I’ve been talking to a lot of my single friends lately.
The conversation is always the same:
“Why the fuck can’t I find a decent man/woman to date?!?!”
Now, my friends with significant others… you can choose to ignore this post, because it’s not for you. Go have sex or watch House of Cards together, or something people in relationships do.
Also, let me just give my two cents on something. I UNDERSTAND that there are many functioning Millennials (ie, those born between the early 80s and early 00s, perhaps give and take), who are in committed, successful and loving relationships. However, I feel like many of us who didn’t find love when we were younger (think: high school/college sweethearts) have a much more difficult time dating in the post-apocalyptic college days where we’re forced to work underpaying jobs, are busy as hell, and realize it’s a hell of a lot harder to meet people when you live in “the real world.”
And next time you relationship-ers roll your eyes at us single-as-FUCK human beings, or you think to yourself, “Wouldn’t it be nice to be single again??” consider these points.
REASONS WHY MY GENERATION SUCKS AT DATING:
(Note: I’m guilty of pretty much every single one of these, so don’t think I’m here to judge)
1. No one actually SPEAKS to each other when in the “courting” process.
Texting is as convenient as ever. In fact, I’m currently texting from my computer while I’m writing this blog. I can literally send a message to anyone in my contact list right now without even picking up my phone, speaking any words, or missing the other million things I’m doing in my life.
Texting is a good thing. It makes it easy to communicate to people throughout the day when you physically cannot speak. I get it.
WE GET IT.
But we are human beings. We have emotions, and vocal inflections, and sometimes we laugh and it doesn’t actually sound anything like “ha ha ha” or “lol.”
Also… IF YOU ARE NOT ACTUALLY LAUGHING OUT LOUD, STOP TYPING “LOL”
Sorry, that’s a personal pet peeve of mine.
I don’t care how many fucking emoticons or emojis you use in a text, there are things that get lost in translation.
Also, a person has the opportunity to be bolder in a text. Hiding behind a computer or a phone is a hell of a lot easier that telling someone how you really feel to their face.
I’m an avid texter, but I think it’s important to pick up the phone once in a while. It shows initiative, interest, respect. Hell, it’s so easy to Skype or FaceTime someone, that’s even BETTER.
I like you! I want to get to know you! I want to hear your voice and see your face!
Let’s be humans, not robots.
2. Tinder/Grindr have taken over Match.com
…or for that matter, organically meeting anyone anywhere…
Again, online dating is a good thing. I know plenty of people who are in incredible relationships based on people they’ve met online.
However, online dating should now be called: “I want to have sex with someone, so I’m going to go on an app where it’s socially acceptable for me to ask a person point-blank to give me a blow job, when I’ve only seen five pictures of them and don’t know anything about them other than their name, age and how far away they are from me.”
Online dating has been cheapened.
I have a Tinder. I’ve met up with people on Tinder. If I were gay, I would probably have a Grindr. But the problem with these sites is they not only give us the opportunity to cheapen others, they make us cheapen ourselves. They substitute the casual hookup for actual human emotion.
3. Facebook allows a person to think they “know” us before they meet us
This can be a dangerous one.
Facebook, Twitter, Googling, all keep us from letting us form our own opinions of a person.
I’m sure there are tons of things on my Facebook that might make me look like a great person. There are also probably tons of things that I write or post that may, in fact, turn someone completely off if they don’t really know me or my personality.
Now here’s where things get scary.
Did you know that there is an app called Lulu, that lets women rate men, kind of like Yelp.
While it’s not really mean-spirited, per se; Lulu asks questions about the men a woman has hooked up with, dated, been friends with and rates then from 1 – 10. Then, Lulu allows you to add hashtags for “good” and “bad” qualities. Example: a “good” hastag would be #CuddleMonster or #AinAnatomy. A “bad” hashtag would be something like #ManChild or #WanderingEye.
I downloaded it out of curiosity and found out some things I maybe didn’t want to know about a person I was interested in.
I wish I hadn’t.
Because now every time I look at that person, I’m thinking someone else’s opinion, instead of forming my own.
I can see where this app developer is coming from. All women are interested in vetting their potential men. We all want to know if he’s a “good guy” or a “bad guy.”
But things are seldom black or white. And we also don’t know the circumstances under which any of these relationships happened.
How can we even hope to open ourselves up to another person, if we can’t even formulate our own opinion of them through ACTUAL HUMAN CONTACT. (Do I see a repeating pattern here??)
4. Drink dates/late night hookups have replaced dinner and a movie
I’ve lived in New York City for almost two years. I’ve been on two dates where someone has actually called me, made a concrete plan, and taken me out somewhere.
