We live in a world that is so connected, yet we fail to connect with each other on a daily basis. How many times have you gone out and checked some social media app on your phone while in the company of others? Hey, I’m guilty of it too!
We love re-posting and hash tagging “relationship goals,” yet are put off by the idea of committing to an actual relationship. We can’t even be nice to one another without it being mistaken for flirtation (#thirsty). We swipe for a coffee companion but are ready to be on to the next before coffee is even ordered. We catch flights not feelings and sometimes that’s great. However, what is so wrong with catching feelings? Why has it become so difficult to date in 2016? When did the fuckboy replace the gentleman? When did the amount of likes determine our self-worth? When did instant gratification replace courting?
Welcome to dating in 2016, where instant apps like Tinder, Grindr, Minder, Bumble, Zoosk, and all the others that appeal to a ‘grab and go’ generation seem to be the only way to meet anyone. We don’t go to parties or bars expecting to meet someone anymore, we go to these social events to be unsocial and swipe for singles within a 10 mile radius.
I was at the gym, on the treadmill, swiping out of sheer boredom. I see this guy and I think ‘CUTE!’ Let me read his bio. I happen to look up to grab my towel and see said guy lifting 40 feet away from me. I laughed, thought it was funny, and even walked over to him and we had a giggle. We didn’t continue speaking or exchange numbers, we went our separate ways, and I left the gym. The next morning my phone buzzed; “You have a new Bumble connection”. YAY! One guess who it was. We chatted for a few days and went on a date which didn’t work out.
When did the fuckboy replace the gentleman?
I think about this moment even now, months later, and wonder why striking up a conversation or flirting was so difficult in person yet it came with ease online. I rarely get hit-on at parties or other social events, but would find messages lingering in my Facebook messenger or DM’s (Instagram Direct Message) stating “Hey, I saw you at so-and-so event and found you on social media. Thought I would say hello!”
When did walking up to someone you thought was attractive and saying hello become such a foreign concept?
Swiping has become the new dating craze because you can “connect” with multiple people and switch back and forth when one conversation gets boring or fades off. God-forbid anyone puts in some actual work in cultivating real relationships. There is no time for that when the next person is willing to give us what we want for less effort than it took to get a kiss from the previous one.
We aren’t even swiping because we figure maybe we can connect with someone on an intellectual level. It’s purely physical attraction and lust that drives our decision to swipe right or left. Even though most profiles are riddled with “Looking for something real, not just a hook up,” you’re most likely just looking for a hook up. How do I know? Your profile isn’t descriptive and your pictures are slightly provocative. It’s 2016, everyone has abs and a dog… impress me.
Take Instagram, for example; aside from swiping, sliding into someone’s DM’s with a half-ass pick-up line seems to be the next best thing. You did not message me because you liked that one artsy picture I took of the sun setting creating a pink hue in the sky. You messaged me because you think I’m pretty and you’re intrigued. That’s not a bad thing, but don’t be surprised when you find that I have a brain and might be a little more intelligent and witty than you anticipated. It is not unattractive, you’re just intimidated.
People don’t even give you the decency of telling you they aren’t interested, they just “unmatch” or block, thus eliminating the awkward rejection speech and the blow-back. I’m guilty of this too. Believe me when I tell you, you have not experienced crazy until you come across a “man” who goes from ‘I’m interested in you; you’re so beautiful‘ to ‘you’re an ugly, fat, disgusting c*unt who will remain single and die alone with 12 cats.“
This is not the same as unmatching or blocking during the initial conversation phase. Imagine this: you’ve been talking to someone (male or female), have gone on a few dates, and everything seems to be going well. They are saying and doing all the right things and you think maybe this can be something great. Then, all of a sudden, your calls and texts are not being returned. While it is quite possible that this person is dead, rotting away in some ditch being eaten by rats, in all likelihood, you have probably been ghosted.
