10. June 2018 by Swiss
Going back and forth between the decision to stop or continue writing, my readers convinced me to come back and share opinions and mindgames about life and its absurdities. So here I am, Baby (name that song). Let’s play.
Society and lifestyle writers proclaim that dating has drastically changed over the decades. I agree, though I am getting tired of the whining and muttering about how superficial, and fast moving the ‘romantic’ side of life is these days. Is everyone scared that the modern way of dating is drowning in shallowness? But what, if you aren’t a romantic and love to enjoy the freedom of choices and variety?
In fact, we live in an instant world, with a lot of sass, a lack of innocence and a plethora of options to dive into adventures. That being said, I criticise the widely spread statement that there isn’t any romance out there anymore, that the old way of dating has become outdated and that the only thing people want to do is to have a quickie. Which of course isn’t to be sneezed at, but there is commitment – ESPECIALLY because divorces and bootycalls increase.
I agree when statistics say that people willing to make a commitment have become steadily rarer in recent years. If you get offered a myriad of options on online dating apps, why settle just for one? Being able to connect with so many possible matches by a swipe or the touch of a button probably doesn’t simplify the process of finding ‘the one’. Or is the Tinder generation diagnosed by FOMO*? Are couple partners constantly worried to be holding on to the comfortable option when in reality there’s a walk on the wild side just in sight? As in, we don’t want to settle; instead we keep all cards in play with a reliable standby for when the risky options fall through?
Being single in my 40ies, I dare to say that I understand the concept of dating. Be it for a long-term relationship or for an affair (in Switzerland we call a fling an affair. Doesn’t mean, someone is cheated on, just means it’s a friends with benefits (FWB) relationship with no strings attached). I can also say I have my fair experience with unconditional love, commitment, long term relationships and broken hearts. I don’t think today’s dating scene is completely fucked up and there are other interests than the aforementioned adjective – love, partnership and romance for example. Having said that, The New York Times calls the 21st century dating generation ‘the hook up culture’ millennials, who are said to subvert to rules of courtship.
And again, here I argue out of my own experience and assure, that I know otherwise. If I date, I go out with men in their mid 30ies and early 40ies and they definitely still know about this lost art and I find it mighty attractive if applied with style and confidence. I sceptically contemplate the melancholic attitude that the old way of dating and our grandparent’s generation was the real, romantic one. I know enough stories about this generation which carry a profound lack of innocence. Just because they didn’t go into divorce, doesn’t mean they avoided FWB affairs or lived happily ever after. Hidden intrigues are worse, if I may say so.
I’m giving consideration to the modern dating doubters and arguably say that online dating has its limitations. The fast moving culture probably isn’t the ideal concept to find the love of your life. It is known that rushing to fall in love makes falling in love hardly possible because pressure doesn’t allow feelings to develop naturally. Letting alone the thought that psychologists are high advocates of not having sex on the first date (if you are looking for a serious monogenic partner) – because it would make it rather difficult to turn it into something substantial, and locks you down as affair partners or FWB. Now I will get the smug face from married couples who met on Tinder. Oh yes – they exist and I know more than one of them.
So….in an instant world like ours, where we not only get one but a vast number of opportunities to find the perfect affair or the significant other – whatever you aim for – it leads me to wonder: is the modern way of dating de facto unhealthy? Is meeting someone on an online dating app and maybe even just for a booty call actually objectionable? Is there a societal or even self-imposed etiquette on how to find your match?
We can’t always be in control on how our world and surroundings evolve and grow, but we always have the choice on how to deal with it. Maybe courtship turns into cool vintage behaviour, and being married with children, a house and a dog isn’t the majorities’ preferred way of life anymore. But then alternatively, we finally see functioning patchwork families, gay marriages, happy singles and connections between countries and continents BECAUSE of online dating. Own it and let it make you happy, it’s your choice to whine or to squeal.
* FOMO = Fear of missing out
Text&Pictures: Lucie Pfaendler