"Swipes. Texts. Coffee. Sex. Keep it clean and simple"
These were the pearls of wisdom I was recently given by a well-meaning friend who wanted me to play the field when I was considering getting back in the dating game after a hiatus post a break-up. Little did she know that it was just that advice that had gotten me into trouble the last time.
Because I was an old-school romantic, stuck in the world of people who window shop for dates and then 'walk the shame' the next morning.
Don't get me wrong; I love how everyone has embraced their sexuality and their choices - they have embraced the idea of being with someone they have discovered through and through first. I love how more and more people toy with the idea of meeting someone online, conversing with them, figuring them out and then taking it from there. It is great. It is also great that that as a generation, we are more sexually active than possibly any generation before us. The kind of freedom, confidence and self-awareness that brings to a person is amazing.
But then again, with every development in our love life, and every window of opportunity... with every profile swiped and every handle DM-ed, and with every bottle of wine and strawberries covered in chocolate... do we really end up discovering ourselves and how we relate to, on a very basic level, another human being whom we have a romantic inclination towards?
In a world where heartbreak is easy and loving is hard, where patience is in dearth and hormones rage, romance sits in the corner while dating is up for subjective interpretation. And why not, right? We all have busy lives, no one is open to investing in relationships as much, we are the career-driven, emotionally questionable, trigger-happy millennials.
Minimum input. Max output. But we all want a #BAE.
And to sum it up, somewhere on Instagram there is a quote along the lines of how we all love the idea of love and not really what love is. We all want that tingling sensation, the butterflies in our stomach, but we don't want to put in the effort that a relationship entails. We want to post a picture of a meal, but we don't want to bother to learn how to cook.
Fitting wrong pieces together, unknown to ourselves, we are so torn between wanting love and not wanting it the same time. So there is no question of picnics in the park, spending a lazy afternoon together doing your own things and not talking - not needing to, kissing without wanting it to lead anywhere, conversations about everything and nothing that go on for hours... hand written letters, and flowers given without any occasion.
And yet, "In the end we were all just humans, drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness."
We are too scared to wear our hearts on our sleeves and tell someone if we like them, forget about asking them out and making an effort. We would rather just "kill" our feelings and "play it cool" because who the hell has time for emotions; and there are so many other things to be done in life, right? Pfft.
So maybe, it's time we take a step back to see the bigger picture, mull over what we really want and what we are ready to put into for that. And once we figure that out and hopefully see other profiles more as real people, maybe we will respect this thing we call "dating" for what it really is.
And maybe then we will switch to... real conversations, dinners, making love, and more flowers.