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If you haven’t come across this Vanity Fair piece called, “Tinder And The Dawn Of The Dating Apocalypse” yet, then I don’t know how you made it to this article right now. It’s been literally everywhere to the point that my mom asked me if the “Dating Apocalypse” meant that everyone now has herpes (everyone does, but let’s ignore that).
I read it. It’s pretty long. I’m assuming most people who came in contact with the article just saw the title, read a line, and started swiping on a dating app remembering only that “Tinder has ruined everything.” And that’s the issue, the article’s title is all you have to read to know the general attitude about these apps and dating. That they’ve ruined some phone-less, text-less, snap-less, dick pic-less, Garden Of Eden that our ancestors courted one another in. The article basically goes on a hunt to find out which sex is at fault. Hinting towards men (bros and finance men specifically), but ultimately coming to the conclusion that the apps are the reason men are trying to have sex for sport and women aren’t being fulfilled. Um… ok. Sure. Couldn’t that be said about a crowded bar? Or any place singles meet? Or my bedroom? I guess we should all stay home and give up.
Are the dating apps the reason a guy will have sex with you and not call? Yea, I guess that’s the reason it’s happening more often. We’re put in front of ten times more girls and guys than ever before so I’d assume a one-night stand would happen ten times more frequently. But the reason it’s happening at all? Then what was the reason in 1999? Or 1989? Or 1901? His horse and buggy must have gotten stuck in the snow, and he froze to death. He must have forgotten to check his answering machine for the month. He got too into Michael Jackson and got killed by his pet monkey. And that’s the difference. Technology has made us more honest than ever. People are straight up denying us, and not responding while a “READ” message sits underneath. That sucks. That hurts. That’s not the not the apps fault. That’s how we are as humans, the apps and technology put that on steroids, and there’s nowhere to hide.
This isn’t to say dating is easier. The dating apps are just the beginning. Get past those and now you’re following each other on Instagram, friends on Facebook, retweeting each other’s jokes, and snapping one another bored faces at work. All this noise can get in the way, and it’s not like there’s smiling parents to look at as beacons of “We’ve been there, and we made it!” Because they didn’t. They can’t tell us that everything will be just fine. How would they know? It’s not like they were checking their ex’s photos one day, decided to take a long dump due to some Indian food, and then swiped our future father. Hell, our parents spoke once or twice a week in between dates. Imagine that next time it takes someone an hour to text back.
So now we stand here with all this new stuff. And every day I hear girls saying, “Guys are only on Tinder for sex” and guys saying, “There’s just too many dates.” Yeah, those two things are very real issues that we have to deal with because it’s the year 2015. We aren’t better or worse for that fact. We’re just the test subjects. You know what also took some adjustment? The kid who was about to inherit his dad’s buggy whip company. Or the kid who’s mom could get her into the toll booth worker’s union. Those people had two choices, give in or adjust. They could sit there complaining about the world that changed around them as they sat by a barrel fire with the saddle maker’s kid. Or they could deal with the realities of the market, get a new business, find a new way.
I think that’s where we stand. We are standing at a choice. Screaming that the “The Death Of Dating” is giving up. It’s throwing your hands in the air. It’s absolving yourself from the blame and taking away the self-reflection. Maybe it’s time to admit that unlimited choices are just brutally depressing and unfulfilling. Maybe it’s saying no to going home with a guy and maintaining your confidence when he doesn’t call back. Maybe it’s time to stop blaming the tools and reflect on the person. Maybe it’s remembering that nine out of ten people you meet won’t be “the one” and that “one” ends in divorce 50 percent of the time. So let’s just get off in the process and not take things too personally. Maybe it’s living and learning and doing different the next time. Or you can just not leave the house, I’m sure you won’t get hurt that way..