Dating is a tough game. I say ‘game’, because well, it is a bloody game. Winners take their prize home and losers walk the solo path back. There are some (stupid) set of rules that women like to follow, while men like to carry the douchebag flag with them for the entire match.
Hollywood has spoilt us. We wish dating to be like the one we see in soppy rom-coms with Bruno Mars singing in the background like a girl. Like that Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake movie; their ‘dates’ looked easy, ridiculously sexy, stereotypically romantic and they came with a soundtrack by Kriss Kross, ummm, amazing!
In real life, dating is a whole new world of messed up. It takes up too much time, more money than anticipated, it involves an army of mind games that neither party can solve and then to top it all with whipped cream, dating gets splattered with technology. Oh, the joys of Google!
I mean, look what happened to Lucy.
Lucy who, you ask? A fictional mate of mine who is desperate to tell you her story:
Last Friday night, Lucy went for after-work drinks to a mega-cool bar in East London. As she painted her pout with a tint of red, a shade unattainable with her glass of wine, she spotted a devilishly handsome man smirking at her. This was not what she expected attractive guys to do. Embarrassed she was, with her attempt to groom in a public space, but she let it go. Maybe he thought it was sexy, she convinced herself.
George walked up to her and introduced himself. They had the longest banter on life, love, relationships and their favourite jazz musicians. In her mind, he was a catch and the physical chemistry was uncontrollable. This rather old-fashioned way of meeting – tipsy, giggly and flirty at a bar – danced its way into the night. At about 3am, they eventually parted ways, but with each other’s numbers in their contact list, and a little trace of her lip tint on him. Obviously.
In a true Gen-Y format, it didn’t take Lucy long to ruin her chances to properly date George. Why? Because she let modern love attack her; she took the new-fashioned route and Googled him the minute she sat in the cab back home.
But really, how many of us do that? It’s like meeting someone and asking them to tell you everything that you already know about them. From the last tweet to One Direction (ew!) to what breakfast was, technology has a dirty file of all our pasts saved.
Sometimes, when you Google someone, you don’t quite get anything. Maybe a name twin on the other side of the world or a LinkedIn account that you are forced to not click on with the fear of them finding out that you stalked them. You hear me? I’ve done this about four hundred and sixty eight times only.
But then there are times when you hit a jackpot. A bloody good one where you find out all the geeky history of the lad, along with his career highs and lows. You know about his cousin sister who lives in Hong Kong, how he had a really bad breakup two years ago because there’s evidence of it on his badly-designed Tumblr page, and then his semi-attempt to run the half marathon. Entirely dependant on who you’re stalking, but there is a huge possibility of you getting majorly turned on or off within minutes of typing their name into Google.
We, the spoilt children of Generation Y, have issues. You swirl around the dating scene with a frown and then Google potential dates, do background checks and in the process become ridiculously unromantic. What’s left to discover? You follow each other’s Spotify playlists and then go ahead to track them on GoodReads. You’ve connected on LinkedIn and are in each other’s Google+ circle too. This is after you’ve already found them on iMessage, Facetime, Whatsapp, Viber, Instagram, Skype, Twitter and Facebook. Phew, just writing that was exhausting.
The main problem with dating in 2013 (amongst so many others) is the fear of anonymity. While everyone wants to be a somebody in their social circuit, they aim to be a nobody too. They don’t want their online presence to dampen their future relationships, but also don’t want their name twin to steal their thunder. This urge for attention and the lack of is the biggest oxymoron faced by our generation. And sadly, we’re way too deep in its mess to be able to crawl out. At least, I am.
What we can do, however, is calm the hell down. If you start seeing someone, maybe choose three out of the 8374920 platforms to research aka stalk them. Because if you continue at this rate, you’re less likely to find a Kardashian-esque sex tape, and more likely to be a dog-lady for the rest of your life (sorry, I’m not a cat person).
Even though ‘Prince Charming’ was a sexist knob, remember this – “Cinderella did not Facebook stalk Prince Charming“.
Amen. Rant over.