We are living in unprecedented times. At least for those of us trying to navigate this nauseatingly complicated travesty that is the modern dating culture.
But for me, there’s a whole ‘nother layer to navigating this -LetsBeHonest- toxic dating culture: and that’s my faith.
It’s confusing. It’s frustrating. Add to that the fact that I live in NYC, and it can seem just down right hopeless.
So here are my 10 Truths for Navigating the Modern Dating/Hookup Culture as a Christian:
*And let me just preface this: I am not suggesting that all guys fall into this camp. This is just a satirical look at some “norms” I have come across in NYC.
#1. Cut the Casual Crap
One of the most frustrating things about “dating” is that everything is so casual. I mean, you can’t even call it “dating,” or else you’re seen as too serious. You’re talking, you’re hanging out, you’re friends with benefits. No. Just, no. Because you know what that is code for? Sleeping around. ((See #2))
#2. Ditch Dating Around
Being so casual with “hanging out” is just a sneaky green light for seeing a bunch of other people and stringing them along with the bare minimum to keep them interested. For most people, this means being “F-buddies.” For me, that’s not an option. So what’s a nice girl to do when all the guys are looking for is a casual and convenient “fling” that is maaaaybe reoccurring? No sir. If I’m going to invest my time and heart with you, you better not be seeing any hoochie mama on the side. Puh-lease.
#3. “Netflix and Chill” my A**
Now, I am not high maintenance. I love to watch a good football game on the couch or hype up for some March Madness. I mean, my game day eats are on point. BUT I will not be some stand in for a guy friend that will exist solely to “meet your needs.” I do not do that.
#4. Tinder Me Not
OK. The online dating apps…they just need to stop. Like, immediately. Tinder is such an enabler to the hookup culture. First of all, it is literally a catalogue of faces (or other anatomy…) for you to simply swipe left or right on – simply based on their looks. The majority of guys I know approach Tinder like so: “it’s a way to find a hookup for the night.” — And that’s an exact quote. Just delete the app. SMH
#5. The Texting Game
Ugh. This one is so frustrating. Dear people at Apple: the “typing ‘…’ bubble” and the “delivered/read” receipt — thank you on behalf of all the women everywhere having collective panic attacks waiting with phone-in-hand for their “guy of interest” to text a reply.
And while we’re on the topic: we need to just put the kibosh on this whole, “Oh I have to wait 2 hours to text him back.” Just reply to the damn message. I don’t want to get labeled as “needy” or “too eager” because I have the conversation courtesy to text you back in a timely manner.
#6. The Gentleman Caller
Believe me when I say that I hate talking on the phone as much as the next person. I mean, I haaaate it. But since when did actually calling someone vs. texting become a faux pas? Sometimes, I want to just have a spontaneous conversation about something funny that just happened, or to solidify plans. Not everything can be communicated through emojis!
#7. Digits, My Digits
As a flirty, young female in the city where there are nearly as many bars as there are people, I’ve definitely had to perfect my “bar” game. What to wear; how to show just enough skin to stay in the classy – not trashy – camp; the perfect height of heel — because believe me, 1/4 of an inch is the difference between a night of fun and a night of tears.
But if there’s one thing that is exasperating: it is guys asking for your number. I am out with my friends. I do not want to be solicited for casual dating right now, NOR will I want to be harangued via texting me eggplant emojis tomorrow during church or at brunch.
And same with guys buying drinks. I don’t want to owe you anything. Keep your wallet in your pocket. I don’t want to have to make small talk with you for the next 30 minutes because I feel bad you just dropped 16 bucks on a vodka/soda.
#8. Kiss and Fly
Which, yes, is the name of a trendy club in meatpacking. But is also a current “dating” trend that needs to just stop. The last I checked, a kiss means something. At least to me. You’re gonna kiss me on Saturday night, and then not call or see me again until the next “group hang” where you act like it never happened? What is that about?
#9. Forget Fishbowling
Which, I’m just going acknowledge right off the bat, sounds like it could be something dirty on Urban Dictionary, or something pertaining to drugs, but for alliteration’s sake, I’m going to just go with it.
Here’s what I mean: it is so annoying to go “young adults” or “young singles” church nights, and then go to the “mixer” at the bar afterwards. Please. It feels so forced with our handwritten name tags and craft beers. I feel like I’m in a fishbowl being forced to “spiritually mate” and find my future husband. To the point where I have stopped attending these events. They are that bad. I know, I should probably meet a guy a church, but for cryin’ out loud, let’s not look that desperate.
#10. Forget all this and remember what’s important.
So okay, I’ve had my rant. Sure, I may have tried to be a little witty, and okay, some of my points may be borderline complaining, but it’s coming from a sincere place. I am fed up with the modern dating culture that doesn’t respect a committed relationship, and finds ‘waiting for marriage’ as an archaic, absurd, and prudish notion. I mean, I feel like the stigma is that if you’re waiting to have sex that you’re automatically wearing orthopedic shoes and an ankle length dress.
But it’s just a fact that in the modern dating culture, if you don’t “give it up,” all a guy has to do is buy the next girl at the bar a drink, and he can get what he’s looking for.
So I have come to terms with the fact that I will most likely not find my husband out at a bar. Or on Tinder. Or really anywhere secular in NYC.
And I could get really depressed about that. Become exasperated that I’m devoting all my social time to hanging out in a crowd that isn’t on that same page, while all the while aging. While my youth fades and biological clock ticks.
Am I wasting my time? Some may say yes. But I say no. I have incredibly wonderful friendships that are filling my heart to the brim. During my anorexia, I was so bereft of social interaction and friendships because I was pushing everyone away and isolating myself to self-destruct with my disease. So now, I am making up for lost time. With my friends.
And I trust that I am where I am supposed to be. That God will bring the right man into my life at the right time. And you know what? It’s impossible for me to miss him, because God already has “Mr. Right” picked out for me.
#11: Don’t Dismay
Don’t get too caught up in how crappy and dismal the Tinder-obsessed dating culture is. The right guy is out there (and you probably won’t find him on Tinder.) But God already ‘swiped right’ on him for you. He is impossible to miss.