We Don’t Date Anymore

Pablo Heimplatz

We make plans just to cancel last minute
because we’d rather stay home alone watching Netflix
or play on our phone.
then go out with our friends.

We make plans just to cancel
with no real reason.
With commitment comes fear.
and expectations
and pressure
we put on ourselves.

We don’t go on dates.
We meet out for drinks.

We don’t hold open doors
or pull out chairs.
Because the word chivalry
doesn’t mean much anymore.
Splitting a bill is what’s fair
but when did that become out of date
or old fashion?

Talking has been replaced with texting.
Phone calls make people uncomfortable.

This device attached to all of our hands
has added ridiculous pressure and unnecessary stress.

Because texting is one thing
but snaps texts don’t mean as much.
From looking at someone’s story
to liking something they post.
But don’t do it too quickly
because you don’t want to seem eager.

Admitting how you feel has been replaced with not feeling
because the person who cares more gets hurt.

Taking chances on people
has been replaced with trusting no one but yourself.

Everyone seems to be overcome with fear
of being led on or hurt or fucked with.
We end up doing it to each other.

We don’t approach people out
because we need security that they feel the same way.
So we take out our phones swiping.
Hoping maybe they are there too.

Matches on some apps are just some ego boost
because we are curious how someone else might feel
and if they swiped right first.

We don’t always answer.
Then judge people too harshly.
without even meeting them in person.
or giving them a fair shot.

Then we judge ourselves
putting filtered versions on everything.
Painting this life we know isn’t real.
Overcome with wanting to make everyone else jealous
of what we are doing,
where we are,
and how much fun we are having.
When in reality sometimes we aren’t.

We are all guarded.
And jaded.
And afraid.

We say we want relationships.
But we refuse to give up our freedom.
We say we want commitment.
But run the first chance
someone seems serious about us
Then we call them clingy.

We say we want to be loved
yet we don’t know how to love anyone but ourselves.
Even there I think a lot of people struggle.

Because ghosting has become normal
and the slow fade out is acceptable.
Then we question ourselves.

We’ve replaced the word goodbye
and finding resolutions
with silence.
Because it’s easier to unfollow someone.
and block their number
then explain what we didn’t like
because the truth is sometimes we don’t even know.

And if you don’t actually say goodbye and end things.
You can come back when you feel like.
And everyone does.
That text out of the blue.
That notification.

If we were all honest with ourselves
and our relationships
we’d see how silly it is
some of the things that have become normal.

The word relationships has gotten replaced
with everything that appears like one,
giving people relationship benefits
Without having to work for it.

Sex has become normal
and not something to value.

We go from person to person,
struggling to understand what’s missing.
When you replace physical relationships
with emotional ones,
you are always going to feel like something is missing.
Because people need both parts.

We shy away from a single person
even if we care
because we want our options open.

Everyone says dating is hard
but we don’t make it any easier.
Living according to rules we don’t agree with
or understand.

So if you want to change the way we date,
start by changing the way you do.

Because maybe you can’t change everyone
and you certainly will get hurt sometimes
but if you live according to your own standards
even if it conflicts with what is normal
you are eventually going to meet someone
who is just as tired of the BS we’ve created.
Then together you’ll be happy.
TC mark

Kirsten Corley

Kirsten is the author of But Before You Leave, a book of poetry about the experiences we struggle to put into words.

Stop searching for happiness in the same place you lost it. Change is not dismantling the old, it’s building the new.

“The main thing socially intelligent people understand is that your relationship to everyone else is an extension of your relationship to yourself.” — Brianna Wiest

“The things you love about others are the things you love about yourself. The things you hate about others are the things you cannot see in yourself.” — Brianna Wiest

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