I met a guy on Tinder once who picked me up for our second date and after I got in his truck he didn’t start driving or even greet me. He was just staring at his phone, scrolling quickly through Instagram. After a few minutes of silence I finally said “Umm are we gonna go?” he replied “Yeah I just have to get through my Instagram feed first. Can’t miss anything.”
What. The. F. This one didn’t last long, he was the epitome of the “millennial norm.” Social media-obsessed, obsessed with himself and full of excuses. My friends nicknamed him Johnny Bravo.
I’m sure you’ve had these thoughts. “Our generation is the worst. Millennials don’t know how to be loyal. Social media is killing love.” You’ve heard it all and probably felt it too. But after continuing to date despite these Bravos, I have learned a lot. I even met my forever guy in the process. (Not on Tinder, though, seriously get off that shit.)
Did our elders have to deal with DMs and hundreds of other people liking our partner’s selfies? No. But guess what, it’s not technology’s fault. It’s our fault for using that excuse and accepting that behavior.
If you meet someone and go on a date, and they don’t ever text you back, that’s your date’s problem, not your phone’s. If they only want to text or snap chat to get to know each other, again, that’s your date’s choice. In case you are wondering, phones DO still make calls. If they don’t take you on a real date, that’s not a technology issue either. Real dates still exist, your crush just decided not to take you on one.
The same principles apply that always have. It was never socially acceptable to be with someone and flirt or cheat with another person. Maybe 30 years ago it was leaving a note with your home phone number or sending a letter in the mail. Flirting now may mean liking photos or commenting with emojis, but flirting is flirting and it’s still disrespectful regardless of how it’s done or what year it is. Just like it was before.
Instead of blaming technology and social media, raise your standards! My boyfriend of two years is a millennial too and we broke every “millennial” rule in the book. We met at a basketball game that he was coaching. Yep, in person. He messaged me on Instagram afterward and we exchanged numbers. Then, he called me and continued to call me every single day. He took me to dinner and a movie a week after we met. We continued to go on dates and talk on the phone. Two years later, we live together and he still calls me if we are ever apart for the night and even mid-day sometimes just because.
Set new standards. There are plenty of people out there who want the same things you do, you just have to be patient and hold on to the new standards you have set.
Blaming social media and technology for our relationship problems is no different than blaming the car for a drunk driver. It’s all about how we choose to use it.
Don’t be a Johnny Bravo and don’t accept a Johnny Bravo either.