The Dating Apocalypse Might Be Here, But Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Care
When is the last time you went on a date? If you fall into the category of “millennial,” chances are you probably haven’t been on anything resembling a date in a good long while—if ever. That’s according to a slew of alarmist articles bemoaning the downfall of traditional dating suggesting that we’re all doomed to a life of being single and loveless, because mobile apps like tinder are making casual sex readily available at the swipe of your fingertips. Most recently, Vanity Fair framed the whole issue as a “dating apocalypse,” otherwise known as the internet and its sexier sibling–the mobile app. As we’ve moved from Online Dating 1.0 (Match.com, and arguably even OKCupid) to 2.0 (that doomsday dating reaper also known as Tinder), there has been a purported rise in “hook ups” and “casual sex”. According to VF, men now have access to sexual activity with women in such mammoth proportions, it’s becoming a veritable all you can eat buffet (pun intended, couldn’t resist). And it’s just destroying our chances at love. Because, how can we even, like, have an actual connection with someone if they’re already busy swiping left and right before they even put their pants back on after their latest hook up?
Since VF published their article, a lot of commentators and journalists are pushing back and even debunking a lot of the arguments made regarding Tinder being the end of love as we know it. CNN commentator Mel Robbins for instance pointed out quite astutely, “Rock stars and professional athletes have enjoyed easily accessible casual sex for decades. These apps just make it available to the masses. Besides, you don’t need an app to be promiscuous. And you don’t need Tinder to sleep around. People have been doing it for ages.”
I’m not out to debate whether or not Tinder has changed the way people connect with each other. That much is certain based on logic alone. While I agree with Robbins that casual sex has always existed, dating apps have changed the way we access it. Prior to 2012, before dating apps became mainstream, everyone was limited to their local bar scene, club scene, or for college aged kids, probably their local frat chapter’s formal (or the non greek extra curricular alternative—like Q club or Student Government) to engage in casual hook ups. Now, we can source all that from our phones, locally and beyond. We get to say yes or no at the touch of the button, we get to filter out the douchebags who we never want to speak to IRL or in the cybersphere, and we get to be up front and truthful about just being interested in sex. And these are arguably, good things—not bad. Tinder hasn’t sparked the dating apocalypse. It’s simply changed the way we do it. Now we get to have more control over who we spend our time with, and in what capacity. Yes Tinder gives men access to women. So does being alive and in the world. The types of men who have copious amounts of sex on Tinder would probably still choose to live that lifestyle even without a tool to help guide them in that pursuit.
Yes, apps like tinder and bumble are changing the way we date. But, maybe that isn’t such a bad thing at all. What happened on the last date you went on? Was it super fun? Did you hit it off? Mine was probably the most awkward encounter I’ve ever had. It was a meeting in Central Park with a girl from OKCupid that was straight passing enough (not just visually, but in the way she tip toed around her dating experience with women and only mentioned men) that left me wondering if she was even gay and, if she had even really asked me out on a date at all. Or if I had imagined it all. Needless to say, we didn’t take it anywhere after that, and I was, in the end, remarkably thankful that I had met her through OKCupid, rather than an actual connection (like a friend or family member) so that I never had to see her again and relive those awkward memories.
So if the prolific use of dating apps means the world of traditional dating is dead, R.I.P, I suppose. This is testimony from one girl who won’t be missing it at all.