How To Date Someone In 2011

It’s hard to tell if dating was ever easy, if people ever courted and loved each other differently than they do now. After all, how am I to ever really know? I was only born once in one generation. That being said, I have to believe that things were better back then. I look at the photographs of my mother from the ’70s and she just looks…happier. I swear, it’s because she didn’t have the internet, didn’t have something around 24/7 to make her feel anxious and weird.

When we were flirting with people in middle school under the bleachers, we had no idea how much things were going to change, did we? We had no concept of Myspace, Facebook, or Twitter. We just liked three-way-calling and Xanga. Ah, the simple pleasures. Perhaps if we had known, we would’ve been like, “Can I just go back into my mom’s vagina and come back out when the internet has been blown up and/or people start getting less weird?”

We have so many rules now, so many games we have to play, that it’s easy to just get exhausted before we even begin. At 24, I thought I would be driving around in some boy’s car and going to the movies and showing up at his front doorstep when I wanted to hang. The internet would be there but it wouldn’t be such an invasive third party. Unfortunately, that’s not what ended up happening with my generation. Now, it often feels like I’m dating the internet more than an actual boy. It doesn’t help that I’m a blogger either obviously. It’s my job to be up the internet’s ass 24/7.

So here’s how people date in 2011. You meet someone on the internet or maybe in real life. It doesn’t really matter because a big chunk of your correspondence is going to take place online anyway. Either before your first date or after, you’re going to experience the internet equivalent of a handjob, which is G-chatting. G-chatting with your crush will be fast and furious. You’ll message each other at work and send videos back and forth. “OMG, have you heard this song yet? You gotta!” Emoticons will be used and virtual boners will occur. All of this tension will lead up to an IRL date, in which all of those virtual erections will result into an actual boner.

Or maybe not. Maybe the lead up has taken too long and seeing each other in real life now feels strange and unnatural. The very thing that built the flirtation up is also the one to tear it down. This is why if I really like someone, I try to minimize our internet contact and texting because I don’t want us to get stuck in a flirty online K-hole. I make the transition quickly to let the other person know that I want this to feel real, that I want to be with them and touch them and build actual memories or whatever. Otherwise, it will just get lost.

And boy, do relationships get lost when they exist online. You spend three weeks texting and G-chatting and video chatting constantly with someone and then it just stops. The person falls off of the earth or maybe you do because things have just become too belabored. You wonder what the point of all this correspondence is and decide to sign offline for good.

All of these forms of communication have made us have no responsibility or ties to anyone. We can come in and out of someone’s life as we please because we’re not actively involved in it. We don’t see them in their apartment cooking dinner or socializing with friends or reading a book. We just see their name pop up on Facebook chat. We owe them nothing. Furthermore, they owe us nothing. In the back of our minds, we know all of this. After all, it takes two to tango. But we find ourselves in these weird dating situations all of the time. We want something “real” so we go somewhere “fake” to get it.

The internet has also done wonderful things for romance. That goes without saying. What I’m talking about here though is how social media has effected how people relate to each other. The more we know about someone via their internet presence, the less of a chance we seem to build a connection with them in real life. And I wish I could offer some kind of solution to all of this, but I don’t really have one. I will say this though. Use the internet to meet people and start relationships. But also know when to get off of it, know when to tell someone “BYE!” on Gmail and meet them in a park. Don’t get stuck in the 2011 dating K-hole. TC mark

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  • Anonymous

    This has been happening to me with increasing frequency. Seattle is all about the interwebs. And sitting in one’s own apartment.

    • http://www.facebook.com/malspaugh Matthew Scott Alspaugh

      seattle is the worst for that!  all my friends just sit at home and when i actually meet someone i’m interested in, it literally takes hours if not days to make a plan to hang out.  

      • Anonymous

        Hours and days sound like paradise. It takes me something like weeks. There is literally a guy I went out with (who found me sexy, ’cause I am) in November, who is still trying to sext it up even though we NEVER MANAGED TO PLAN A SECOND DATE! I’d just think I was the fool, but I know that he really thinks this is normal. Because he’s all busy selling off his startups. He’ll have time at some point. It’s so fucking weird.

      • douchegirl

        THIS! I went out with a guy one time and then it took LITERALLY weeks to hang out again. After that, it took weeks again for the third date. However, we were in constant communication everyday. It was weird. 

      • Candace

        I know.  fucking internet.  I feel like canceling my internet and only making my account for my real friends.

