The back burner, the downfall of millennial monogamy. From the virtual expansion of “socially acceptable” online dating sites, to the social media accounts that allow us constant communication with former hookups— as far as relationships go many of us are temporarily screwed. Heres the thing, most us would prefer to be in an actual relationship. Who doesn’t want an on-call booty that responds at all hours of the day AND is down to sleep in? Who wouldn’t prefer to Netflix n Chill instead of spending upwards of $100 at da club? I was single for years because I hadn’t found someone I wanted to be in a relationship with who mutually wanted to be in a relationship with me.
We have a new, unnamed stage of dating.
Our generation’s way of dating is so insanely different from generations past that it doesn’t even really register as dating. Although it’s completely normal to have Tinder downloaded on your phone, it’s become little more than a hookup tool; a place for bros to practice cheesy pickup lines and say weird stuff to random girls because nobody will ever know. There are some people who are very serious about dating on the app, but most of the time you meet up with people that you kinda/sorta already knew and reveal a sexual attraction that was previously unmentioned.
There is “texting” and then “talking” and then “seeing each other” which can quickly turn into “hooking up” or “dating” depending on how everything plays out. There used to just be an offer “want to go on a date with me?” or “can I take you on a date?” Then an answer “yes” or “no.” Some phone calls would be exchanged, he’d pick her up at her place, if they had fun they would do it again, and maybe on the third date they’d have sex. Then they would continue to go on dates and eventually would become boyfriend/girlfriend. Now we have blurred lines and a universal fear of commitment.
“Ever since this ‘hookup culture’ thing happened nobody dates anymore.”
This is so completely, irrationally untrue. The dating game in college has changed dramatically in the last 20 years, so in many ways it does not “exist” by the historical definition of dating. There are a lot of reasons why this is true. For one, people are getting married much later. The average age of marriage in the United States has been slowly pushed forward over the last century. The average male and female in our country is expected to attend college, and upon graduation begin a career. In order to pay student loans back, both sexes remain in the workforce, and push back having children, marriage, etc. Very few millennials are thinking about purchasing their first house, while many of their parents had already begun mortgage payments at their age. It isn’t a priority, because nobody is financially stable. Instead we value “finding ourselves”, and since Instagram and FB have made FOMO a very real, contagious disease, “finding ourselves” tends to involve a big move, spending a f*ckload of time abroad, and having a cool life to show off. Every aspect of life in 2015 is connected to the way we date, because dating in our generation is as simple as a “like” on an older profile picture. We don’t date, because we aren’t afraid we won’t find someone to settle down with. We don’t date, because we don’t see marriage in the near future. I’m speaking as a generation and not as an individual.
You don’t want to look ‘crazy’ if you want to be exclusive.
Perhaps one of the most horrendous aspects of modern day dating culture is the assumption that every women who wants a commitment from a guy is mentally ill. Surprisingly this concept isn’t gender exclusive. When I brought up being in an exclusive relationship with my boyfriend he said that was something he had been wanting but didn’t want to seem like a “stage 5” bringing it up. We have this mindset that relationships are a bad thing and that being in one is wrong because it stalls your personal development. That doesn’t have to be true. You don’t have to know if you’re going to want to seriously date someone right off the bat, but don’t announce your intentions until you’re sure of them. Being exclusive with someone is not the same as getting on one knee and committing the rest of your life. All you’re saying is that you want to get to know that person on a more serious level and don’t intend on dating anyone else for as long as your together.
It’s too easy to text yo’ ex hookups.
Since we live in the era of this hookup culture where we just have sex with pretty much whoever and it doesn’t really matter, it makes sense that a lot of sexual relationships form from platonic friendships. Most likely everyone reading this has hooked up with a close friend and has proceeded to treat them just like a friend. There are so many back burners we’ve lost count, we forget about them until they text us randomly, or post an Insta where they look cool. We’re less selective about who we sleep with, and more selective about who we eat meals with.
We suck at communicating what we want.
As we previously mentioned, it’s considered to be the crazy, psycho, controlling thing to want a serious relationship. Most of us know that there is very little factual evidence to back that ass up, many of us shy away from asking for commitment because they don’t want to risk turning off the person they like. I get that, we’ve all been there. However, it’s important for your sanity to make sure that you have the same intentions. Hint at what you’re looking for, analyze (when appropriate) their responses, and you’ll know the answers to your questions. If you still don’t, ask. Sometimes they’re just waiting for you to say something.
We make dating boring.
For most of us knowing whether or not something will be an after midnight affair or something consistent and sincere occurs within the first month of dating someone. It’s important in this time period to show what kind of girlfriend/boyfriend you will be. Switch it up, hangout during the day and a night. Plan things in advance, but leave room for spontaneity. Show one another new places, and make dating fun. This is fairly easy to do, and the internet allows you to be less creative. If you want to take someone “out to drinks” looks for bars that have live music. Everyone likes live music and it allows for less awkward silence. Do activities together, you can get very cheap seats for sporting events in Boston. Go out to only restaurants neither of you has been before. Better yet, strive to go for a different cuisine each time. My boyfriend and I do this. Go to bowling alleys that also have booze– but only once you’ve gauged they aren’t too competitive. I personally would not have fun going apple picking, but if the bitch you’re trying to impress seems outdoorsy (or basic) enough this might be your first coupley photoshoot. Take dating as the opportunity to do stuff you couldn’t because you were too single and your friends didn’t want to go.
We don’t believe dating exists.
If you think everyone is just out for a hookup, thats all you’ll ever get. If you think you are an “undatable girl”, that’s what you’ll be. If you make excuses for the people you’re dating by blaming the entire structure of romance in our generation you’ll be pretty lonely. The “nice guys” hardly try because they know they’re going to finish last. We have it in our heads that dating isn’t real, but it is, it’s just more comfortable to believe that everyone else isn’t doing it either.