Being a 26-year old woman trying to navigate this modern “dating” scene is exhausting at best. As most millennials can attest to, the “hook up” culture is really at a new high, and the word “relationship” is slowly but surely becoming a thing of the past.
I remember growing up and hearing my Dad recall of when he was dating my Mom. He would drive from his home to hers, over an hour, to see her and then would go to work on no sleep at 5 AM the following day. JUST SO HE COULD SEE HER. I was always hopeful I would find a love like that. I’m still hopeful that I will find that one day, however, it’s definitely difficult in the dating culture we currently face.
I don’t even know if I can call it DATING culture, because GOD forbid you actually use the “d” word. It is more likely men asking you to “hang out”. The frequency of that line is honestly concerning.
Modern Dating in a Nutshell…
You go on a few “good dates”, or so you think. You then obsessively check your phone for text messages for the next 24 hours because you really have no clue where you stand. God forbid you end up having actual feelings for someone. Watch out- you are only hanging out. Confused about where you stand? Too bad. You can’t ASK because then you will appear too “needy” and attached. Want to hang out with this person two days in a row? FORGET ABOUT IT. You better be careful not to double text, too. Thinking of defining the relationship?
That’s a good way to ensure you are alone, forever.
All of these unspoken rules create a dating world that is completely unsatisfying and it is like walking on egg shells, to be perfectly honest. We, as a generation, are so opposed to the idea of actually opening up to someone and FEELING something. It’s become the cultural norm to just abide by these rules and hold your tongue. The game is completely exhausting, in my opinion.
There is no face-to-face communication, either. Difficult conversations and arguments are often done through text message. We are so used to hiding behind the screen rather than actually dealing with emotions or feelings head-on.
Enter Social Media & Online Dating…
Social Media and the Internet in general, in my opinion, are to blame for the massive change in the dating scene today. We have been brought up to expect instant gratification and are taught to “never settle”. Although I do agree with not settling, I think this is part of the reason that relationships are so uncommon now. It is FAR more common to see two people “talking” or just “hanging out”. It’s like everyone is so terrified to put a label on anything now.
Look back to the 1950’s. “NETFLIX AND CHILL” would be completely cringe-worthy and would be something no one even considered (even if Netflix HAD been a thing back then). The man would be happy to come pick up the woman at her home, knock on the door, and open her car door. He would put in the work, happily, and would treat his date like the ultimate lady.
Tinder. There is something to be said for online dating. I’m not a complete hater. Dating can be more accessible than ever in this modern world, with the ability to connect with like-minded individuals from the comfort of your own home. That being said, I personally cannot stand online dating, because it is also as IMPERSONAL as ever.
You are essentially swiping based on someone’s thumbnail photo, their outward appearance, ignorant to any non-physical traits. Nothing more shallow than that. Ridiculous, right? Yet that’s what we do. Back in the day, people actually TALKED face to face. Maybe that’s why relationships were more successful. They would communicate, face-to-face, with people and were attracted to people based on more than just their appearance.
There is something to be said for TOO MUCH CHOICE. Yes, choice is good, however it really prevents people from building meaningful relationships. For example, you connect with someone on Tinder. You chat for weeks, while also talking to about 10 other people. It is hard to build a meaningful connection this way as you are always looking for “something better” rather than getting to really know one another.
The Question of: WHO PAYS THE BILL?
Who pays the bill? That’s another common controversial topic in today’s dating game. Back in the day, it was common for the man to always pick up the check. That’s just how things were done back then. Today, it is much more common to split the bill. I don’t necessarily think there is anything wrong with this. With the women’s empowerment culture we are in today, it is empowering to know that women and men are equal and are both capable of paying for the check. That being said, it is still basic decency for the man to pick up the check on the first date, or at least offer to. 59% of people feel the same exact way about this, according to a study done by LearnVest.
So… Is Chivalry Really Dead?
Now, onto the million dollar question: Is chivalry really dead? I don’t think it is. There are still gentlemen out there who care about woo-ing their lady. I still stand by the fact that this is FAR less common. It’s a matter of waiting until you meet the one who will show you they care enough to go the extra mile for you. For me, it’s never about money. I want to date someone who thinks enough of me that they WANT to open the door for me, lend me their sweater, pull out my chair. The small things. It’s these gestures that show their effort, and for me, I’m willing to wait for that. I have been single for a really long time. I’ve dated, here and there, however I always knew that I hadn’t met the one. To me, I have no issues with waiting because I deserve true love. So do you.
I really do hope there is more out there though, because this dating culture really sucks.I still have hope that one day I will find a love as genuine and as true as my parents. I know it DOES exist. I hope one day I meet the man that will make an effort to go to extra mile for me, simply because he wants to. I hope I’ll meet the man that I can be honest with and can let my guard down. I hope this for me, and I hope this for all of you. Never give up on that idea, because you are SO worth it.
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