Amerika

Modern dating is a game

As Brett has recently pointed out, the backlash against feminism should come as no surprise. You replace one level of supposed tyranny with another, and give us a reflection of what we used to have, so that no one is happy with the result.

So it goes, that dating becomes more about stifled resentment than about finding common ground with a future partner. Gone are the days of being able to easily weed out people with whom you have nothing in common.

But mostly, I have the same date over and over again. Here’s how it goes, more or less:

Grabbing drinks, grabbing dinner, catching a movie, going to Quirky Artsy Thing, or doing Quirky Sport/Game Thing.] This weather is crazy! It’s Snowmageddon! Compliment. Compliment. What do you do? Descriptions of what you are both passionate about and your shared values. Discussion relative to various tv shows, music, movies, or other pop/sub-pop phenomenon. Recall childhood cartoons/memory. Siblings? Hey, do you know so-and-so? You do. What a coincidence! You went to that exotic place that one time and how it’s different and interesting. You both want to travel more. News Event. Brief political or religious discussion (look how risky you both are to bring that up!) That local thing that just happened. That book you read. That movie you just saw together. I’ve had a nice time. Yeah, me too!
Love Letters at Boston.com

Considering the source, this is a strikingly cogent example of what’s wrong with modern dating. People who don’t know each other – and who seem to have no common bond beyond having bumped into each other on a romance-oriented web site – simply cannot get past pleasantries and sex appeal. “Could I see myself screwing him/her? Well, then, as long as s/he doesn’t seem like a total psycho, I’m diving in head-first!”

When there’s no cultural bond in our cities and towns, people can’t make any assumptions, generalized or otherwise, about each other. No longer does it mean anything to be from a certain area (other than, if you’re from the South and not liberal, you must be a misogynistic, racist, what-have-you).

If you don’t know what’s behind those mascara-laden eyes when you meet someone, and conversation is reduced to the pleasantries indicated above, dating becomes a game of opportunity cost: “how hot is he?” “Could I get to know – and bed – her without giving up too much time, in case my ex wants a roll in the hay down the line?” “I know we seemingly have nothing in common, but I’m kinda desperate and over thirty, so I should really give this guy a chance.”

When someone does meet someone else with whom there’s an instant connection, it goes one of two ways: A man or woman is freaked out by the weirdo/stalker/insert-backhanded-nickname-here who actually shows an interest beyond the physical, or both people feel it and are fortunate enough to remain together in a meaningful relationship.

Most people, however, simply settle. And that’s tragic, considering what love could and should be.

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