We used to find our soul mates by meeting at venues where dance was the central focus. Country barn dances village hall gathering, tea dances, and discos were a recipe for romance. If we felt a connection we toyed with the prospect of clasping hands, and let our bodies do the talking.
The online dating scene forces us to find a deep and meaningful connection in an introduction. "Hi, how's your day going" is our impetus to discover mutual ground.
"It's always good to have options" is a phrase my girlfriends use when I refer to prospective dates. Is this the case? Call me old-fashioned but I don't believe this. I think we've become programmed not to "find the one" but to "find another in case one doesn't work out". We have conditioned ourselves to find a new protection system.
After all, if we feel the foundations of our relationship are not solid, what better to cling onto than another prospective date, even if he is slightly shy of my six-foot requirement?
We have become perfectionists, narcissists, and we invest very little. The mere fact we can remain anonymous encourages us to behave with far less respect.
I went on a first date and got stood up. I had dressed for the occasion, when I arrived I was "blocked" from his WhatsApp. The sad thing is I had become immune to the disappointment.
"Chatting her up"; a regular phrase we heard in the eighties and nineties. Where have all the "chatting her up" men disappeared to? Are they hiding under their duvet clutching onto Tinder scrolling left and ever so occasionally right? I can already hear the feminists heckling "why should it be the man?". I won't apologise for my indulgence in savouring old-fashioned charm and chivalry. Perhaps part of the problem is we have no set of rules. Are men expected to do the legwork in real life? There is no solid social conduct for us to abide by. Is this liberating or confusing?
Until the turn of the century it was common for men to approach a woman in the street. Now there is a sense of unease and foolishness about it. Can we handle being rebuffed in real life? We can hide behind rejection on our phones, after all these are just 2D characters that "like keeping active" and "live everyday as if it were the last. What do these quotes written in these bios mean? I have the sense the humdrum phrases on their profiles mean as little to somebody as which socks they have choose to wear. I find myself swiping left to every ubiquitous quote, when undoubtedly there is more to be revealed. Do we reduce our chances by exposing too little? Or do we reduce our chances by exposing too much? Pictures of us in exotic locations (the one holiday we paid for on our credit card last year) with sunglasses on over our eyes and filtered out blemishes are all masking the reality. Rose tinted filters that veil our truth.
Let's bring back an equilibrium. We need to make more effort to capture the sparkle we are seeking in real life. If you see a sparkle, don't shy away from it. It might just burn out.