Stop Blaming Hookup Culture For Your Crappy Love Life
“Why don’t you have a boyfriend.” the creeper from the bar asks as he does a quick, but obvious, glance up and down your body. It takes an enormous amount of willpower for you to refrain from listing the reasons:
Hmm.. why don’t I have a boyfriend? Let’s see, maybe because I haven’t been asked on a proper date since 2009? Maybe because the only guys that text me are ones that apparently are only interested in “chatting” after 2 am? Perhaps it’s because there’s no reason for a guy to date me when he could just swipe a couple times on Tinder and find a better chick? F*ck it, the modern “man” sucks a**, I don’t even want a boyfriend.
Stop right there.
Men suck, you say? They’re only interested in booty calls? Nobody goes on real dates anymore? The hook-up culture has ruined any chance of true love’s existence? Relationships are a two-way street, honey. The era of “dating” as you may imagine it (drive-in movies and a malt at the diner) might not be quite as romantic as you thought.
Moira Weigel, in her piece for The New Republic, recounts how there always seems to be a “dating apocalypse” every ten years. In the 90’s it was cybersex, in the 00’s it was “hookup culture” blossoming, now it’s apps like Tinder and Grindr that summon sex at the flick of a finger.
The problem with our generation is that we are romanticizing the idea of dating in our heads. Sure, dinner and a movie sounds a lot more romantic than a blowjob in the back of some dude’s Mazda. But, people weren’t dating since the dawn of civilization, we didn’t swoop into the 2000’s with the internet and subsequently knock out an age-old tradition that’s been around forever.
In the late nineteenth century, the closest thing to dating was called “calling.” Eligible bachelors literally visited a woman who was ready to wed under her mother’s supervision in her family’s parlor. Does that sound romantic? If it does, please be my guest in inviting your mother out on your next date and report back to me.
In the early 1900s, when dating began to somewhat rear it’s pretty head, women were constantly mistakenly arrested by police who thought that any woman meeting a man under such circumstances must be a prostitute. If only they saw the way we’re “dating” these days… we’d probably all be in jail.
When the term “going steady” originated in the 40’s, people were outraged. Much like the pieces about modern dating that you see today, reporters in the 40’s and 50’s fumed about how unacceptable it was for teenagers to be pairing off at such a young age. The 50’s are probably the pin-point in your mind where you place your fantasy dream date, am I right? Yet, at the time the older generations were not having it. Does that mean that your future kids are going to look back and long for the times of Tinder? God, I certainly hope not.
Regardless, our ideas of dating are based on Nicholas Sparks novels and our grandparents stories of “the good old days.” There has never been a perfect system to finding true love (or at least someone to buy you dinner), and there probably never will be. What we consider now as being “the dating apocalypse” might be 1000x better than however people will be getting laid in year 3000.
Instead of blaming Tinder and our hook-up culture for your lack of potential partners, maybe look within yourself instead. If you think dating is the key to happiness? Please, go on some damn dates. I’ve gone on so many dates in the past year, I could start my own all-male brothel. But guess what? I’m still single as hell and the last few guys I’ve liked were not guys that took me out to dinner, but guys that I met drunk at a college bar.
The world is always evolving, as is our preferred methods of dating. Instead of clinging on to the past and wishing for simpler times, it’s time to charge forward full speed into the mess of the 2015 dating world. What’s the worst that could happen?