When you scroll down the feeds of your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr* accounts (If you like that sort of thing. I realize that Tumblr ain’t everybody’s cup of tea), you will notice that the overwhelming amount of memes* and love quotes about longing for a genuine connection with a potential romantic partner, is prevalent throughout social media. For some folks, their social media accounts are a direct reflection of their desires, goals, dreams, expectations, and all of those other important life concepts. You can practically assume that if Jane* consistently posts about wanting a loving relationship with a guy (or a girl), that she indeed does. Jane*, like many of us wading in the dating pool, want lasting, romantic, love.
What fuels this burning desire for real companionship (or makes you hurriedly walk away from the first person that shows any serious interest), however, may relate to your upbringing, childhood trauma, or examples of love that you witnessed in the relationships of others. However, that specific topic is for another blog post and another day. Most people want romance and devotion within a relationship with someone, but somehow, a lot of us (yes, myself included) are missing the mark. How can it be true that although most of us want the same thing, we’re not able to see it through?
Where is the disconnect?
There are several points made about this notion by various individuals who are dating in the 21st century. For the sake of this post’s length, its important to focus on some of the ones that are widespread.
Sex Culture Has Become the Culture of Dating
Today, most people are hooking up as early as the first two weeks of meeting a prospective date. Sex equals a relationship. These are not my words, this is simply what has been observed. A friend of mine (who is 22-years-old) expressed that he did not feel like there was a connection being made with a potential love interest until they had sex with one another and after this, a friendship could then be established. These are his words, not mine.
Instagram is an “All-You-Can-See” Buffet
With the rise of Instagram, came the rise of the Insta-models. There are countless stories regarding couples that have ongoing issues in their relationship as a result of their significant other “liking” inappropriate photos. Sometimes, the interactions go as far as direct messaging between the two in secrecy. Although men seem to be targeted most when it comes to this topic, women are also capable of “Instagram cheating.” The fact of knowing that there are so many other options out there (if you consider Instagram a suitable place to find dates), causes a slight bit of temptation for some. When you’re bored of your partner or have just had the biggest fight of your relationship, its easy to run to your iPhone and ogle beautiful people online while wondering what it would be like if you were with them instead of the disgruntled person next to you in bed.
Texting is the Main Form of Miscommunication
Texting is notorious for miscommunication and as a result, causes a great deal of friction for literally no reason. A simple text message that was not meant to be malicious can easily turn into an argument due to a misunderstanding. I am personally not a huge fan of texting for an extended period of time. There is something authentic and bond strengthening about speaking to someone over the phone or in person versus constantly texting back and forth. How can one experience the true nature and persona of a potential partner primarily through a phone screen? You can’t, that’s how.
Courtship is Virtually Nonexistent
Actually going out on dates is a thing of the past. Most people will skip dinner for two and a movie at the theater in exchange for a “Netflix and chill” kind of situation. Although there is nothing wrong with watching movies in the privacy and comfortability of your home, these conditions have the probability of developing into something sexual before you even get the chance to order the take-out. It is an activity that should be left for after the two of you are officially dating. The “What are we?” ball begins rolling soon after and we all know how that usually turns out.
You know, I get it. We are all searching for that special person that we feel will complete our lives. Millennials are now of the age where we are looking to build families and strong foundations in conjunction. Although it is a fact that you are a whole individual, it gets lonely. However, one of the most important things to remember is to not get caught up in current societal values and what they tell us that we should be. Change the narrative. Set boundaries and expectations. If substantial love in a relationship is what you want, then go after it.
Tumblr* = a social media website mainly used for blogging.
Memes* = a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.
Jane* = a fictional character.