette or should I just grab a banana? Do I want to go for the comfortable flats or the high heel pumps?
Oh, and it’s only 8:05am.
You’ve barely been up for a couple of hours and already have had to make dozens of decisions about your day ahead. (Multiply that number by three if you’re a parent). The following 12 hours usually aren’t any easier — unless of course you’re under the age of two. Man, those were the good ol’ days.
It’s no longer “mo’ money, mo’ problems,” but rather, “mo’ options, mo’ problems.” Think about it: options are at the root of all decisions. If we weren’t given any choices, the decision would be the default. And that’s essentially what happened for the vast majority of people who were married during my parents’ generation in India. While the betrothed couple had some say in the matter, the decision was usually made by their respective parents. Society describes this practice as arranged marriage, but I call it “one less decision.”
In my 13 years of dating, I have had to make many decisions about the men in my life, as you can imagine. Do I go for the hot guy or the sweet guy? Do I pick up the bill this time or let him pay again? Do I say “I love you” first or wait until he does? As if deciding how to PICK amongst men, or how to ACT with them wasn’t challenging enough, the advent of dating services and apps like Shaadi.com, Match.com, and Tinder has now introduced a new epidemic sweeping generation X: “option exhaustion paralysis.”
Yes, I totally just made that term up but it has some merit. Allow me to explain: the vast number of options in eligible bachelors/bachelorettes made accessible through these resources has led to an inability to make a clear decision. Sure, Suraj from Tinder seems like a great guy on paper — he’s a cute doctor with a great sense of humor, but he’s only 5’6”. Then there’s Aditya, the guy you’ve been friends with for years who suddenly professed his undying love for you, now that you’re single — but should you risk your friendship? And your ex from Shaadi.com is still looming in the picture because despite his flaws, you continue to think fondly of him.
The problem isn’t with the options presented – it lies in the very fact that there are options. I know, some of you must be rolling your eyes and thinking, “oh poor me, I have so many great options, boo hoo!” While it is reassuring to know that “all the good ones” aren’t, in fact, taken, how do you know you’re picking the best one out of the good ones? After all, it’s not as if you have all the time in the world to decide – eventually we all have to stop pressing the snooze button.