Modern dating is difficult—at least that’s what I’m finding.
These days it compares more closely to ordering fast food. It’s all too simplified.
We tend to polish ourselves up to look great online (“the menu”), but what about the quality of self (“the food”) we are presenting to a potential mate?
I put myself out there and when it seems as though I’ve possibly connected with someone, it turns out my “milkshake” isn’t sustaining enough. He could have been having a candlelight dinner with me, drinking wine while Sinatra plays in the background—instead he decides he wants fries.
We all need something deeper than what is on the surface to make a connection. So why do we leave out the not-so-desirable? I want to be brave and tell someone about my scars. Show them my imperfections.
What makes us perfectly imperfect? The parts we keep disguised may very well be what makes someone fall in love with us. I long to find someone worth removing the mask for.
We have also somehow forgotten the art of cooking a delicious homemade meal, how healthy and wholesome self-care can be. We must make the effort to care for and love ourselves before we can allow someone close enough to love and accept us as we are.
We fill our voids (both romantically and emotionally) with greasy, senseless and hard to digest pseudo-romance via online/social media interaction. This kind of “dating” isn’t built to last because it has no solid foundation.
These days it’s easier to swipe right or left, send a wink, like a photo or send an instant message than to have a real, in-depth conversation with a potential mate. Remember the kind of stimulating conversation where you actually listen without distraction and look into someone’s eyes?
The problem is: we have a full menu at our fingertips anytime we feel the slightest hint of a “hunger pang.”
But I think it goes much deeper than that. Times have changed and with that change came the evolution of dating. It’s a dying art. We have forgotten the rules of courting developed by the men and women who came before us.
We’ve forgotten the art of gentle pauses, intelligent conversation and engaging interaction. We don’t even know what courting looks like anymore. Take note the next time you go out to dine and see how many couples are looking at their phones instead of each other.
We’ve also forgotten the anticipation of that anxiously awaited phone call that might not come for days. Instead we usually opt-out and send a generic text. But why?
Because it’s become easier to disconnect if we’re not totally feeling it. We are constantly looking for something better instead of building on what we already potentially have within our grasp.
Hell no we won’t pick the phone to call each other anymore. And if we aren’t immediately available when a potential love interest texts us? No worries, all they need to do is take a quick peek at social media to see who else is available on “the menu.”
This is fast food dating after all.
Why is someone going to contact you when they already know what you’re doing based on your online activity? I think the key is to be less transparent. Quit being so consumed by our own lives and put some of the mystery back into dating.
I never imagined at nearly 35 years old that I would be in the middle of this dating shuffle again. But here I am.
And I’ve realized that I just want to find something more sustaining than a greasy burger and fries. I don’t want fast food. I need something wholesome and real that won’t be so difficult for my heart to digest.
Author: Annie R. Towns
Apprentice Editor: Adam Wilkinson / Editor: Nicole Cameron
Image: Kevin Simpson/Flickr