Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Dating dynamics

It’s something straight out of a romantic comedy.

The date went swimmingly: he showed up to your front door with flowers, held the door, pulled out your chair, paid for dinner, and even lent you his jacket when he saw you shiver in the chilly night air.

As the night winds down, he walks you back to the door where everything began. The conversation quiets, and you both lock eyes as you anticipate who is going to make the first move.

Who is going to lean in for the good-night kiss? Should either of you even go for it? Was the night a success? Would you be too forward? Does he even want to see you again?

For some, including me, this is more like something straight out of a nightmare.

I hate dating. To me, it is an antiquated gesture that, in this day and age, is better left forgotten. But let’s get this straight — it is not the actual relationship that I am against. No, rather it is the preconceived notions we tend to have about them that I must protest against.

Last year, The New York Times ran an article wherein writer Alex Williams argued that millennials simply don’t care about dating because we only see the value of hookup culture, which extends our “need it now” attitude. He also says that eventually we are all going to have to enter the adult world, where it is only logical that these types of relationships will no longer work out.

However, my biggest question is why is traditional dating so often seen as the only acceptable way to go about it?
The idea of “dating” is completely flawed in my eyes. Why should I want to attach myself to someone that I might not even end up liking?

Answer: I shouldn’t.

Growing up, I was told by everyone from my mother to my hairdresser that in order to find “The One,” I would need to kiss a lot of toads. I was encouraged to go ahead and sow my wild oats, never getting discouraged by the number of duds I might meet along the way.

I always resented this logic and refused to follow the stereotypical path to romantic success.

Hannah from the HBO show “Girls” said it best, “I don’t even want a boyfriend. I just want someone who wants to hang out all the time, and thinks I’m the best person in the world, and wants to have sex with only me.”

As a generation, we have placed way too much importance and pressure on each other to commit. I have one too many friends who have felt that the only way they will be happy is if they are in a relationship or constantly in the process of falling in — and therefore, out — of love.

If you put the pressure on each other to commit before you really have a solid understanding of who you both are, this is undoubtedly laying a shaky foundation with which to build a relationship.

I have always been of the idea that it is much better to take things slowly and get to know each other without the high stakes of a relationship on the line. If you like each other after that, it should be smooth sailing. But if you find out that you two are simply not compatible, well, it’s one less Facebook update to make.

Email Maggie McVey at news@cardinalpointsonline.com.

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