Swimming (or Drowning?) in the Millennial Dating Pool

Swimming (or Drowning?) in the Millennial Dating Pool

Over four rather full glasses of cabernet sauvignon, in a dark, relatively empty bar last night, my three college friends and I sat and talked about this dating pool we’re all currently swimming (or drowning?) in.

Over four rather full glasses of cabernet sauvignon, in a dark, relatively empty bar last night, my three college friends and I sat and talked about this dating pool we’re all currently swimming (or drowning?) in.  

This pool where swiping right has replaced eye contact, and first meets come after virtually knowing everything about this pseudo-stranger through cyber stalking. The element of mystery has ceased to exist, truly.  

By nature, we’re driven by attractiveness.  In the good old days, it used to be thinking a man across the room was cute; now it’s from his selfie on Tinder. So besides the fact that we can see someone on a screen or in the flesh, nothing has really changed in that aspect. Looks will forever be the first impression dealmaker or deal-breaker, no matter how hard we as a society try to eliminate that superficial tactic.

But what comes next, after deciding if he’s hot or not, is where the mystery lies.  

There are an endless number of questions that run through one’s mind after meeting someone new, especially if you’re attracted to them.  Some, like are they good kissers or can they make me laugh, are, fortunately, unable to be found within the social media realm.  But others, like occupation and if they prefer Giants over Jets, can be discovered.  I use that term loosely here as discovery usually takes effort, and typing a person’s name into Facebook is as effortless as downing a Big Mac.  

And this is where technology could do more harm than good.

We create these pre-notions of people from such facts we see on a profile or from the hashtags they use and decide what this person is about before we even give them a chance to answer these questions themselves.  Maybe they just work at the job because they’re figuring out next steps or that pretty girl in his third profile picture is his cousin.  Yet we don’t give those alternatives a chance.  

Not only is judging a book by its cover shouting out at me, but also, where’s the excitement in that? I love when I find out I have something in common with someone, that “aha!” moment is one of the best things on a first date (if you’re lucky to have it).  Plus besides compatibility, the flirtatious argument of a disagreement can be just as fulfilling.  Not everything can be found out through the wonderful World Wide Web, but pieces of a personality definitely seep through leading to a first (and maybe fake) impression.

Of course, I understand it’s hard to go into something blind when meeting someone on an app.  I understand the texting before first meet to just feel them out.  I understand the courage of meeting a stranger for the first time doesn’t always come easily, even after two Whiskey Gingers. So there is beauty and good to the technology we all know and love.  

But, I just keep thinking, how can we honestly, whole-heartedly give romance a chance if we take mystery out of the equation?

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