I’m going to be really honest: dating right now, as a single, young adult, in the era of dating apps, Instagram stories, egg freezing and ghosting…it royally sucks.
Call me old fashioned, call me out of touch, but the hookup culture is the worst.
And so this Valentine’s Day, since I will be celebrating with my other fed-up, single and beautiful twenty-something gal pals, I thought I’d highlight a few quick grievances about the infuriating games that are played by those in the dating field.
Because a wise friend once told me: NOTHING REAL STARTS WITH A GAME.
First: The Texting Game
Somewhere between the death of AOL Instant Messenger and the rise and fall of Snapchat, dating singles have decided that when corresponding with a potential love interest, one must never respond to a text promptly. As in: a guy texts you at 6:00pm, you have to wait until at least 7:05pm to respond, so as not to look desperate, clingy, or too available. And then, depending on how quickly he responds, you divide that amount of time in half to determine when you can reply to his next incoming message.
Yeah – if that sounds insane…that’s because…IT IS.
And it is exhausting.
Second: The “Who Can Care Less” Game
This game is particularly hurtful, because you’re reinforcing a barrier between you and the other person. At least for me – and I think I can speak for a fair number of women – we don’t ever want to come off as “clingy.” I mean – hello: Watch How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and you’ll see Kate Hudson’s character “switch” to a stereotypical “nightmare girlfriend” that is needy, irrational, and clingy, complete with a love fern. A stereotype that is sure to “Lose a Guy” and a stereotype that I try to avoid like the plague.
And guys, on the other hand – they’re afraid of putting their heart on the line and getting hurt.
So we both play this game of “who cares the least.”
Oh you want to cancel last minute? Sure, no biggie. Just date casually and not prioritize our relationship? Oh, I don’t care.
I call BS on all of it. That chicken *crap* behavior becomes some sort of sick competition and it just delays actually getting to know one another and moving the relationship forward.
Third: The Instagram Story Game
Ugh – this one is most annoying. And one that I am recently super guilty of. And this consists of posting an Instagram Story (a public, disappearing photo or video that is only visible for 24 hours) that documents that a) you were out on the town. b) Having fun. c) Looking cute. And d) Certainly not caring that he didn’t call, and/or that you’re having a fabulous life without him.
It’s basically to say, Look, I’m not on my couch eating takeout by myself, and in fact, I’m super fun and datable.
And this is also incredibly exhausting. My friends and I were laughing last Saturday, because instead of engaging with each other, having fun – we were all figuring out what and how to post our evening on Instagram Story.
Lastly, The Ghosting Game.
Ghosting: the art of simply vanishing from a text conversation, or a budding relationship, without notice, warning, or saying goodbye, and never to be heard from again.
This despicable and rude practice has been made possible because dating apps and the switch to “text-only” communication — it has completely erased any trace of accountability.
You can cancel plans, you can wait to see if there’s a better offer, you can avoid – or ignore – or be super flakey or last minute, all thanks to the impersonal nature of the way we correspond now a days.
And frankly it sucks.
All this to say: the current dating scene is not a hopeless situation. I truly believe that, and that’s coming from a virgin who’s had to turn down more lame, “Let’s get out of here” lines than I can count.
Yeah, there are a lot of frogs out there. But there are also a lot of good ones, too. And I, for one, haven’t given up on finding my prince.
If you take one thing away from this piece: it’s to leave the games behind, and operate from place of respect. Or put simply: treat the other person the way you would want to be treated.
Plain and simple.
So Happy Valentine’s Day, my special friends.
Consider this a box of Godiva Chocolates from me to you 🙂
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