Thought Catalog
April 7, 2014

My Response To “18 Ugly Truths About Modern Dating That You Have To Deal With”

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A few days ago, someone wrote a scarily accurate take on the Ugly Truths About Modern Dating. While I could subtract or add to these points and emphasize that this generation, the technological progression has only inundated the “hookup culture,” I could also relate – as I’m sure some of you would – to these realities we’re all somewhat guilty of participating in. Here’s my response to some of them.

1. “The person who cares less has all the power. Nobody wants to be the one who’s more interested.”

Of course, I understand the author is just stating the obvious and refuses to agree with this unfortunate mentality that has probably existed since the beginning of time. Of course, humanity should’ve evolved as a whole by now and there was such a thing as chivalry back in the day. But alas, this millenium of ignoring texts and disposing of booty calls on cyberspace has only reinforced the double standards of entirely initiating the first move, first message or appearing interested in any way – especially if you’re a woman. If you’re a man and you harass women with transparent compliments/sexts, you’re seen as “normal” and romantic. If you’re a woman and you even introduce any form of conversation, you’re perceived to be desperate and prominscious. But of course…

2. “Because we want to show how cavalier and blasé we can be to the other person, little psychological games like ‘Intentionally Take Hours Or Days To Text Back’ will happen. They aren’t fun.”

Why are we addicted to these petty games, these indirect jabs of cyber abuse? Because we’re desensitized – no, conditioned! – to show we don’t care and we can’t “man up” like men can, he could have lost his phone (and his internet connection), been kidnapped, gone through a family crisis – and we’d never know, because under any circumstance, it’s not “ladylike” to even type and press a button before the opposite sex does. Or he’s just “busy” and not that into you…Whatever. On to the next.

3. “A person being carefree because they have zero interest in you looks exactly like a person being carefree because they think you’re amazing & are making a conscious effort to play it cool. Good luck deciphering between the two.”

Because of this passive aggressive movement of “no texting, no caring,” you’ll never know if someone’s friend-zoning you, sweeping you off your feet, or trying to get into your pants. Or you could always combine two out of three and let a once-a-month hookup “friendship” blossom – just like everyone else breathing has…

4. “Making phone calls is a dying art. Chances are, most of your relationship’s communication will happen via text, which is the most detached, impersonal form of interaction. Get familiar with those emoticon options.”

We’re all guilty of this. Sometimes, it’s easier to just send a text when you’re with other people or you’re working and you can’t find a private spot to chat on the phone. If you’re already in a relationship with someone and see them (almost) everyday, you don’t really need those long, drawn-out conversations of “no, you hang up first!” Sometimes, it’s those little texts that wake you up in the morning that’ll suffice. That’s if you actually receive the text and aren’t cockblocked by some technical glitch or misleading text with no “lol” in it…

5. “Set plans are dead. People have options and up-to-the-minute updates on their friends (or other potential romantic interests) whereabouts thanks to texts & social media. If you aren’t the top priority, your invitation to spend time will be given a “Maybe” or “I’ll let you know” and the deciding factor(s) will be if that person has offers more fun/interesting than you on the table.”

Sometimes, we also have to work around family or work responsibilities and don’t know when we’ll be finished but have an estimated idea as to when we should be – so we only make tentative plans and directly tell our friends/interests this upfront. Some people aren’t as understanding or fear being ditched, when the planner backs out and they can’t find a “last minute” replacement. In the chaotic, fast-paced world we live in, this is just as second nature as to chugging water. Plans change, times change, people change. But sometimes, we’re also being pressured by others to engage in activities we detest or we know we’ll be bored with or – the worst – we’ll be tagging along. And sometimes, it’s just more polite to say “maybe” or “I’ll let you know” rather than “Fuck you, I don’t like that shit.” Or sometimes, if we like the person enough, chances are we’ll also share interests and views similar enough to enjoy eachother’s presence – because that’s important too…

6. “Someone who hurt you isn’t automatically going to have bad karma. At least not in the immediate future. I know it only seems fair, but sometimes people cheat and betray and move on happily while the person they left is in shambles.”

