As a single girl living in 2016, dating is something that is constantly being brought up; “Oh do you have a boyfriend these days?” “How do you not have boys all over you?” “Who are you talking to?” The last question really puzzles me because, in 2016, there are all types of relationships. Over the last two weeks, I read Aziz Ansari’s book "Modern Romance" (highly recommend!) and I realize how different generational dating has become. Now in 2016, the main labels are texting, talking, messing around and dating.

Texting

Basically, you have each other’s numbers and you text pretty often but rarely say anything in person; you’re planning to hang out but haven’t gotten around to it yet. This is a weird stage because you don’t know how to label it, whether or not to label it, and you really don’t know the intentions of the other person. I consider this the starting stage.

Talking

This one is the most confusing, at least in my opinion. This might even be worst than texting because you really have no idea if you’re on this stage or not; and who wants to have that always awkward, “so what are we…” conversation (although, if you think your current relationship with someone is getting serious, I strongly advise it is time to have that conversation). Usually, this stage involves hanging out regularly, shared interests, conversations about your day and consist flirting. Also, this stage is typically what leads to a real relationship (see "Dating" below).

Messing around

This might be self-explanatory but it actually is a real thing in modern times. There’s no intent of any type of serious relationship, basically just “hooking up.” Unfortunately, talking and messing around are easily confused.

Dating

Ah, the real title, the scary boyfriend-girlfriend title. This means meeting the families, knowing what you look like without makeup, and really getting to know the other person. The book mentioned above is really where this comes into play; how dates have changed over time. Typically, when you went on dates that meant you were dating someone back in the day (when I say back in the day, I’m referring to when our parents’ generation was dating). Now, dates have become more of a talking stage type thing. This is where it gets confusing. For this, I tweeted about what constitutes a “date.” The majority of my replies were shared mutual interest with romantic intent when spending time together. I thought this was a good definition and it’s funny how no one mentioned that you become official after going on “dates,” as you would have if you were back in the day. In conclusion, the verb “dating” these days means a full committed relationship.

These are just my opinions of dating in the modern age, but it’s really become something worth evaluating. Why can’t dates just be for fun without all the seriousness now?