    • Guest

      yup! sometimes i’m talking to my friends about our plans 30 minutes before we’re supposed to meet. on my home computer. and then we rearrange it for the next day, same problem.

      when we do meet, it’s for like an hour then back online to talk about how awesome the hour was. xD

    • Guest

      yup! sometimes i’m talking to my friends about our plans 30 minutes before we’re supposed to meet. on my home computer. and then we rearrange it for the next day, same problem.

      when we do meet, it’s for like an hour then back online to talk about how awesome the hour was. xD

  • http://www.facebook.com/iamahmad Ahmad Radheyyan

    I LOVE YOU RYAN WILL YOU MARRY ME

  • guest

    can i just die or

  • guest

    can i just die or

  • guest

    can i just die or

  • Tristan

    this is so so good. i love it.

  • Tristan

    this is so so good. i love it.

  • Tristan

    this is so so good. i love it.

  • Tristan

    this is so so good. i love it.

  • Anonymous

    where is skype sexing in this article

  • Anonymous

    where is skype sexing in this article

  • http://melissajclark.ca/blog Melissa Jean Clark

    Ugh, I hear you. Except I don’t G-chat. Texting and Facebook cat can be just as bad though.

    • Candace

      love is through the ears.  damnit, just call me.

  • what

    i have never dated anyone, and the addition of the internet to relationships has made me both tremendously relieved and scared shitless.

  • http://www.reflectionandreview.com Stella

    I’m glad I’m not the only one having meaningless text … it’s gone on for months now. He disappears for a week or two but never goes away for good. *SIGH*

    • http://www.twitter.com/mexifrida Frida

      It always keeps us hoping…

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Ryan!  The internet can be, fortunately or unfortunately, a wonderful place to build an initial connection with someone.  However, there comes a time when one must pull the trigger and, you know, actually meet/talk/flirt/laugh in person with the other.  If one takes too long to pull said trigger, the relationship will stall out.  My take is this:  Those who fail to pull the trigger are usually the ones who NEED the internet’s help in the first place.  That is, they are not confident enough in their social or communication skills to handle a face-to-face, real relationship.  Oh well, survival of the fittest has now officially permeated throughout the internet.  

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Ryan!  The internet can be, fortunately or unfortunately, a wonderful place to build an initial connection with someone.  However, there comes a time when one must pull the trigger and, you know, actually meet/talk/flirt/laugh in person with the other.  If one takes too long to pull said trigger, the relationship will stall out.  My take is this:  Those who fail to pull the trigger are usually the ones who NEED the internet’s help in the first place.  That is, they are not confident enough in their social or communication skills to handle a face-to-face, real relationship.  Oh well, survival of the fittest has now officially permeated throughout the internet.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553623063 Deb Hwan

    Ugh. We all have a love/hate relationship with the internet…

  • guest

    ” At 24, I thought I would be driving around in some boy’s car and going to the movies and showing up at his front doorstep when I wanted to hang. ”

    This is what I do with my boyfriend that I met through the internet.  I dunno.  Actually I text before I just show up.  That would be rude.  

  • guest

    ” At 24, I thought I would be driving around in some boy’s car and going to the movies and showing up at his front doorstep when I wanted to hang. ”

    This is what I do with my boyfriend that I met through the internet.  I dunno.  Actually I text before I just show up.  That would be rude.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

    Do what I do…deactivate Facebook when you’re tired ot it and get a plan where you have to pay for text messaging.  You’ll  go through withdrawals for about a week, then you should be pretty good…I warn you.  You may relapse.  It happens.
      The worst thing for me is trying to cut ties with someone and memories and no matter how hard I try finding they appear somewhere in my online world. 

  • Cockyrocky

    everything in this article is so true. we are more than text on a computer screen. not to mention, relating to people in real life is becoming even more difficult. ugh. it’d be really nice to go back to a time where there weren’t, like, ten ways to contact someone. so many options makes interaction so complicated and annoying.

  • untimelymeds

    An obvious commentary on the phenomenon, but well put in every way. You’ve correctly diagnosed my last 5 relationships. 

  • Lindsay

    Great post with so much truth.  Thanks for writing!

  • guest

    this articles sums up the way i feel about people who use grindr

  • http://www.facebook.com/t.jason.ham Jason Ham

    I get this article but right now I’m dating someone with no cellphone plan and no internet at his house. Our dates are at random, on the off chance that I’m online at work when he’s surfing his ipod touch at Starbucks. He says he enjoys being disconnected from the world.

    Needless to say, h8ing lyfe rite nao. 2 bad he’s zo hawt

    • candace

      Who is this person?  love it.  Sounds intriguing. (can’t spell)

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