Dating: Fight or Flight – Questioning the Mindset Behind Modern Dating

Dating is a confusing and (unfortunately) generally unpleasant creature that no one really likes talking about and yet we all must participate in it. Whether we’re looking for a fun evening or a potential partner, dating is the way.

As a chronically single twenty-one-year-old woman of the LDS faith, and living in Utah, I receive a lot of flak for my lack of proactivity in the search for Mr. Right. But I just can’t help but feel like the magic of dating has been lost in the convenience of texting, tweeting, and sharing memes to show affection.

It really wasn’t all that long ago that all relationships started with a smile and “how do you do?” rather than a click or a swipe right.

How are people supposed to date when they don’t even know how to have a conversation? Tinder is not the solution to our dating woes my friends. Trust me, I checked it out and it is a frightening place.

But even if we forget the “old-fashioned extravagance” of a hand-written note, what happened to the romance of a conversation? I want to be with someone I can talk to, someone who talks about their goals and dreams, someone who allows themselves to be vulnerable in a world of perfectly crafted online images.

The short and sweet of it all is that dating is hard and it’s honestly just easier to focus on the rest of my life and leave that sad, forlorn piece of the pie abandoned until “the time is right.”

Now I can make all the excuses I want: the place where I live has more guys than girls so the market is pretty small, I’m super busy with school and work and there just isn’t enough time, or I have things I want to do and places I want to see before I settle down. But the reality of the scene is that even beyond the struggles of connecting in a cybernetic world, the concept of dating seems to be stuck in the mindset of all or nothing. Not to mention all the pressure.

It honestly feels like we’re either exclusively committed, and often very fast, or we’re just talking. There doesn’t seem to be anything in between. Either it’s full throttle ahead towards marriage or little more than a friends-with-benefits type of deal.

Now, maybe I may not be the best person to complain about of lack of prospects considering that I have been on a substantially larger number of dates than any of my roommates over the past couple years, but I can still sympathize with those who struggle with finding a date and would love to not hate family dinners where I cringe whenever I’m asked if there’s someone special.

I don’t understand the rush. There is plenty of time and not everything has to be so serious. What’s wrong with catching dinner with a guy without hearing wedding bells in the future?

When asked his opinion, my friend Kasen Lisonbee said that the hardest part of dating is that “everyone has a different concept of what dating even is and then once you find someone, they may not even be interested in you or in your idea of dating.”

In its most base sense, and cleanest entry, the Urban Dictionary (I know, I’m so hip) defined dating as “the action of doing any sort of varying activity to gain acquaintance with someone.” Now normally I wouldn’t recommend the UD but this is an article on dating in modern times and Urban Dictionary is as modern as it gets, also this definition agrees with my point-of-view.

But notice that nowhere in that definition did it say that dating is only for those who are actively pursuing marriage or even a relationship.

Dating doesn’t have to be this monstrous responsibility that makes all within its grasp wince in discomfort. Seriously I should not rather have my teeth pulled by rusty pliers than consider the current status of my love life.

It is never a waste of time to get to know another human being, and it doesn’t have to be so serious!

Live a little, have some fun, we’re only young once we might as well have an adventure while we can and let’s face it, adventures are much more fun when you get to share them with someone. So ask that person out and just have fun, don’t worry about what comes next, just enjoy their company.

Story by:
Alexis Taylor
Photo by: on Unsplash