So I first sent this response to a small group of single friends and got a whole host of varied responses back from relieved "omg I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one"(s) to vehement denials that any of the below applied to them. It made me stop and wonder if I should post this at all (seeing as how I can't quite comment from my "privileged" position)... But then one of them said quite frankly, it's your blog, and short of glorifying rape and murder you're entitled to write whatever you want... And then someone else said just put it up because it makes for an interesting (and entertaining read) even if it doesn't apply to everyone. So goes my little ramble on the dating scene these days.
In what happens to be the first time in maybe forever (I kid you not), all my female (and many of my male) friends are single. How did this happen? How did we get here? Nobody knows, all I’m sure of is that it has had this incredible effect of making me feel like I’m single too (despite me being in a very steady, fairly long term relationship)
It is, perhaps, one of the best feelings ever. I can have my cake AND eat it. Lucky me.
But back to the point. Obviously, being surrounded by singles has worked wonders for my social life (take for example the girls staycay we just had - brilliant stuff, I'd recommend it to anyone) – and I am absolutely relishing every minute of it before they all get clawed back into the domesticity of duo life. My fair friends however have nothing good to say about singledom these days - so I'm eating all the cake on my own. Fat ass that I am. Good thing I'm already attached.
What’s wrong with being single in this day and age? Everything it seems. Though from our extensive conversations it’s mostly to do with the dating scene, which if you are single would likely engage in whether voluntarily or by force (from friends and concerned family who don’t want you left on the proverbial shelf). Apparently no one wants to get back into the game.
If you were born in an era before mass-social-media (which the writers of most of my generation’s fairy tales were), you’d find that dating these days bears no resemblance to anything mankind has known in the past. And, to the misfortune of my friends, we grew up on a diet of delightful fairy tales with charming princes, chance meetings, and happily ever afters.
Dating was about gradually getting to know someone. It was about the mystery and suspense. It was about smiling like an idiot to yourself when you received an sms [wait. Did you guys even have sms back then?] and then waiting with great anxiety after you replied, for well, a reply. It was about courtship, about the discovery of mutual likes and dislikes, it was about finding out he likes egg yolks and you like egg whites and gushing to your friends the next day that isn’t this is sure a sign that our stars are aligned?
It was about real time chemistry. I think we used to call them sparks.
These days, it’s all about background checks on facebook, finding out what they’re up to on Friday night over twitter, getting real time insight into their lives over instagram. You can even figure out if they’re on any kind of career path via LinkedIn. By the time you get to your second date, there’s nothing left to discuss. Talk about killing the magic.
And it’s not just the girls that do it. GUYS DO IT TOO. We’ve reduced dating to something akin to a job interview process: you look at their CV (online, publicly available information), if their picture passes requirements you agree to “meet” and then you conduct one or at best two interviews before your brain goes “Next!” because you feel like you already know them. When really, you don’t.
It is so incredibly unsexy. There’s pretty much no chance of finding out that they like egg yolks (to your whites) that way. Even if they were to put that kind of information online, your likely reaction would be “eww, who tells people they like egg yolks on Facebook? Couldn’t they think of something cooler?”
There’s no chance for that chance romantic encounter.
And even though I met P through a mutual friend at a bar we both loved to frequent, and he proceeded to buy me coffee everyday for 2 months till we started dating (clever man, caffeine to the heart, he really knows what makes me tick) which I suppose is very romantic by our modern day standards, I still committed all the crimes above (not helped by the fact that he’s so active on social media) with the exception of LinkedIn (I don’t even know if he has an account).
Now I'm writing about this from an SG perspective, but I did send this across to friends living on the other side of the globe where it's apparently even harder to meet people and online dating is now the name of the game, almost a rite of passage for folks new to New York City (new job -check, new apartment -check, new match.com account -check... some friends are all about it, others are ashamed to admit they have accounts - makes me wonder if it will ever catch on here... Perhaps the SDU should take a look into this). But either way, the internets seems to have changed the rules for us forever.
Unfortunately, there’s really no "solution" to this (maybe the solution is to stop defining it as a problem...) Because the fact of the matter is that even if you exercise restraint and refrain from doing background checks, there’s no way to say the other side won’t and games can only be played on an equal playing field.
Perhaps we should just ban the internet for single people... This will also remove that pesky problem of stalking exes (another story, another day)... Though there is something to be said about the security one derives from doing their due D online. Maybe we should all get over our romantic notions of the past and embrace change. We're always talking about incorporating technology into all aspects of our lives, perhaps dating is the final frontier?
So what is it folks? Does this strike a Yay? Nay? or Ashley you're cray chord?