Instant gratification. Modern dating and instant gratification go hand and hand. And I’d love to sit here and tell you that I’m an exception to the rule. Fuck getting to know someone when I can have what I want from them in 10 minutes. I don’t want to know your deep dark secrets when I can get in and get out without a trace of feelings. Feelings just get you into trouble. Trouble that no one has time to deal with anymore.
My need for instant gratification leads me to realize too late that I actually care about someone.
I pretend that my shell is hard and that nothing, especially not feelings, can get under my skin and make me feel something other than nothing. Because all I want is the feelings that come from the extreme highs instead of the extreme self-doubt.
Our current society is designed to indulge in instant gratification in dating.
Log on to a dating app. Swipe right. Wait for a match. Matched. Match will do. Text come over. Easy enough isn’t it? A process many of us repeat on a regular basis. I can’t say that I’ve bought into the whole app dating but I know people who have and love it. I have my own version of Tinder that doesn’t require messaging strangers.
Because even if you’re not using an app, you can easily send a come over text to someone you don’t have the balls to say it to in person.
It’s so easy to find satisfaction in such a short time when you can type out a message that makes the other person throw on a pair of jeans and make the trek to your place.
And then it’s done. No more need for that person. No need to ask them to stick around for breakfast. No need to tell them your fears, wants or desires because you already got one of your wants fulfilled. And maybe if you’re lucky, your desires too.
But is this what we want? I know as soon as I tell my best friend that I’ve met someone but it’s just what it is, she smiles. That knowing smile. That tells me that she and I will end up in her car, outside of my apartment, where I’m explaining to her the empty feeling inside that I thought a temporary solution would fix. Because she knows as well as I do, that we’re all just telling ourselves that the instant gratification is better than the lonely. And in this modern time of dating, it’s better than nothing.
There are a select few that get lucky. That find something that works. That find another person that makes their entire world stop spinning. Instead of looking for something instant, they’ve found something steady. Something that makes them want to move at a glacier pace instead of zero to 60. It’s the love our parents, grandparents found, and something we have to work for instead of just get.
I want that. I want a love that stops my world.
I want a love that makes me think that everything I was doing in the past was wrong because when I find something makes me feel like I was wrong is when I know that it’s going to be right.
I hate being proven wrong but this is the one exception I’ll make.
No matter what we tell ourselves we all want the same thing. A real, authentic, raw connection that makes modern dating and instant gratification seem like a foolish way to live. But until that point, I’m giving myself over to the process and accepting that modern dating is difficult, frustrating and at times irritating but worth it. It’ll all be worth it when I meet that person who makes everyone else feel like training wheels.
At least that’s what I’m hoping for.