It’s the half-written messages and overthought responses. It’s the analyzing replies and questioning every word. It’s the phone calls to girlfriends asking for advice. It’s the over thinking, the over indulging, the over complicating- it’s exhausting.
It’s the Instagram likes and snap chat stories after not replying. It’s the ‘read’ responses and status updates with no message. It’s the plans made that later fall through. It’s the mixed messages, the mixed signals, the mixed emotions- it’s exhausting.
It’s the standards set that can’t be met. It’s the rules applied that no one knows. It’s the games played without players notified. It’s the expectations, the stereotypes, the laws- it’s exhausting.
When did dating become so cryptic? What apparently was once as simple as asking a girl out for dinner is now riddled with rules, guidelines, expectations, mixed signals- it is dam exhausting. As a fresh dater in the world of 2017, I have never felt so crippled with confusion.
‘Don’t reply first’ ‘Don’t text first’ ‘But show your keen’ ‘If someone wants to see you they will’ ‘ But showing your interested helps’ ‘ Wait a day until you text him back ‘ text him back right away so he knows you are interested’. Who sets these rules anyway?
And why are there rules? Why are making emotional decisions on the basis of such rigid black and white orders? Aren’t relationships about feelings between two people? What if those feelings were real and held potential but we refrained from stepping into the possibility of them because “we aren’t meant to text first”?
Whatever happened to speaking to people when you wanted to?
To telling people how you felt, regardless of what you SHOULD say or not say?
To responding to messages when you see them, because why not?
What has happened to us?
We are connected by technology, not physical touch.
We are matched by filtered photos, not first impressions.
We are built on overanalysed text responses, not real conversations.
We aren’t dating anymore.
We are being carefully selected from a line-up of possible candidates, like a police line-up waiting to be identified as ‘the one’. We are compared too, judged and ridiculed- and the worst part is half the time we don’t even know 1. This is happening or 2. Why. Because we are too afraid or too caught up to be honest. Like a game of guess who, we are left eliminating the possible causes of being ghosted.
To the people doing the ghosting, just stop. Being told up front you aren’t interested is so refreshing in today’s world which is sad given you are essentially being rejected. But honesty is so rare and rejection we can all handle, it’s the games that are taxing.
To the people being ghosted, know you aren’t alone in the confusing haze of flaky responses; unwritten messages and mixed signals. Dust it off, and don’t whatever you do, do not question yourself. Let’s be honest, they don’t understand what they are doing either.
In a world of dating apps, social media and swiping right to approve one’s appearance, it is terrifying to think the outcomes long term. What kind of world are we creating? Will real human interaction and love still exist? We are becoming less and less dependent on physical interaction, and somehow expecting a successful relationship to grow from this.
When did we go wrong and how on earth do we get back?
Because if this is modern dating, I’m swiping left. I’m out.