Today we take a break from irregularly scheduled fashion posts to explore a subject near many a twenty-something-year-old’s heart: love, or lack thereof.
And more specifically dating, as in, what the hell is going on with it?
The most recent incident involved a guy from class, with whom I shared one text message conversation. Let’s call him Class Act. To clarify, the conversation began with Class Act reassuring me he was ready for a serious relationship, which is one of those tricky things where if you feel the need to say it, it probably isn’t true. The rest was spent sharing pictures of his dog (actual dog, not a euphemism) in various states of napping accompanied by captions like “Isn’t she sooooo cute?” Copious emojis were involved. I replied “Yes” out of politeness but really meant no, that grainy picture of your cockradoodle lab-erspaniel mix in poor lighting is less Terrier, more terror inducing at best.
Then followed a month and a half of persistent calls, texts, and Facebook requests on his end, and a matched persistence in ignoring these on mine. He even resorted to the 90s and passed a few notes in class, and those I did respond to with a very serious and slightly concerned, “Wait, are we in middle school?” He wanted to know why I wasn’t interested anymore. The answer? I wasn’t interested to begin with, and I was confused as to how the complete lack of engagement on my end could have been mistaken for interest.
They say it takes half the time to get over someone that you spent dating. So what’s the grievance period allotted for one text conversation? How many forms of social media does it take to reject someone’s advances before they get the hint? The reasonable answer seems like one. One rejection should be enough to get the hint and move on.
I’ve often wished that all first dates ended not in a kiss, but in a mandatory feedback session. Both parties would assess the other’s strengths and weaknesses, possibly through a timelined mood graph of the evening and definitely through a pros and cons list. Something along the lines of, “Pro: You like dogs! Con: That your dog seems to be the only social contact you’ve had in the past year is a deal breaker for me.” There must be an app for this, right?
There’s also been a recent uptrend in feeling the need to constantly keep a conversation going in between in-person hangouts, be it through text or Facebook. Here’s the thing: I will readily admit that I am not that interesting of a person. I can offer you the occasional witty comeback, or quippy commentary, but I am not a well of sarcastic remarks and interesting stories. Some days are less interesting than others, and some days, nothing of note happens at all. Much like a 24/7 Wal-Mart, I have nothing good to offer you at 3 a.m. Putting the pressure to keep a conversation going 24/7 sacrifices quality for quantity, and while technology can be great for communication, it can also be just as destructive as one Miley Cyrus’s wrecking ball.
Dating seems to be in that awkward teenage phase right in the midst of both puberty and a growth spurt. Things have changed, and I think we’re all a little confused. I’m not asking for much–just that we throw sanity back into the mix. Until then, I may have to reconsider Tinder, whose anonymity and rejection-proof format are looking pretty appealing right now. But this is what I’m really interested in: How are you surviving dating in a post-technologic world? Any advice to share? Let’s hashtag it, #sanedatingadvice. Horror stories are welcome, too.