People Like Myself Weren’t Meant For Modern Dating

It’s knowing exactly what to say at a bar to get you a free drink or two. But then also knowing how to Irish goodbye without their hand being the one you’re holding.

It’s knowing exactly what to say in a text that came late a night and going back and forth on who should go where.

It’s the walk of shame that never looks at bad if you’re a guy.

It’s swearing we all want to date so we download apps but no one wants to give up a Friday night to spend with one person when you can be in a crowded bar with strangers.

It’s getting matched with someone we know not out of interest but we were curious if they swiped right. Then if they do we unmatch them because we gain some weird satisfaction out of knowing they care.

It’s the dating apps and getting unmatched simply for saying hello too quickly.

Or the vulgar comments because it is a dating app and someone can get away with it.

It’s the games we swear we hate but everyone keeps playing.

It’s not even knowing what a real date is so we settle for meeting for drinks.

It’s everything so casual and everyone fearing commitment.

It’s meeting someone who is blunt and honest and it’s so unusual so we label them with clingy than run after the same person who keeps us guessing.

It’s the unfamiliarity of what crushes and liking someone feels like because everyone has been conditioned to try and be the one that cares less and do everything in your power to prove it.

It’s the fuckboys who have girlfriends they don’t tell you about until the next morning.

It’s ghosting becoming so normal it doesn’t even hurt anymore.

It’s having a million ways to communicate but no one is saying anything.

It’s figuring out there’s a problem across your newsfeed or in angry tweets or some share on FB instead of keeping it between you two and finding a solution.

We are conditioned to air dirty laundry on a newsfeed instead of in IRL doing something to fix it.

It’s ending things when something goes wrong instead of working through it.

It’s thinking we can find someone better so we try, only to keep someone who cares on the backburner as some backup plan when we need an ego boost.

It’s constantly wanting the next best thing and comparing yourself and the life you lead to everyone on your phone. Even if it is a filtered version of the life we want people to think we are leading.

It’s racking in likes because for some reason it makes us feel better.

It’s the coy game of texting and not being the one to send a double text or appear like we care more. It’s not seeing someone for days in a row even though you can’t stop thinking about each other and you would like to. No one wants to make that first move.

It’s making sure we don’t view their story on Instagram or snap chat first because we’ll look desperate.

It’s making sure we don’t like their latest post too quickly or too often.

It’s the plans that we can’t seem to follow through when it comes to others even though we aren’t busy, we are laying in our beds looking at our phone texting the same people all night we just flaked on earlier.

It’s the phone calls that never get made because calling anyone is weird and everything is texting.

It’s snap texting that doesn’t equate to as much as a real text for reasons I don’t understand.

It’s opening a snap but not responding immediately. It’s like we want people to anxiously wait for moves we might not even make.

It’s being coy with every move we make and every word we say because anything we might do wrong could get us unmatched or ghosted and we’ll never get the explanation as to why.

This is modern dating and this is the culture we all live in today.

But it’s not supposed to be this difficult.

Relationships aren’t supposed to be this complicated,

Call me clingy if I want to see you again or if I double text you.

Call me crazy that I answer texts immediately when I get them or I look at people’s stories fast because I’m curious what they are up to. I’m sure part of me wishes I could be there too. But I’m supposed to not say that. I’m supposed to not show I care. Feelings I’m supposed to repress because that’s what we are taught to do.

Call me crazy that I want to see you and talk about whatever the issue might be this way we can work on it. I don’t just give up on people that easily.

I’m not supposed to admit I have feelings for someone and if I do it’s 50 shades of aggressive. And there’s a 90% chance they won’t say it back or it’ll freak them out and they run.

But I’m going to tell people how I feel and no one can make me feel guilty for it. Because I’d rather someone know with 100% confidence than ever make them doubt that I think they are great.

I think people have a right to know you care even if they don’t because if someone had feelings for me it’s something I’d respect and want to know also.

Maybe the expectations I have are out there but I truly believe in chivalry and real dates and getting to know someone.

Call me weird that I message people first on dating apps and I’m not looking to hookup immediately but I’d actually like to get to know the person.

Maybe it’s strange I have dating apps I hate and I’d rather meet people organically but everything about that is so hard when you’re out and everyone is staring at their screen.

Call me crazy for actually wanting a relationship at a time where that isn’t a cool thing to do.

But to me, it just seems nice being happy with one person. It seems nice looking at someone confidently and knowing they feel the same way.

To me, the idea of bringing someone around often doesn’t scare me. Being in a crowded bar knowing I came with the person I’m going to leave seems ideal. Waking up the next to someone I know with confidence I’m going to see again is appealing to me. And those words that people seem to dread like boyfriend and girlfriend it’s actually something I look forward to.

Maybe it’s weird how much I hate casual hookups and every walk of shame I take, I’m secretly hoping that isn’t the last time I see them. Maybe it’s weird how much I hate one night stands and afterward, I beat myself up for succumbing to standards that don’t match my own or reflect my values.

Maybe I’m too blunt sometimes. Maybe people classify me as too easy to read. Maybe the people I pine after know they could have me if they’d like to. But what I keep holding onto is the hope of meeting someone who sees the value in that.

Maybe someone will be as tired as I am of these dating games.

Maybe it’s weird no matter how much I drink out I still remember what people say and I hope they mean it, even though most the time they don’t.

Because here I am saying everything honestly in a society that teaches me to lie to gain something from someone.

Call me crazy for being the way I am but I’d rather feel too deeply than allow everything I’ve been through to make me cold.

Maybe I text too much and call when I shouldn’t but I don’t think that’s weird.

To me weird is holding a phone in your hand seeing someone calling, ignoring it then texting them “what’s up.” Like why couldn’t you just pick up the phone and have a real conversation?

I don’t think the problem is people who care too much, people who wear their heart on their sleeve, the people who admit they want one relationship but rather the ones who don’t. Because I don’t think that’s the case. I truly believe everyone is lying to themselves.

Give me anyone and I promise you even if they won’t admit it or play this dating game better than anyone, everyone wants someone. I think everyone is secretly hoping they find what we all seem to be pining after but won’t admit, in the arms of another stranger who teaches us they can be the exception. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Writer living in Hoboken, NJ with my 2 dogs.

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