1. AIM Syndrome
Too obvious not to include, the most recent crop of humans who need to get their shit together grew up in a time where a simple heyy :) indicated that making out behind the elementary school playground was most certainly on the table. We’ve since graduated to texting, online forums, and apps, all things that have managed to turn courtship into a desensitized #lifehack.
2. In The Age of Tinder, Flirting Might Be An Unnecessary Middleman
We’ve brought this upon ourselves, people. Technology has catered more to our primal needs than our intelligent ones, and apps like Tinder are all about maximizing efficiency and getting the job done. For strict hookups, flirting is arguably a cog in an outdated machine.
3. Physical Intimacy Before Emotional Intimacy
If you’re not finding love in the hopeless place known as OK Cupid, you’re probably trying find love while that very song is playing 10x louder than necessary. Our default social gathering environment, be it “out” or at a house party, involves increasingly less words and increasingly more cringe-worthy dancing and grindage. Instead of laying the groundwork with emotional intimacy, we tend to do the reverse.
4. Fear of Creep Labeling
No one wants to be a creep. Yet even the most innocuous of advances, if at the wrong place, during the wrong time, made towards the wrong type of girl, can result in being labeled the big, bad C.
An inevitable result of living in a world dominated by politically correct Petes and Priscillas, and perhaps much better than the inverse scenario. But still–in a world where any hint of male aggression will be ruthlessly disparaged by aspiring Jezebel writers galore, it’s much safer for dudebros to simply post up on the fringe of the dance floor.
5. Fear of “Viral” Rejection
Not unlike Theon Greyjoy when talking to his father, many a dude is terrified of being resoundingly rejected. And with today’s potpourri of juicy campus 3.0’s and TMZ stepchild blogs looking to capitalize on the endless pageview nutrients flowing from juicy imgur posts and text exchanges, this fear is by no means misplaced. Nowadays, a bold-flavored move doesn’t just backfire; it could haunt for all eternity.
6. Lack of Traditional Dating “Paths”
Based on things I hear from my Grandma down in Florida, dating used to be an operation with strict, militaristic protocols; i.e, men kissing the hands of their dates as a sign of respect, no matter if they just exited the filth mobile known as the metro. But now, with many of the ancient protocols rendered obsolete (if men and women are equal, does that mean they split the bill?), there’s no more debatably sanitary playbook for people to follow.
Note that this notion is not exclusive to dating. With the “go to a good college, get a job, buy a house, have kids, yell at the soccer coach cause he’s an idiot for not giving Sammy more playing time” model eroding before our eyes, there are increasingly few things with One Direction. Not few enough, though.
7. Too Cool For Love?
As intelligent humans, we now enjoy things like reading recaps of Breaking Bad, standup comedy, and cooking classes. Relationships are really good at getting in the way of all those things. Flirting is the precursor to relationships. Are we slowly becoming asexual?
8. Girls Have Inadvertently Lowered the Bar
I’m not saying all girls think guys have devolved into a horrendous species that are highly incapable of doing anything other than watch reruns of “The Rock” on their 60 inch wide-screen. I’m saying that all guys definitely think that, because this is what the narrative have become. Kind of like when you were in high school gym class, and all you need to do to get an A was show up. Trying is no longer part of the equation, meaning that mediocrity is the new exceptional.
Case and point, I once called a girl (like, on the phone) to ask what she was doing that night, and she lost her shit. Case and point again, I once cooked a girl a very standard breakfast (bacon and eggs, in a kitchen that looked like downtown Baghdad circa 2003), and apparently that was good enough to have been dating ever since.
9. Complacency and PORN
Why spend $30-60 dollars on spicy tuna rolls, a half-finished gin and tonic, and forced conversation when one can just browse the endless sea of sexy-time pleasure, all from comfort of our own sheet-stained bedrooms? Depressing? Possibly. But a better investment? That’s the scary part.