While we would never wish harm on anyone (and mean it), we should expect others to do the same. Look at the quintessential teenage flick. The popular bitch always gets her way, and the innocent nerd is repetitively screwed over. When you’re nice, you sacrifice. Like the old saying goes, “no good deed goes unpunished.” But you have to believe Cinderella will find her happy ending someday…

7. “The only difference between your actions being romantic and creepy is how attractive the other person finds you. That’s it, that’s all.”

This is sad but true. A suave, smooth-talking Channing Tatum lookalike who bluntly asks for sex – will probably get it.

8. “Let’s chill” & “Wanna hang out?” are vague phrases that likely mean “let’s hookup” — and while you probably hate receiving them, they’re the common way to invite someone to spend time these days, and appear to be here to stay.”

While anyone could see through these cliques of words, they’re so prevalent that they appear harmless and unavoidable. So you just go along with it and hope temporary sighs of pleasure lead to something more solid…

9. “Some people just want to hookup and if you’re seeking more than sex, they won’t tell you that they’re the wrong person for you. At least, not untilafter they score your prize. While human decency is ideal, honesty isn’t mandatory.”

Butttt they need to physically express your attraction for you, so they can foster that “connection” (and can’t get it elsewhere?) Rightttttt….

10. “The text message you sent went through. If they didn’t respond, it wasn’t because of malfunctioning phone carrier services.”

This is probably true. And even if it wasn’t, they would find another way to get in touch with you if they were interested. Or you could google their address and drive by their house a million times. Whichever works…

11. “So many people are scared of commitment and being official that they’ll remain in a label-free relationship, which blurs lines and only works until it doesn’t. I’ve said it many times before, I’ll say it again – “we’re just talking” is opening the door for cheating that technically wasn’t cheating because, hey, you weren’t together together.”

…Which only leads people on and breaks their hearts. Don’t waste my time and yours. Be straight up from the beginning, so we know what we’re getting into (no pun intended)…

12. “Social media creates new temptations and opportunities to cheat. The private messaging and options for subtle flirtation (e.g. liking of pictures) aren’t an excuse or validation for cheating, but they certainly increase the chances of it happening.”

But your boyfriend’s only liking those half-naked girls’ pics, because he went to high school with them – no?

13. “Social media can also create the illusion of having options, which leads to people looking at Facebook as an attractive people menu instead of a means of keeping contact with friends & family.”

Translation: Facebook (and/or Instagram) is the new “Black Book”.

14. “You aren’t likely to see much of someone’s genuine, unfiltered self until you’re in an actual relationship with him or her. Generally people are scared that sincerely putting themselves out there will result in finding out that they’re too available, too anxious, too nerdy, too nice, too safe, too boring, not funny enough, not pretty enough, not some other person enough to be embraced.”

You’re falling in love with the counterfeit version of someone, their fictitious character. Because of course, you expected them to be airless angelic entities with no body hair or fat – and then it’s too late…

15. “Any person you get romantically involved with you’ll either wind up staying with forever or breaking up with them at some point. These are equally terrifying concepts.”

Because heaven forbid you live your life and actually have feelings, and the right to express them…

16. “When dating, instead of expressing how they feel directly to you, a person is more likely to post a Facebook status or Instagram a Tumblr-esque photo of a sunset with a quote or song lyric of someone else’s words on it, and while it may not mention your name, it’s blatantly directed at you.”

Sometimes, Taylor Swift knows us better than we know ourselves…

17. “There are plenty of people who’ll have zero respect for your relationship and if they want the person you’re with, they’ll have no qualms with trying to overstep boundaries to get to ‘em. Girl code and guy code are wishful thinking and human code isn’t embedded in everyone.”

And if your BF/GF succumbs/surrenders to those.