Over the years, dating has transformed into a game. A complicated game of chess, almost. When you meet someone, society tells you not to show them you like them, lest they get a whiff of it and figure you out! Make sure you post Facebook and Twitter statuses talking about your feelings, but never tell them how you feel; let them figuring it out with subtweets. Oh, and make sure to make them jealous with instagram pictures of you being happy with other people so they don’t think your life revolves around them.
Why is it that social media has created almost a mockery out of dating and relationships? I mean, the fact that we even have an “It’s complicated” relationship status on Facebook says a lot about our society. Before social media, dating was much more simplistic. We called when we wanted to talk to them or we went and saw them. People didn’t text you when they were outside of your house telling you to come out for your date, they came up to the front door, rang the doorbell and shook hands with your parents before taking you out. Remember the days when you would go on a dinner date and you would meet the person there by waiting at the table for them? The waiter would usher you to a table to meet the person that was already there, or you would wait for them. Now, people would never be seen alone in a restaurant waiting for someone else…they would text them a million times telling them to hurry up and get there because they’re starving.
What happened to the simplicity of dating and relationships? What happened to straight up honesty? Before the internet and social media, if you were dating someone and didn’t want to see them anymore, you’d meet them for coffee, tell them you wanted to be friends, you’d give each other a hug and that would be it. Now, break ups involve back and forth texting, calls, Facebook statuses, friends and family get involved..it’s just a mess.
I hate the fact that the way society is set up now dictates that we shouldn’t tell someone else how we feel because we shouldn’t show that we care. Gone is vulnerability, which is hurting the way relationships and dating are now. Being at least a little bit vulnerable is what relationships are all about. If you can’t let down some of your walls around the person you like, then what’s the point of even being with them?
The largest issue that I have found with relationships and dating now is that people are just asking for their own demise. They make their relationships so open and public to everyone they have ever met in their entire lives, (all 1,234 Facebook “friends”) that a person you barely know knows exactly how many days you’ve been together, when you fought last and broke up, and that you hate his mother and get in Facebook fights with her monthly. Want to stop the ‘game’ or dating? Stop putting everything about your love life on the internet for everyone to see. Take away the pressure of your family and friends judging you on your relationship and you take away the game aspect. If you don’t post about your fight on Facebook, there’s less of a chance your friend will bring it up in a few months and old wounds will open right back up.
Stop letting your love life be a game to everyone you know…and yourself. Treat your relationships as sacred and they will be better because of it. Try dating the old-fashioned way. Put the phone down, don’t instagram every date that you have and try to concentrate on the conversation and the experience of dating, instead of which filter to use for your plate of food. Tell them how you feel. Be honest! No one wants to be in a relationship that’s based on vague statements of “Yeah, she’s cool.” or “Yeah, he’s my bro.” Huh?! Just be frank and be honest. Make an effort to talk about your feelings to your close friends and family, but leave details out. Someone once told me: Don’t ever let one person know everything about you. Leaving some details for yourself allows you to keep a part of yourself, to yourself and your significant other. It doesn’t feel great to have friends and family always in your face about your love life, so don’t let them know all about it. Dating in the millenium is a tough cookie to crack, but I think it’s time we all decided to stop playing games and start being honest and most importantly, kind.