The Tinder Generation

I think that the birth of Tinder and its quick rise in popularity can tell you everything you need to know about my generation and its attitude toward sex and dating. And the fact that it has become the norm and an accepted form of online dating has created a ripple effect into dating as a whole.

You must be hot. You must be easy. You must be game.

If you’re not, I can just open up my phone, swipe right and meet up with someone else.

Just like anything else that has been made easier with advancements in technology, why would you want to try and meet people the old school way when you can just shop for people online.

And that is what Tinder is. It’s online shopping for people. There are so many options that aren’t even offered in the store! You don’t even have to interact with someone if you don’t want to! You just swipe, text, and meet! It’s so awesome!

It cheapens dating and makes people seem disposable.

I can’t believe that so many people I know use it and think it isn’t at least somewhat problematic. You can call me a prude, you can call me judgmental, and you can say I’m not hip to the future of dating. But in my experience, the people I know that use Tinder are fresh out of a breakup, need to get laid, or are bored. File all those people collectively under a bold headline that reads: Lonely and Desperate. In the moments when I’ve been lonely and desperate I’ve actually considered downloading it.

If you are lonely and desperate and don’t use Tinder, you will probably find some other similarly impersonal method for getting your rocks off. You might go to a bar and pursue the prettiest, drunkest chick in the room. However, at least you have to exercise some sort of effort and have a decent amount of game. Tinder makes everyone the laziest version of themselves. Guys send out pick up lines to 20 different girls and go with the one that responds. With a never ending arsenal of supply and demand, you will probably never strike out.

I was on Reddit the other night at around 3am, as I tend to do when I can’t sleep, and I came across a sub-Reddit entitled “Showerthoughts.” Someone posted this thought: “The worst part of Tinder is that it only helps you meet people who are at a place in their lives where using Tinder seems like a good idea.”

Many people who commented argued that it’s about being “sexually open-minded” and knowing what you’re getting and keeping your expectations low. In my opinion, it’s bad enough that we are called the “hook-up generation” now we are going to be called the “hook-up with total fucking strangers without any real-life interaction beforehand generation.” We might as well be Joaquin Phoenix in the movie “Her.” Let’s just skip even being with real people and have phone sex with operating systems!

One guy on the comment thread told this story: “a buddy of mine who is about my age – late 30s – met a girl on tinder who is 21, a law student at NYU, from a rich family, and smoking hot.
she came over to his place on a friday night for their first date. they smoked and talked for a bit before she asked him if he wanted a blow job. he obliged. she obliged. now this 21 year old beautiful overachiever comes over on the odd weekend, blows him and leaves.
as a married dude with children i find tinder more awe-inspiring than the northern lights.”

There have always been girls who are like this since the beginning of sex. However, my fear for my generation and especially for the generation behind me, is that in order for girls to compete we feel we must dole out blow jobs and smiles and pretend not to care. Because if not, you’re getting replaced by someone who will.

It may not be that serious of a problem. Maybe Tinder simply amplifies problems for you that are already there. And maybe I really am a prude and way too judgmental. But social media in general makes dating very challenging as it is. I don’t want to have to compete with the 75 strangers’ photos on your phone if I don’t impress you. And I especially don’t want to have to feel like I’m too challenging because 15 out of those 75 girls are DTF RIGHT NOW.

There was an “article” on playboy.com that several of my male friends were reposting on Facebook entitled, “16 Tinder Girls Who Totally Get It” and featured beautiful young women with bios that read like this: “I am the perfect booty call boyzz! I play lots of softball so don’t worry I know how to stroke a bat and play with balls but I mostly like them in my mouth!” This bio was from a 19 year old.

Another one reads: “Kind of girl you would take home to your mom but would blow you on the way there.” This is just a hunch, but she probably gets lots of right swipes.

Sex sells, as it always has. But don’t those make you just a little sad? Because Tinder is based solely on how hot your picture is and how witty and/or sexy your bio is, it’s showing women that it’s the only way men will be into them. It’s like selfies. If you aren’t validated by a bunch of strangers liking your photo it’s probably doing some damage to your self-esteem. It’s their choice to be involved, of course, but how could that not trickle into how they handle themselves in real life?

