7 struggles every 20-something knows about dating.
The views expressed in this post are of my own, and are not reflected by the Tertangala or the University of Wollongong.
We’re bitter, we’re confused, we have no idea what’s going on. Who are we? Millennials trying to date in the 21st century.
- What is dating?
When was the last time you went out to dinner with someone or went out and watched a movie? If you’re anything like me, you’ll understand the scene; it’s past midnight in some club your friends dragged you to. You’re tipsy (drunk). You tell your friend you think the guy in the blue shirt is cute and an hour later you’ve had a sneaky dance floor kiss and his number is in your phone. Is it validating? You betcha. You’re a lady in control, you’ve had a successful romantic interaction on your own terms. Get it, girl! But it’s still hard to find something intimate and lasting in an age where hook-up culture is the norm and it seems like your love life is nothing but a series of fleeting tender encounters.
- “Talking to”
“We’re not dating, we’re just . . . talking to each other”. Seeing as not many of us actually date anymore, “talking to” has become millennial code for that kind of phase we’re it looks like something miiiight happen between you, but you don’t want to super get your hopes up or make it out to be a big deal because deep down you really know everything is temporary and one day we’ll all disappear into the void. Anyway. Some of your standard types of “talking to” include:
- We text all the time but I don’t know if they’re into me
- I really like him/her/them and I’m hoping my sparkling wit impresses them so much they propose on the spot
- Yeah we made out last week and we’ve been talking ever since but do you think they’re just being polite or are they keen on me?
- I’m talking to them but I heard they’re also talking to, like, three other people so I actually have no idea what to think please help me
- Social Media
Yes, I know I’m a Technology Addicted Millennial, but sometimes having access to so much social media really sucks. You’re constantly bombarded with pictures of your ex’s vacation with their new bae, the person you’re “talking to” keeps commenting ? on someone else’s pictures and you uploaded a bomb selfie at prime time and only got 18 likes??? It’s a self-esteem/social-anxiety warzone.
Tinder is kind of the best and worst thing ever. People swipe right to you, you match, they use cheesy pick-up lines on you. You can literally talk to thousands of people who think you’re cute all within 150km of you and life’s great. If that’s not good for the ego, I don’t know what is. But Tinder also sucks because for every person that talks to you, you know they’re talking to about a hundred other people within 150km of them and let’s face it, they’re not exactly looking for friends on Tinder, and it’s just another meaningless, validating encounter which ultimately reinforces your disillusionment. Plus, if you actually do manage to meet the love of your life on Tinder, you’re always going to have to explain that you met on Tinder. Super awkward.
- Chronic and Acute Indifference
Here’s something that really pisses me off about 21st century dating; it’s all just a massive competition as to who can act the most chill and indifferent. This isn’t exactly a new concept, but it seems to have been taken to new heights lately. It used to be about doing cute things to let the other person know you’re into them, but now it feels like it’s all about who texts first? How soon is too soon to reply so that you seem keen but not clingy? And desperately trying not making eye contact at a party because you don’t want to seem like a stalker, but you’re also low-key trying to keep an eye on them all night to make sure they’re not flirting with anyone else because then you’d have to play it cool and flirt with an even cuter person just to seem chill, ja feel?
- Read receipts
As if any of the above wasn’t bad enough, read receipts truly add insult to the injury. Stressing about your crush texting/messaging/snapchatting you back? Don’t worry! Now you can see, right before your very eyes, that they did in fact read your message over 14 hours ago! Isn’t that great? Now you know for sure they did get your message but they’re choosing to ignore you. Don’t you feel so much better now?
Because being chill in one language wasn’t already a struggle, let’s add in fun, modern day hieroglyphics! They sent you a tongue out face! What do you respond with? Smiley? Winky? Open mouth smiley? It doesn’t matter because they’re probably “talking to” six other people and by now they know you’ve seen their message (thanks, read receipts). And now you no longer seem chill and indifferent and life is short so just send what you want to send because this is so not worth the premature aging and forehead wrinkles.