I’ve been on about 1,500 “drink things,” “causal meet ups,” or “let’s-chill-and-watch-a-movie-tonight things.”
I understand not having a lot of money. But there are about 1,500+ activities we could do that do NOT cost money.
It’s just a matter of putting in some effort.
And having some respect for another person.
On that note…
5. We need to be drunk or high to express how we truly feel, because that is our best justification for being emotional
Sometimes I feel like I’m constantly putting the proverbial band-aid on my heart to keep me from ever getting hurt.
I don’t generally allow myself to tell someone of the opposite sex that I’m interested in them, or be honest about basically any of my feelings, in fear of getting hurt or the feeling not being reciprocated.
But somehow, being physically impaired gives me a “get out of jail free” card when it comes to displaying my emotions.
6. No one is able to display one ounce of emotion without being made to feel “crazy” or “clingy”
The minute we allow ourselves to get “excited” or “interested,” or… I don’t know… want to get to know another person for who they really are, we run the risk of being called “crazy.”
This one kills me.
Being labeled “crazy” is emotionally damaging.
And people who are labeled as such, are usually not, in fact, “crazy.”
Tell ’em JLaw!
7. The grass is always greener, even when it’s actually just the same shade of green with different rough patches
Because we are so connected to infinite amounts of people through social media, the grass always tends to look greener.
Social media isn’t always to blame either. In NYC, I can throw a rock and hit about 10 attractive, single men.
Many times, I’ll hear friends complain that someone they’ve been “talking” to has stopped talking to them and begun to pursue other options.
But does the person who is always chasing after the next best thing, really believe that “thing” is better??
Is he/she “better?”
Or is he/she just fucked up in a different way than the last person you dated? He has different quirks than the last guy you dated. She has nicer thighs, but smaller boobs.
If we continue to chase after something better, we’re going to be running forever.
8. Instant gratification is not only important, it’s expected
You are not a “prude” if you don’t put out on the first date.
So why does it feel like it?
Have we all lost so much respect for each other that there can be no patience when it comes to getting physical? Not to diminish the importance of physical chemistry, but there is something to be said for two people being intimate with each other, that has become so watered down with my generation.
I’m all about being sexually liberated. I believe in making your own choices about how to to express yourself sexually.
But this isn’t so much about sex, as it is about respect.
9. Past relationships ruin future prospects
We all have that one (or two, or three) exes we are not fond of.
They hurt us. Slayed our emotions. Fucked us up.
But we cannot go into every single new relationship thinking that everyone is out to get us.
I have a BIG problem with this one.
I’ll admit that, straight up.
I’ve also been on the receiving end of this, and it’s not fun. Being compared to someone who you are absolutely different from, is not fair. So it’s not fair of us to think that just because “he did this” or “she did that” that all our future significant others will too.
10. We lie to ourselves
I’m a glass-half-full type of girl. I find good in everyone. I want to believe that everyone is inherently good, but with some bad quirks or tendencies.
However, I feel like I sometimes only see the good, and ignore the bad.
When we can’t let ourselves see that something isn’t working or a person is treating us shitty, it is often impossible from getting out of a tumultuous situation, therefore just fucking us up even more for the next person who comes along.
11. We lie to others
If you don’t like me, or are not longer interested in me…
Stop disappearing, or saying “I’m busy,” when all you really want to do is cut me out.
This infuriates me.
I don’t expect every person I start talking to, to be “the one,” but just because it’s not going to work out, doesn’t mean I don’t deserve the respect of you telling me it’s over.
And if we are indeed dating, please don’t be afraid to tell me when you’re upset, anxious, angry, uncomfortable, or any other array of negative emotions.
Relationships are not just built on rainbows and sunshine.
12. We tell ourselves we aren’t good enough
How many times have I been ignored by a man and had this thought?
Too many times.
Sometimes the phrase “It’s not you, it’s me,” is actually applicable, even if the person doesn’t outright say it.
If you’ve got your own demons to work out, please let me know, and don’t make me feel like a fucking idiot for wanting to be with you.
13. We knows nothing, about anything
How many times have my friends in relationships asked me this:
And my answer is: I have not a fucking clue.
So here’s to my generation. Here’s to the hopeless romantics who are navigating this big, wide world on our own, trying to figure out all the “rules” of dating, while simultaneously throwing away the rulebook.
Some day (hopefully) we’ll all look back at this period of our lives and laugh.
Until then, I’m going to keep collecting dating stories, so I can have great fodder for my book.
Shannon Rose Allen