Words by: Athina Eleftheriou
When I was younger, I had always dreamed about dating a boy in a 50’s America, Pleasantville type situation.
He’d pick me up, we’d go see a movie and afterwards we’d go to the local diner and share a milkshake with two straws. He’d drop me off at home, walk me to my door, kiss me, and then we’d be going ‘steady’ – whatever that means.
We millennials have now created a culture where our lives revolve around being online. Even dating. We think that, ‘Netflix and Chill’ is an acceptable first date when we know that there is going to be no Netflix or no Chill happening. We have lost interest in intimacy and would rather settle for a one-night stand where the guy comes and goes (quite literally) and then we don’t hear from him again until our phone lights up at 3am two months later with a text from him saying ‘hey, wyd?’
The problem we face with everything being online is that we don’t actually know how to meet people anymore. You can’t meet a guy in a bar anymore without him expecting an invite back to your house because he’s bought you a vodka and lemonade.
So we sign up to Tinder, Match.com or Plenty of Fish telling ourselves we’re doing it in a tongue and cheek kind of way. We choose our 5 best pictures, spend a good 10 minutes wondering what to put in our bio before just settling on our occupation and then begin to swipe.
After matching with a couple of guys getting the usual, ‘hey, you ok?’ you get one with an interesting opening line. You exchange a number of pleasant messages back and forth, share a bit of banter and you start to think, ‘Oh this guy’s alright.’ Then you get the message that ruins it all – “send nudes?” Unmatch.
I suppose it’s better than an uninvited d**k pic.
In a survey I conducted based around online dating experiences, when asked, “What were your reasons in signing up?” one respondent answered, “I wanted to get balls deep in some vag.” Stay classy. Fifty percent of people signed up out of boredom, whilst 37% did it because their friends encouraged them, with an additional 37% admitting to using it to find a boyfriend/girlfriend.
There might be an occasion when the conversation goes so well that you get a date that does not take place in his bedroom. In comes the Catfish fear. What if he looks nothing like his pictures? What if it’s awkward or we having nothing to talk about?
Your friends will inevitably force you to go; you meet up at a bar because who actually goes for romantic dinners anymore? The date goes surprisingly well, you exchange flirty banter (aka flanter) over a couple of glasses of wine and you might end the night with a drunken kiss. You go home, tell your friends, send him a text saying you had a great time, he replies saying me too and that you should do it again soon.
But he doesn’t text again. You can’t text him because you texted him first last time and you will just seem desperate. Then you log onto Tinder and see that he was last active 15 minutes ago. So it leaves you thinking, ‘What did I do wrong?’
We live in a generation where people are scared to talk about their feelings. We would rather be strung along than tell him we like him or ask the dreaded question, ‘What are we?’
Maybe you have decided you’re, ‘seeing each other.’ But let me tell you something, that isn’t a real thing!
It’s an excuse. It’s a fear of commitment. If both of you are exclusive then just cut the BS and admit you’re in a relationship. It’s a relationship, not a marriage. What even is ‘seeing each other’ anyway?
I have been single for 20 of my 22 years on this planet and so it is safe to say, I have the modern dating thing down to a tee. It’s hard. It’s hard trying to find someone who is committed to you in a world of people just wanting a night with you.
Maybe it’s just me? Maybe it’s because I’m a traditionalist and a hopeless romantic that dreams of the fairytale ending. It just so happens that I got my happy ending on Tinder. Three failed years and I became an official Tinderella. But I have most definitely had my fair share of terrible Tinder experiences and dates – from somebody spiking my drink, to someone not getting the hint I don’t like them and enough unwanted d**k pics to last two life times.
I am not saying The Modern Dating Game is an entirely bad thing, in fact 30% of the people surveyed were in a relationship with somebody they met through online dating. It’s just sad that we only seem to meet people when we’re either drunk, on a dating app or sometimes both at the same time.
Where is the human connection? People are too scared of intimacy and commitment because they would rather go on a night out and hook up with a bunch of people than tell somebody how they feel.
We need to change, we need to stop being scared to text first, we need to stop letting people string us along, we need to tell each other how we feel. But most importantly, we need to stop Netflix and Chilling.