Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The World of Dating

I've been dating since I was 14. I definitely just shuddered at the thought of that, so don't worry if you did too. Fourteen is young, maybe too young. That also means that at the age of 21, I've been in the dating game for about 7 years. It may not be a lot compared to people in their thirties, but to me, it feels like so much longer than that. I have definitely learned a few things in those seven years.

The world of dating isn't what it used to be, anyone can see that. Nowadays, no one really "dates" or are "in a relationship." People are "friends with benefits" or "seeing each other" or even doing the "Netflix and chill" because it's easier; there's an escape route clearly marked. If you don't label it, you technically don't have a commitment, and therefore could leave anytime you want. More and more people just want flings and one-night-stands. We want to be the best in our career field, we want to travel, we want to experiment, start a band, etc. Most of the time, that means being to busy or not wanting to settle down. I don't know many people in their early twenties who are ready to get married and have kids, even if that's what we all dream and talk about.

The thing is, with the Internet, the world has gotten a hell of a lot smaller. You can meet people around the world instantly, you can even find people who are nearby with the click of a button (or a touch of a screen). The only place that doesn't seem to have caught up with this technology is Hollywood. Hollywood keeps on showing us that Prince Charming is just around the corner, not on the other side of a screen. It's still teaching us that the perfect guy is out there, and of course, that's something we should always hope for.
Nowadays, though, there are a lot of "the One"s. I'm sure I could find a "the One" in every country. The problem is that my generation and even the one of my parents' believe that everything is temporary and disposable. "The button on my shirt fell off... better throw it in the garbage!" is the same as "He didn't throw out the trash one too many times and I just decided that I couldn't live with him anymore!"

We have this idea that nothing lasts, so of course no one wants to commit. We see our friends get cheated on, lied to, heart-broken or have been there ourselves, so why would we go through that again? Why commit to someone when you know that there's a solid 90% it won't last, even if you do end up getting married? And everyone knows divorces are messy, so why bother?
I've been on tons of first dates. Most of them generated by trying online dating (never again....), but I could tell that we are all so jaded. Guys think that girls are always playing games and have an agenda to watch them fail, that every word out of our mouth is some sort of ploy to start a fight, that in the end, we are all psycho bitches that need big romantic gestures like in The Notebook. Girls think that guys only compliment them to get in their pants, that if they buy us a drink, we have to put out, that they will tell us anything just so they can get laid, that they are never going to even try to understand, that they only care about cars and football and we're only good for cooking and looking pretty.

No wonder we don't commit. We are terrified of each other, we are terrified of getting hurt, or the mess a breakup or a divorce leaves behind, we are terrified of missing out on life or even on finding the real "the One" if we settle too quickly.  In the meantime, we keep on keepin' on, dating, one-night-stand-ing, Netflix-and-chilling, trying to get one another to commit, all the while trying to fulfil our dreams before we finally settle down to what may hopefully be a "happily ever after."

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