What our parents’ generation would find peculiar about this sequence of events is that it’s the complete opposite of how men and women pursued each other in the past. Kissing and other sexual activity was an intimate thing to be saved until after you had gotten to know each other better. In regard to dating my dad in high school, my mom said, “he took me on two dates before I would even consider kissing him. He had to work to earn it.”
Nowadays, sexual chemistry and appearance come before personality and getting to know each other. If your drunken conversation with the cutie you met at the bar or mixer has blossomed by the end of the night, chances are he will ask for your number.
What is different
about our generation’s new dating culture is that this guy you were talking to
will probably ask you to go home with him now too. What happened to men acting
chivalrous and courting a girl before expecting to do anything sexual with her?
This isn’t to say that girls aren’t at fault, too, for perpetuating the cycle by
accepting the request. Come on now. We all know what “we can hang out and watch
a movie” really means.
The ability to text message one another has immensely changed the way college students communicate with someone they’re interested in. If I were a guy, I’d be very afraid. You’re not just texting a girl, you’re texting a whole panel of her friends too, who will help her critique and scrutinize what you say and advise her what to say back to you. Girls aren’t the only ones who do this, though. I know plenty of guys who have admitted to asking for advice on how to properly respond to a girl’s text. The problem with how much thought goes into these texts is that we’re no longer saying what we want to say, but rather what we think is socially acceptable to say. “If I use an exclamation mark do I sound too excited? If I add a smiley face do I seem too desperate?”
You’d never have
to ask yourself those questions if you were getting to know someone face to
face. You also wouldn’t have the time to ask for your friend’s advice about how
to respond. The result would be a conversation that is much more genuine.
In the times before phones, people were forced to--gasp--talk about important or uncomfortable things in person. Now, the easy way out is to hide behind a technological veil of security and ambiguity. It’s easier to be flirty or say something you wouldn’t normally over text, because it’s not as embarrassing to be rejected over text than it is in person. There’s a sense of detachment that comes from knowing that you have time alone to react, and don’t need to think on the spot.
Whether this detachment is good, however, is up to your interpretation. On one hand, you may be able to have conversations with someone that you wouldn’t feel comfortable bringing up in person. It also gives you more time to think through your response, rather than say the first thing that comes to mind. On the other hand, those conversations you have over text are diluted by the ambiguity that comes from misconstrued meanings. When you can’t see or hear how the message is being said, the tone of the message can easily be misinterpreted. Also, having a texting conversation with someone about something important rather than having it in person prevents you from being vulnerable and growing as a person by breaking out of your comfort zone.
Another way texting affects relationships and dating nowadays is that it keeps us constantly connected with one another. While this can be beneficial for people in long distance relationships who don’t get to see each other as often, it has consequences for those of us who are pursuing a potential romantic partner. We often get lazy and substitute text messages and Snapchat pictures for in-person conversations. By reducing this face-to-face time, our conversations become more superficial. This decreases the natural progression of intimacy and connection that comes from getting to know someone in person. Next time you have something important to say, say it in person, not over text.