IF YOU DON’T PLAY THE GAME, YOU LOSE

IF YOU DON’T PLAY THE GAME, YOU LOSE

The endless searching, continuous swiping and the seemingly meaningless conversation, that does nothing but drain your phone battery; we’ve all been there at some point right? As a 24-year-old singleton in London, I’m right in the middle of that abomination we call modern day dating. It really is an art in itself just to bag a date these days – should we go for coffee or cocktails? Lunch or dinner? Between crafting the perfect response to a text (that makes you look both sane and nonchalant), whilst refining the craft of selecting the right dating app pictures, that allows you to appear both serious, carefree and all around adorable at the same time, it’s a full-time job. The problem isn’t just on our end either; I’m sure a lot of the guys on said dating app are lovely in real life, but unfortunately we just don’t get to see that through our iPhone screens (not that his 4 group shots are helping determine which one he is, seriously guys). Which leaves me wondering, when did romance die? And why do we put ourselves through it time after time?

Because I can’t exclaim my disdain for the topic in one sentence, here are the 5 things I hate about modern dating.

1. Firstly there’s the problem of the first move, although to say ‘problem’ would imply that it actually exists anymore because no-one seems to be making it. With the likes of Tinder and other apps, it’s become a fun past time to swipe and judge others on their flaws rather than starting an honest conversation with good intentions. Call it ‘playing it cool’ but I just call it plain old arrogance that anyone things that they possess the honour to call upon – way to send feminism back 100 years.

2. This takes me to my next point; for me personally and maybe like a lot of you out there, I tend to trust people far too quickly. Call me old fashioned but I believe I can connect with someone over a two-hour coffee, whilst other’s, however, see dating as a more dispensable past time. Whether people are too scared to be vulnerable to others or have simply become too cynical to care, we’re bordering on a time when you either talk to your friends or you talk to no-one at all.

3. Then there are the games – with everything calculated so meticulously to appear effortless, writing a simple text has become harder than getting a mortgage and for what? So that he can throw away any decent conversation after 3 days (and that’s being optimistic) because he ‘got bored’, honey, no. We live in a society where ‘distance makes the heart grow fonder’ has developed has into waiting at least 15 minutes to reply to text as if not to appear clingy/boring/need (delete as appropriate). Unfortunately, it’s all one big game and if you don’t play, you lose. Lack of communication seems to be one of the major threads that’s hindering our ability to date as millennials. Try giving someone a call these days and you’re asking for a restraining order, not a second date. Texting has become so cryptic that you don’t know whether you’re texting his friends or just a cardboard cut out of nearly every boy out there in a circle that’s just, exhausting.

4. When you’re actually successful on one, two or three dates (and well done to you for getting this far), because he’s played out every textbook scenario right thus far, then the post-date games begin. Forget to reply to a text for all of 3 minutes and people go to extreme lengths to make you jealous, make you wait or make you think about them in all the wrong ways. Social media has become such a huge roll in modern dating that it’s particularly easy to send your temporary other up-the-wall in a jealous rage in a few clicks.

5. Then there are the unanswered questions – If I’m interested in someone, if I find them inspiring, interesting, they make me happy or I just like spending time with them, why can’t I just say it? I think that’s the thing that gets me the most, why can’t we just communicate like fully functioning humans enough to barely compliment someone? Apparently, cynicism is a more effective way of gaining someone’s attention than a simple conversation, all in an effort to control something that could be so black and white. Now I know that all guys/girls out there aren’t all guilty of the above offences, but we all do at least one of them because that’s what we’re taught works time after time in modern media and dating.

But no. No more of the games, the puzzles, the emotional torture that just ends the same way every time, disappointment. This year I’m eschewing the archetype of modern dating to make way for dating 2.0, the new way to date, where feelings are expressed and plans are made and games just aren’t an option anymore. Where as a 21st-century woman I can confidently take control of my feelings instead of waiting for some confused man-child to define my emotions for me. Who knows, it might catch on?

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Photos by Natural Hues 

Sub-edited by Zak Walton 

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