But before we can delve into these "sub categories," we must first talk about the overarching umbrella they fall under... the world of online (digital) dating.
One of my favorite reality TV stars said it best... (start the video around 1:00 or context is below)
"There's no mystery or romance anymore. Women make themselves so available. You can email somebody an emoji of a glass of wine, and they come over and you hookup and then they go home. I mean, it's the end of western civilization as far as I can tell!"
Side note -- if you don't watch the show Southern Charm on Bravo, you need to start now. It's my favorite show on TV. Probably because it's about a group of 30-something Southerners living in one of my favorite cities, Charleston. Most of them are a hot mess, but the lady above and another star, Cameran, definitely are my Southern soul sisters.
Any who, back to our regularly scheduled discussion...
Patricia said it best... digital dating "is the downfall of western civilization as far as I can tell." Okay, so that might be a tad dramatic, but the overall sentiment behind her point rings true. We discussed this a little bit in the first post of this series. But let's move on from discussing the overall dating generation we live in, and discuss the cause of all such controversy... online dating.
I probably shouldn't admit this...... but I am.
When it comes to online or app dating, I have tried almost all of it. Yep. (in my head i'm thinking, why the heck did I just admit this. but whatever. judge me if you will, but y'all have all done it too.) I have downloaded most of the apps, tried Match.com and reluctantly did the free trial of eHarmony after much convincing from some friends. Thanks guys! Obviously, none of it has worked out.
I met all kinds of men on those things:
The hipster whose jeans were tighter than mine (and y'all know I love my skinny jeans)...
The man who took me to a five star restaurant wearing skinny jeans, a wife-beater and silver cross chain necklace (he also HATED football, so it never would have worked out anyways)...
The guy who was 6'8 inches tall...
- I'm 5'6 by the way -
The guy who said he was 5'11 and was actually 5'5...
The many men who act interested and then ghost (disappear) after days of chatting or texting...
The man who proceeded to turn our "date" into me helping him find a job in politics...
The man who took me to a beer pong tournament for our "first date"...
And my ALL TIME favorite, the man who matched with me, but then proceeded to message me and say that a 23-year-old was too young to be on Match.com and that I was probably a "nice girl" but he didn't need "gold-diggers" clogging up his feed. SERIOUSLY!!
Yep... these aren't just made-up men. I assure you, they do exist and these dates surely did happen. The actual stories behind each one are pretty hilarious, and I'm sure I'll share more details about them in future posts. But for now, this is just a little "taste" at what makes me so qualified to write these posts.
I do want to preface that I have met some great guys on those sites as well. One of which I still talk to two years later. We had a great few dates, but ultimately our lifestyles (he traveled for work four out of seven days a week) didn't match up well in order to date. But we've remained friends ever since. So these apps aren't entirely bad. And hey, myself and many of you are on there. And I know we're all great people.
But my point of today's post is that we're relying too heavily on the instant gratification of these apps and sites. In a matter of seconds we can swipe right and match with the cutie who works down the hall, or some rando we've never met but apparently have 100 mutual Facebook friends with.
In a matter of minutes we can choose the next guy we're going to meet up with simply by looking at five (sometimes only two) pictures.
"He has a dog!" - SWIPE RIGHT
"He likes to golf!" - SWIPE RIGHT
"He posted a picture with someone I assume is his sister (we're just going to go with it), so that means he is a family man!!" - SWIPE RIGHT
"He vacations in Italy!" - DEFINITELY SWIPE RIGHT
"Ewww, he wears cargo pants!" - SWIPE LEFT
"Ahhh, this guy seems so genuine. He volunteers at an animal shelter!!!" - SWIPING RIGHT, NOW
We are judging our next date, hookup, boyfriend or for some, soulmate, simply by determining how this person must be based on their photos and sub-par "about me" blurb. THIS is how we're dating now. It's insane to me. Call me old fashion, but I'd much prefer to judge a guy in person and after a few minutes of conversation.
These apps and sites have made dating easier in larger cities, yes. Especially with how busy all of our lives are. I won't discount that. Yes, it can be hard to meet people these days. People are so focused on their careers, various activities and hanging with their core group of friends, that it can seem impossible to meet new people. So I can't discredit these apps or sites for that reason.
But it's how we use them that is ruining our dating culture.
Rarely do you find a guy these days that is using the app to make a genuine connection. Most of the time they're simply looking for "the next best thing" or "just a hookup." Rarely are they looking to establish a connection with someone and hope it leads to a relationship.
Guys can be on a Tinder date one minute, and when the girl goes to the bathroom, they can instantly swipe right and start talking to another connection. For them, it's amazing!! The world of women is literally at their finger tips. Literally. (I'm sure some women are guilty of this too!)
So how is one supposed to date in the digital age of instant gratification AND a generation constantly looking for the next best thing?? THIS is a topic I'd love to discuss more, but because I don't want y'all sitting here reading my rambling all day, we can continue in another post. For now, I want to hear your thoughts on dating in the digital age. Leave in the comments below!
All Images via Thought Catalog
Kristyn does not take credit for any images used.