I would like to say I have never been ghosted, but that would make me a liar. It has happened a few times. Quite frankly, this is the cowards way out. I totally understand that it may be uncomfortable to tell someone that you are no longer interested, or you met someone else, or you’re secretly married (it has happened). However, ghosting is simply disrespectful and a little degrading, not to mention frustrating as hell. This person is left trying to figure out what went wrong and if they are the problem.
The problem is the recent epidemic of fuckboys.
I don’t even know where to begin with this except to ask, where did all the gentleman go?
We used to call this type of guys womanizers, play boys, bad boys, etc. Those terms are too cute and endearing to describe the emotional vampires these boys truly are. The worst kind of f-boy is the one disguised as a gentleman and then either ghosts you or gets what he wants and does a 180. He went from being on the same page as you to reading a completely different book. Well, it’s more like you’re reading Jane Austen and he’s reading a Marvel comic.
What is a fuckboy? There are many descriptions and definitions, nonetheless, this term covers a broad spectrum of fuckery. However, I will do my best to list some examples.
If a guy (or girl) puts forth no effort, asks for inappropriate pictures, wants to ‘hang out’ last minute, ghosts you, floods his social media feed with shirtless pics of himself, blows you off, says he is too busy or has no time (my personal favorite), texts all the time instead of calling, says all the right things but does all the wrong ones, states all his exes were crazy, only wants to “Netflix and chill” instead of wine and dine you… #fuckboy.
There must have been a convention somewhere, that almost every man attended, where they saw a PowerPoint presentation that convinced them that this was the way to go. Quite honestly, they aren’t wrong. An f-boy will only target you if he is interested in seeing how far he can push you, and will only continue to push if he knows he can break your resolve. If you say no, he ghosts, and is on to the next swipe.
I am starting to believe it’s the society and time we live in that created this vacuum. Sadly, it’s more effective to be an f-boy than it is to be a gentleman.
Even though I am using the term boy, these guys are not young. They are grown — too grown to still be in this phase of life.
Failure to Launch/Peter Pan Syndrome
These are not just popular movies; they are actually real syndromes. This basically applies to all those who have trouble transitioning from adolescence to adulthood. This used to include adults living with their parents, but life is expensive and student loan debt is no joke. Now, it primarily applies to going from a dependent child to a dependent adult (culture aside).
I’m going to focus solely on the relationship aspect. Typically, men and women who experience this have difficulty forming and maintaining meaningful and fulfilling romantic relationships. The concept of intimacy scares them so much that they look for any reason to disengage and self-sabotage.
Going back to ghosting for a minute, this may be an easy way out. Normally, when we cannot think of any reason something may have gone wrong, then there may not have been one at all. Their way of disengaging is doing it, quite literally, by cutting off all communication and blocking all kinds of contact.
Ultimately, the ‘It’s not you, it’s me‘ line isn’t a line after all.
As we move more into the future, we digress in ways that disconnect us from one another even more. When texting is the main form of communication and swiping is the go-to for dating, are we really surprised that there are so many 30 and 40-something singles?
So, are we wasting our time? To sum this up in the words of J-Money;
“There is this buffet effect with our generation. You go to a restaurant (as a man or woman). You see the menu and you find exactly what you want on the menu. You order it – you know you’ll be completely satisfied. But then you see the buffet lined up with all these different options to try out. And you choose the buffet because you’re afraid you’ll miss out on something. Even though exactly what you want is in your face on the menu. Instead, you fill up on the buffet and are never satisfied because you’re a complete dick”.
Why don’t we go back to simpler times where texting was a last-resort form of communication, phones were put away during gatherings and dates, “Netflix and chill” actually meant dinner and a movie, hanging out was reserved for friends, and dates were asked out in advance and confirmed – not just assumed. Commitment shouldn’t be treated like the cooties and designer labels shouldn’t be the only things we chase.
Hopefully, 2017 will bring back the era of the gentlemen and render the fuckboy extinct.
Basically, guys (and gals) don’t be dicks.