The last time I was single there were no apps, and definitely no Tinder. I'm not even sure I had a smartphone and I definitely still had a Bebo account. That was ten years ago.
So when I became the newest single pringle on the block recently, I had to think. Where do people meet nowadays? Do you still go out and snog someone on the dance floor? Is there still that annoying phase of who will text first drama? I really didn't know what to expect. But how much could dating really have changed in ten years? And how different is it in your thirties?
Spoiler alert! Man has it changed!
Boy meets girl, they date, fall in love or go their separate ways, right? That's still how it works? Wrong!
Now you text before you meet, which is fair enough. Even in the olden days of courting they wrote letters. So communication is key still, just in a different form.
But now you go on a date knowing way too much about a potential partner because we have access to so much information on social media (and us ladies are expert investigators).
Before, there was the drunken snog and then if that went well you might go on a date. Now there's the question, 'Will we kiss even though we've sexted a million times?' Apparently in your thirties kissing on a first date may or may not happen, who knew?
It's all very confusing! So sexting is a thing, kissing on a first date may or may not be a thing and if you sleep with him the first night you're easy. Got it?
But what is very different now is that boy doesn't even have to meet girl. But he does send dick pics (an epidemic apparently. Nobody wants to see it lads, put it away!) and divulge a host of sexual fantasies all before even locking eyes with her.
If actions speak louder than words, a dick pic SCREAMS at you. I'm not going to lie it's a little unsettling to open one to say the least. Why do they need so much reassurance? They really all do the same job. Like are there bad penises? This is a genuine question please comment below!
Call me old fashioned but I'm not quite sure how to respond to random questions except with complete honesty. "No I don't want to take pictures of myself as much as I love photography, thanks." And I don't want to do your job for you and describe it, if you know what I mean!
Which reminds me, what takes so long to set up a date nowadays? Isn't all this communication meant to make things easier?
Meet me for coffee, make me smile, laugh, and look me in the eye. Sober. During the day.
You have a much better (however slim) chance of actually ever making those fantasies a reality then than sending me random photos of your anatomy.
I feel like being in a relationship for ten years was almost like being in a bunker with no access to this rapidly changing world of dating. And now that I've come out I'm not sure I like it up here.
It's all very different now that when I was last here. Not different good or different bad but distinctly different. Strange almost. Like I've missed the evolution and have been thrown into a whole new world having been sheltered to what has gone before. Sure I'd heard the rumours but I never thought they would concern. Yet here I am.
It's my new reality and I'll find a way to navigate and trawl through the double entendre emojis, gifs and photos and who know maybe somewhere hidden amongst them all I shall find love.