Our generation is going to go down as the generation that killed romance.
Among other things.
But the death of chivalry and courtship will be our legacy.
And I blame one thing: Dating Apps.
Bumble. Tinder. The League. Hinge. Coffee Meets Bagel. OKCupid.
Online dating is a close to 2 billion dollar industry. As they say, there’s a sucker born every minute. And I’m ashamed to admit: I am one of those suckers.
Now, admittedly, I’ve never actually gone on a date from one of those apps. But I do have profiles on at least three of those aforementioned sites. But granted…it’s out of millennial obligation.
Since the emergence of the dating apps, I have come to notice something very depressing:
Men don’t know how to approach women anymore.
And sure, I guess I should be fair and not exclude women from that. But in my traditional mind, I’ve always been one to allow the man to approach first.
But seriously, since dating apps have become so insanely popular…men just don’t saddle up and strike up a conversation anymore.
Listen, we’re friends. I can be honest with you. I’m not a grotesque looking individual. I mean, I have all my teeth. I wear clothes that match. And if you catch me on a good day, my hair will even be washed and styled.
What I’m trying to say is that, I typically don’t repulse men. At least until they talk to me.
But it just baffles me the decline in social skills, and frankly – courtship knowhow – which has taken a nosedive since we’ve all started relationships with our iPhones.
Clearly, I’m frustrated.
I was at church last weekend. I walked 30 minutes there and 30 minutes back to go to the parish where there are the most straight, single men. I was wearing a super cute outfit. Hair done. Fresh application of make up. And my highlighter on fleek. Sat on the aisle. I was ready. And sure enough, there were several cute fellas in attendance that night. No wedding rings. No girlfriends. Just 4 tall drinks of water. 🙂
So afterwards, I just kind of hung around in the lobby for a little bit. I was flipping through the bulletin close to the door — practically begging to be talked to.
And no man took the bait.
I was so annoyed.
So I decided to do an experiment. I was going to actually do the dating apps.
Here were the rules: Thursday night: reach out for one hour on my sites, and “swipe right” on the men I found interesting. No one younger than 23 or older than 30. Must live in NYC. And then I had to actually try and engage for the entire weekend. That means: always reply, promptly. And I had to keep the conversation going.
And let me just tell you. It was exhausting.
Come Sunday night, I was trying to keep 23 different conversations going with different men, most of whom, I couldn’t even remember which name matched which thumbnail, or who I thought was genuinely interesting, or who was as dull as a doorknob.
And that Sunday night, I again, in my “single-and-ready-to-mingle” church outfit, I walked the distance to go to the “cute guy” parish…only this time, I arrived two minutes late because I had a couple last minute Bumble replies I had to deal with.
So no aisle seat this time.
After church, instead of flipping through the bulletin by the door to try and catch the eye of the handsome guy who did the readings, I was instead greeted by 8 new message notifications that I had to reply to.
And it was at this point, that it hit me.
This is the problem.
First, I’ll let you be the first to tell me that my priorities were wrong at church. Which, yes, I get it. But to be fair, I know that God really wants me to find a good man to be my husband, and honestly – Jesus is the best wingman. So, I’m okay with using Church as a meeting ground for love.
But aside from that, what I had experienced during that weekend experiment of “doing the apps” is precisely why romance is officially six feet under, and we’ve got a bunch of man-childs walking around and expecting to hook up on the first date!
We have made it entirely too easy, AND overwhelmed them with a pool of ready and willing options.
He’s no longer ordering the lobster or filet mignon off of the 5-Star menu, he’s sampling a little bit of everything off the Carnival cruise buffet.
And what does that leave you, friends?
Fat. Stuffed. And prediabetic.
After trying to keep 23 conversations going for three days, I realized very quickly that, a) the conversations didn’t actually amount to anything. They were all surface. They were all forgettable. And frankly, I’m not going to learn anything about you, really, from a witty three line bio that your best friend in marketing wrote for you, and a conversation about where you grew up, or what bars you like in the city.
But the real kicker is that, by having 23 “potential interests” literally in my pocket, not only did it completely take me out of the present moment, but it kind of made the actual men in my physical vicinity become rather irrelevant.
If I were one to actually buy into the whole dating app thing, it would be like flirting and courtship wouldn’t even matter, because I could literally meet someone from my couch in sweatpants while watching Netflix with Cheetos crumbs on my fingertips.
Not that I’ve eaten a Cheeto since 2001.
But you know what I mean.
I’m going to go right out and say it.
Dating apps have allowed men (and yes, women) to be the absolute worst social version of themselves.
Apps give us permission – if not encourage us – to: Flake. Be superficial and judge solely on looks. Be chauvinistic or lewd in how we converse to one another. Date a bunch of people at once – if not on the same night! Ghost. Be promiscuous. And for men: to expect a woman to “go Dutch” on a first date and get her own transportation to/from.
Which, for the record: I will always offer to pay for my part of the drinks/date, BUT I am a firm believer that a man should pay for the first date if he initiated it. So sue me.
I am just…ready to pull my hair out.
I have since deleted all the apps on my phone.
And you might be saying, “But what about those 23 guys that YOU are guilty of just ghosting?”
Frankly, I’m not losing sleep over exiting a conversation where the deepest it got was about my childhood dog’s name. — Which is precisely the problem, in a nutshell.
The take away:
This was a classic example of “the grass is always greener.” The fact is: there were 4 “tall drinks of water” there – in the flesh – at church…an establishment where even my mother told me I should find my husband. But I was too wrapped up in my phone to notice.
So patience, Caralyn, is a virtue. And I need to trust in God’s timing, and not try to control everything through a dumb dating app that is literally rotting the romantic parts of our brain, and conditioning us to a cheap version of a love story. Kinda sounds like what porn has done to our young men’s minds. But that’s a story for a different day.
If you need me, I’ll be flipping through the bulletin in a sundress at church, desperately waiting for a cute boy to look up from his phone and talk to me.
Quick sponsor shoutout…Did you see my FabFitFun unboxing video!? I am *loving* the spring box! It was valued at over $354.99! It’s a quarterly box of beauty, fashion, home and fitness products for only 39.99? YES. PLEASE. You can get $10 off when you use my code BLOOM10 at check out too 🙂
***THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS ORDERED MY BOOKS, BLOOM: A JOURNAL BY BEAUTYBEYONDBONES AND “MY BLOGGING TIPS“***
@beauty.beyond.bones – Instagram
Next time you’re shopping on Amazon, be sure to stop by my link, amazon.com/shop/beautybeyondbones first! Doing so is absolutely FREE for you, and a great way to support this blog! (When you stop by my link first, whatever you get on Amazon will give this blog a little kickback :))
My favorite item someone purchased last week was a Three-Toed Sloth Stuffed Animal! So if that was you…THANK YOU! 🙂
For Podcast versions of my posts, please check out Patreon! You make this blog possible 🙂