I just finished reading an article from Vanity Fair magazine entitled “Tinder and the Dawn of the Dating Apocalypse“, and I am positively brimming with sadness. The article details the use of social media apps to facilitate hookups for sex. Apparently, people aren’t dating anymore, they are swiping right (or is it left? I’ve never Tindered), exchanging a couple of text messages, and meeting people for shags. Read this passage from some of the girls interviewed for the article:
“They’re just looking for hit-it-and-quit-it on Tinder.”
“They start out with ‘Send me nudes,’ ” says Reese. “Or they say something like ‘I’m looking for something quick within the next 10 or 20 minutes—are you available?’ ‘O.K., you’re a mile away, tell me your location.’ It’s straight efficiency.”
“There is no dating. There’s no relationships,” says Amanda, the tall elegant one. “They’re rare. You can have a fling that could last like seven, eight months and you could never actually call someone your ‘boyfriend.’ [Hooking up] is a lot easier. No one gets hurt—well, not on the surface.”
“Agh, look at this,” says Kelly, 26, who’s sitting at a table with friends, holding up a message she received from a guy on OkCupid. “I want to have you on all fours,” it says, going on to propose a graphic sexual scene. “I’ve never met this person,” says Kelly.
When it comes to hooking up, they say, it’s not as simple as just having sex. “It’s such a game, and you have to always be doing everything right, and if not, you risk losing whoever you’re hooking up with,” says Fallon, the soft-spoken one. By “doing everything right” she means “not texting back too soon; never double texting; liking the right amount of his stuff,” on social media.
“And it reaches a point,” says Jane, “where, if you receive a text message” from a guy, “you forward the message to, like, seven different people: ‘What do I say back? Oh my God, he just texted me!’ It becomes a surprise. ‘He texted me!’ Which is really sad.”
“It is sad,” Amanda says. “That one A.M. text becomes ‘Oh my God, he texted me!’ No, he texted you at one A.M.—it’s meaningless.”
They laugh ruefully.
“If he texts you before midnight he actually likes you as a person. If it’s after midnight, it’s just for your body,” says Amanda. It’s not, she says, that women don’t want to have sex. “Who doesn’t want to have sex? But it feels bad when they’re like, ‘See ya.’ ”
“It seems like the girls don’t have any control over the situation, and it should not be like that at all,” Fallon says.
“It’s a contest to see who cares less, and guys win a lot at caring less,” Amanda says.
“Sex should stem from emotional intimacy, and it’s the opposite with us right now, and I think it really is kind of destroying females’ self-images,” says Fallon.
“It’s body first, personality second,” says Stephanie.
“Honestly, I feel like the body doesn’t even matter to them as long as you’re willing,” says Reese. “It’s that bad.”
“But if you say any of this out loud, it’s like you’re weak, you’re not independent, you somehow missed the whole memo about third-wave feminism,” says Amanda.
Isn’t this heartbreaking, appalling, and fascinating all at the same damn time??! I know. How on earth did society manage to get itself to such a point where people aren’t even treating people like humans anymore? These women are being treated like little more than a hole by these guys – and it’s a toss up which is worse: the men who do it, or the women who allow it. I am all for people getting together to knock their boots – not every bonk has to result in a long term relationship. However, I think that when people are having casual encounters, there still needs to be a sense of manners about the episode: spend a bit of time together while still vertical, talk to the other person, be polite about things (Wanna screw? never a good opener), and afterwards, for the love of all that is good and holy – be gracious. Be nice. Stick around awhile – do not get up and leave while you’re still breathing heavy…that’s just the worst manners. Nobody feels good about that kind of thing. If at all possible, sleep over….waking up not alone is awesome. 🙂
From the perspective of the men, those featured seemed to be big fans of this arrangement: they got to have sex with a lot of women, they had ‘the pick of the litter’ so to speak, they didn’t have to put in the effort required with traditional courting/wooing…very rarely did they even have to buy the ladies involved a drink. This does not sit well with me at all – I believe passionately in courting, I’m a fan of the woo. Why the hell would anyone want to get rid of that????! It makes NO SENSE!!!
Romance is important to me. I want to feel like someone likes me, enjoys my company, wants to be with me, thinks I am gorgeous and awesome, etc etc etc – I want to feel like I am worth a bit of effort. The funny thing is that anyone (romantic possibility or otherwise) who puts even 10% effort into me will get about 1000% back…I am very much a giver. I think I provide good return on investment! 😉 I have said many times that I don’t want the whole picket fence, etc dream that many women do – it’s not for me, and not something that I have any interest in. All I want is somebody who wants to spend time with me when they can (and when I can), thinks I’m awesome, and wants to shag. Easy, right??! 🙂
A CNN writer feels much as I do about the sadness regarding the Tinder thing:
If you want a relationship, remember this: The men you meet on Tinder most likely are not available; they are there prowling and looking for some fun. No matter how good you are in the sack, or how well you play by the rules, you are not going to turn a casual encounter into a meaningful relationship. This is not to say all men on Tinder just want something casual, but use common sense.
So are we living in the “dating apocalypse”? We’ll have to see.
One of the greatest lines I’ve ever heard about dating was from a scene in “Sex in the City.” Essentially: Men are like cabs — they are only available if their light is on.
Miranda: Men are like cabs. When they’re available their light goes on. They wake up one day, they decide they are ready to settle down, have babies, whatever, and they turn their light on. The next woman they pick up, boom, that’s the one they’ll marry. It’s not fate. It’s dumb luck.
Charlotte: Sorry, I refuse to believe that love is that random.
Miranda: It’s all about timing. You gotta get them when their light’s on.
Carrie: Most men I meet are flashing yellows.
Miranda: Or off duty. They can drive around for years picking up women and not be available.
Without a willing passenger, a taxi driver drives around alone. It’s the passenger who holds the power and decides whether or not to accept the ride.
Brilliant, right? I know! I’m all for people doing what makes them happy, but I have a hard time believing that all of the girls profiled in the article above are really feeling too happy about these casual hookups. I also worry about the expectations that young people are going to have if they grow up in a world where the ‘hookup’ is the standard of measurement…I am all for convenience, but this is ridiculous. Let’s resuscitate romance, friends! 🙂 Ready? Set? Woo!!!!