You are swiping through Tinder one day when the rather attractive specimen you have been messaging for about a week finally pops the question: “So, do you want to go out sometime? *winky face emoji.*” You are filled with excitement, but don’t respond straight away because you don’t want to come across as too eager. You tell them you are free on Saturday, and you plan to watch a movie together. Saturday arrives and you put on your cutest outfit with those jeans that make your butt look good, and head off for a night of romance except it turns out to be anything but romantic.
You quickly realize the online Adonis you’ve been messaging actually has the personality of a wet noodle. You leave the date disappointed and return to swiping.
This is what dating has become for my generation; hopelessly swiping away at random faces in hopes of finding your soulmate. It just sets us up for failure, and, frankly, it’s pathetic. Maybe this is one area where the older generations had it right.
According to one New York Times journalist, what this generation has created is “hookup culture.” Young people are afraid of commitment. We do not want to spend money on someone who might not become our spouse, so we go on subpar dates with people we have never even met.
A traditional date to us sounds old-fashioned; the guy asking a girl he already likes, flowers, riding together to dinner, quality conversation, the guy paying, and you making plans for another date if everything went well.
Now, flowers are cliché and unnecessary, you cannot ride together because you are still not sure if the other person is a murderer or not, and the conversation is juvenile because you are just getting to know each other. You talk about hobbies and interests instead of life goals or anything remotely personal. Now, people even skip dinner and go straight to one person’s place for unholy relations.
Now, I am not saying we should go back to this “misogynistic” approach, but I am saying we should focus on relationships that are right in front of our faces.
Relationships should develop slowly; when you meet online, it is like racing to the finish line, and that race is to, well, sex. Much of this problem can be attributed to impatience. We do not want to wait for the right person; we want them now. We do not want the anxiety of wondering whether or not someone likes us back or whether or not a date will ruin our relationships.
This, as with most generational trends, does not encompass everybody. I know plenty of happy couples that have cultivated a healthy relationship in person, but I also know a plethora of singles who swipe themselves to sleep at night. It seems to be easier to speak freely behind a world of flirty gifs and emojis than it is face-to-face in a world of expression and eye contact.
This trend is best exemplified in today’s music. Compare Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” to Bruno Mars’ “That’s What I Like,” and you will see what I mean. Leaving the quality of the music alone, even the messages have become significantly less meaningful.
Romance is dying, and we need to save it. A girl can no longer expect to be swept off her feet, but she can surely expect a half-hearted attempt at a date. We do not need to travel back into the days of “Pleasantville,” but we need to stop selling ourselves short with Tinder and start dating again.