I think at this point it’s safe to say that everyone is super frustrated with “modern dating.” Even if in our most transparent and honest state, we have absolutely no idea what modern dating even really means. We can point fingers in a lot of different directions; Tinder, Grindr, hookup culture, almost relationships, “just having fun right now”, Friends with Benefits.
Any and all of the above have been j’acussed of perpetuating the thing that’s making people scream, cry, and punch themselves in the throat. Modern dating. We hate to love it, we love to hate it, but unless you’re completely locked down – you have to deal with it.
For everyone posting something about #relationshipgoals there’s someone else being cynical as hell. Adamantly declaring that they’re going to die alone, that they’re the most single person to ever walk the planet, and that (of course) modern dating/hookup culture is to blame. It’s modern dating to blame for the person they met swipity-swiping not being as cute as their perfectly angled selfies IRL. It’s modern dating to blame for the reason why people only want casual and loose instead of stable and exclusive. It’s modern dating to blame for why you can’t find your soulmate that you were promised was truly out there.
It’s all. modern. dating’s. fault. (hrumph.)
But you know what?
I’m sorry, hon. But I’ve gotta call bullshit.
Seriously. B u l l s h i t.
I GET that dating is frustrating. I get that it sucks when you feel abandoned when someone ghosts or doesn’t like you as much as you wish they did. I get that it can feel degrading and frustrating when someone just wants wham, bam, tysm ma’am and you want dinner and dancing and stars in your eyes. I get that it feels exhausting to keep going on blind dates and talk to strangers at bars and at a certain point, you feel like giving up.
Still, it’s really not “modern dating.” At a certain point, sorry not sorry but it’s just you.
See, I’m of firm belief that almost 99% of your frustration with modern dating, casual sex, and hookup culture (whatever that even is) comes down to one simple thing.
And that, my dear, is your refusal to actually communicate with whoever you’re engaging with.
Seriously. We’ve become so busy TRYING so hard we’ve stopped actually TALKING to each other. And when we stopped talking to each other, we also stopped listening. So we try to read between the lines (which are probably pretty clear on their own if you actually looked at them instead of between) and look for hidden signals (which…signals are almost never hidden, that’s why they’re called signals) instead of just bucking up and saying what we want.
Instead of taking what people say and listening to them, we try to decipher what we think (aka: what we want) them to mean. Instead of saying what we actually want and need, we try to morph ourselves into what we think the other person is looking for. Both of which, we could avoid if we just stopped overcomplicating our own lives and just talked to people.
Because here’s the thing:
People almost always tell you who they are and what they want right away. You just have to stop making assumptions and listen.
And likewise, if someone isn’t giving you what you want or the respect you deserve, you need to stop pretending like that’s something you’re going to be able to get over.
So instead of sitting there stewing, blaming modern dating and dating in the digital age for all of your problems, what if you just opened your mouth? What if you communicated? What if you took some of the responsibility for your own life, and went after the relationship and the person you actually want?
There’s something to be said for honesty. Something to be to be said for respecting what someone else says, even if it’s not what you had hoped to hear. Something to be said for asking for what you need and not bending when someone can’t offer it to you.
Communication. It does wonders.
I get that it’s uncomfortable. I get that it’s not fun. Not cute. Not your fave thing in the whole, wide world. But you know what also isn’t really that fun? And definitely isn’t cute?
Blaming modern dating for problems that you could solve yourself.