Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Musings from a single twenty-something



I read an article in the NY Times the other day (I'll give you a moment to recover from the shock of learning I read the NY Times...) that has been stuck in my head ever since. It was called "The End of Courtship", and it basically surmised that romance is quickly dying among people my age. Traditional dating - you know, dinners, movies and walks on the beach - is being replaced by the "group hang" (is this really a thing?!). Several factors were to blame, social media and the popularity obsession people in their twenties have with technology (ahem, iPhones!) being at the top of the hit list. Guys (or girls, I'm a liberated woman living in the 21st century here!) no longer have to pluck up their courage, risk bruising their precious ego and pick up the phone to ask someone out on a date. In this day and age, all we have to do is type a few words and hit send with our thumb. No risk of fumbled words, painstakingly embarrassing stutters or the dreaded radio silence after you've asked the BIG question. On the other hand, however, the connection is not as real or genuine. The article went on to say that the increasing social acceptance of online dating sites is also a factor that is contributing to the watering down of real human interaction and that many "relationships" begin as a string of text or inbox messages. A twenty-something guy was quoted in the article saying that he didn't like to take girls on dates, he would rather just have them tag along with whatever he was doing. 

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?

Is this what dating has become? An after-thought. A last minute text sent before heading out to the pub to meet your boys in the hopes that the girl is desperate enough to tag along. Where is the planning or effort in this? Let me tell you: there is none. Call me old fashioned, but I want and expect to be wooed a little bit here. The same goes for us gals too, I think both parties need to be putting forth their best effort. It all just sounds quite lazy, if you ask me. I'll be honest and say that I have been on a few dates courtesy of an online dating site here in the city. To be fair and give the guys I met credit, they took me on real dates. But it all started via inbox messages and texting back and forth and surprise, surprise it was a lack of connection that caused our relationships to go nowhere fast. 

It has surprised me, really, how difficult it is to date and meet guys in more traditional ways in this city. The mentality of the opposite sex here is very different than anywhere else I've been. They stick to themselves or their people when out in prime "pick-up" locations, not even so much as glancing at, let alone striking up a conversation with the fairer gender. The few that do then fail to follow-through. Why bother then if you don't plan on doing anything more than ask for a girl's number. Are guys in NYC busier/more reserved/over stimulated/more ego-centric than guys who live elsewhere in the world? I don't know the answer to that. I have just been stewing about this article and concept for days now and I am no closer to figuring it out than I was before. I can't won't accept the notion that romance and dating is a thing of the past. After reading this article and seeing how guys in this city behave, I couldn't help but have a Carrie Bradshaw moment and ask:

Have technology and social media platforms caused our generation to become so out of practice with traditional ways of connecting with people that we really don't know how to forge genuine relationships with one another?

I certainly don't have the answer to this question, but what do you all think?

j.

3 comments:

  1. Sadly, it is not just in NYC... I live in Connecticut and I find the same thing. Gentlemen in public mostly keep to themselves and barely muster up the courage to ask for a date face-to-face. You're right, it's usually over some form of tech.

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  2. The traditional guys do exist! They are just few and far between--that's what makes them so wonderful :-) My last major relationship ended in 2009 and I swear, it took until november 2012 to find a guy who PICKED UP THE PHONE AND CALLED ME to ask me on a date. It's been a lil over 2 months (so we'll see) but dates have included movies, dinners, COOKING me dinner! On the 5th date, he leaned to me and said quite plainly "Let's just be real here, I'm enjoying spending time with you and to be clear, I am after your heart." ???

    But dangit if it didn't take 3 bloody years (and reaching the ripe age of 35) to find him in a mess of texting, lazy, wishy-washy dudes! Good luck, Jame and remember it's gonna take awhile to find someone as special, strong, stylish, and original as you! xxxooo dont' lose hope!

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  3. A very good question my friend. And by the way, I love the Carrie Bradshaw-esque post. I think you are on such a cool adventure being a single lady in NYC. I'm pretty sure most young women have dreamed of doing exactly what you are doing at some point in their lives. HOWEVER like most things, it sounds like the reality isn't quite as romantic as we all hope. First of all, I certainly do not think you are off-base to expect a little woo-ing and effort to be put in. I do think the concept of "dating" has really changed and not for the better! Luckily, when you do meet a man that deserves your awesomeness (and you will), it will be that kind of self-respect and "I know what I deserve" attitude that will make you stand out and make him want to win you over. xoxo

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Comments, questions, warm fuzzies?