The Romance Apocalypse?
These days, when someone inquires as to how exactly you met your new love interest, Netflix and Chill partner, time filler etc. more and more the answer is via some form of social media or dating app. that (if they are being honest that is….)
SnapChat, Facebook, Instagram, Periscope, Tinder, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel and the list goes on and on. AND ON. Every time I scroll through my Facebook feed there is a new social media platform or dating app. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a 26 year old female, I love my social media. However, this is getting ridiculous.
I am definitely NOT the first person to explore this subject (and I doubt that I will be the last) but does anyone remember what dating was like before social media infiltrated our romantic lives? Has social media and dating apps kickstarted the “Romance Apocalypse”? Here are some legitimate stats from various research organizations (see, we do our research here) and my take on them as a ever pessimistic Millennial:
According to the Pew Research Group “Online dating has lost much of its stigma. A majority of Americans now say online dating is a good way to meet people, when that hasn’t always been the case. There are still lots of people today who don’t really understand why someone would want to find a romantic partner online—21% of Americans agree with the statement that “people who use online dating sites are desperate”—but in general it is much more culturally acceptable than it was just eight years ago.”
Dear good people of America, when you say desperate, what exactly do you mean? I don’t think it’s “desperate” to want to meet someone, I think it’s impatience. As women, we are taught from day one that we are supposed to get married and have babies. You give us baby dolls for Christmas and child sized wedding dress costumes for our birthdays. You rant about how once you hit 35, you are “too old” to have children, even though my mother had me just shy of her 36th birthday. There is way too much pressure, so please do not call us “desperate” for wanting to meet someone, since you seem to like to make us feel like our time is “running out”.
Well, let’s face it. A lot of the individuals on Tinder aren’t looking for something long term, women included. However I do find the concept of everyone wanting a significant other, even if just for an evening interesting. As humans, we are pre-programmed to want to create little carbon copies of ourselves. Even if you are like me and are terrified by children. So even if you think you are “single and loving it”, that Tinder hookup may mean you are looking for your “lobster” or “penguin” or whatever other mate-for-life animal comparison there is out there. Because let’s not forget, “physical activity” does create a bond of some sort whether you like it or not. It’s science, man.
I have to agree with Vanity Fair on this one. There may be free drinks involved, but it’s really not worth the fleeting feeling of being “special” for a night, or a week, or even a month. Because there are a constant array of options pummeled at the guy 24/7. The whole thing just makes me want to join the convent and take a vow of celibacy. Black really is a good color for anyone.
…Or worse, they could be married. My only thought on this that I feel that needs to be voiced is that make sure you do your research. That is all.
I’m going to tell you a story, one that I believe you will assume to be from Nicolas Sparks novel (who by the way, got divorced….on my birthday for that matter…is there hope for anyone?!)
It’s 1971 in the city of New Orleans. There is a man sitting underneath a tree in city park trying to figure out his next move in life. Why did he leave Boston to come back home to this humid, god forsaken place? Should he hitchhike back out West? So many possibilities yet nothing feels like the one for him. Moments later, a woman on a bicycle with a small child on the back rides up to the tree he is sitting under. She has a beautiful smile and long, thick straight hair the hits just above her waist and kind smiling eyes. She asks him, “What time is it?” Two weeks later, they are living together. Two years later, they are married. Sixteen years later they are watching that small child graduate high school and are contemplating splitting up. One year after that they have a daughter. Forty one years later, he is holding her hand in the hospital as cancer claims her as it’s victim. These are my parents. This is why I refuse to ever believe that there is nothing authentic anymore. And you should too. So go ahead, you ask that guy who is sitting alone if he has the time. Just be sure that you can back it with a statement about your phone being dead.