Just like all online dating in general, I get that it’s an easier way to meet people. But somehow society has managed to meet people and date and get married before there was the advent of the internet so I don’t know why we find it so challenging now. Oh wait yes I do. It’s because, Tinder. People would rather have their noses stuck in their phones swiping left and right then look up and around at all the people they meet on a daily basis.

People will argue that Tinder is only supposed to be used for hook-ups. But so many others will argue that they know someone who met their current boyfriend/fiance/wife on Tinder. Maybe they are true stories, maybe they are just urban myths to make people feel better about themselves for using the app. Or maybe that’s just what we have to accept about our generation. That the sexual relationship comes first now and then comes the real relationship.

Obviously my personal opinion isn’t going to stop people from using Tinder or make it go away. I guess my real fear is that I will be forced to join Tinder just to keep up.

The “I Don’t Want To Have Sex Yet” Dance

For most women, a first date is a pleasurable event. If you are going out with someone who you even remotely like, a first date is a great time to get to know someone new, see if there is chemistry, and assess compatibility levels. There is usually very little pressure, so you can just enjoy getting dressed up and going out even if you don’t meet your soul mate.

At the end of the night, for both the guy and girl, there is usually some slight anxiety surrounding whether to kiss or not. Sometimes you will sit in the car for 20 minutes and talk mindlessly about surface level subjects while gauging if there is interest in the kiss. The female will sit with sweaty palms wondering whether or not she should just get the hint and say goodnight, while the male is usually wondering if his breath is okay and how he can go about doing it without seeming awkward.

But this is small potatoes compared to what comes next.

Once you get that first date under your belt and you feel pretty confident that there is a mutual interest, most people move on to a second date. The second date means there is progress in the relationship, which also means there will probably be progress in intimacy, if not then, then in the near future.

And from there is when all of the questions come in.

“Is it acceptable to sleep with him on the second date?”

“How many dates should I wait to sleep with him?”

“How fast is too fast and at what point do you know he won’t just hit it and quit it?”

“Do I have to wait for him to have the exclusivity talk with me first?” (Yeah right, but most self help books tell me to!?)

“How far CAN we go without it being pretty much sex anyway?”

My mind always goes into panic mode as soon as I know I will be seeing a guy for a second time. It’s pretty rare, as I am of the “one and done” mindset, so when it happens, all of the above questions start swirling through my brain. Formal dating means that there are “rules”, unlike with hooking up, so if you make an error early on it could mean game over.

When it comes to sex, we all know that men typically attribute a lot less emotion and value to the physical act. It’s less likely to make them feel attached or vulnerable as it is with women, so they don’t have to worry about it as much. In fact, a lot of men tend to lose interest in a woman if she gives it up too quickly. So knowing this, most women I know tend to put a lot of emphasis on waiting to have sex if they truly want a long term relationship.

So, therein lies the predicament. How is one to gauge when it is appropriate to sleep with someone and how can one stop it from happening? Because we all know that once the making out starts it’s damn near impossible to stop it from escalating, especially if there is alcohol involved.

Here are some easy ways you can avoid the whole mess until you are ready:

1. Don’t drink alcohol after the first date. (I don’t know about you, but that is not realistic for me.)

2. Don’t go to either of your places. (And keep making out in the car? That’s awkward after one time.)

3. Make it a day date! (FRIEND ZONE.)

4. Be on your period. (Haha, ew.)

5. Tell him you are just not ready yet. (You can get away with that for one night. After that, you start seeming like a tease if you are continuing to escalate the making out/foreplay.)

Inevitably for me I usually end up back at the guy’s place after the 2nd/3rd date. And almost always the scene goes something like this:

*Hand up my skirt*

“Stop,” I say. (Btw, STOP usually means a yellow light to most guys and most girls usually intend for it to be taken that way.)

*Unhook the bra*

*Try to take off my shirt*

“Stop.”

At this point I will usually stop whatever we are doing to cool out for a minute. But it will just start up again 5 minutes later.

“Okay, I’m gonna go now.”

“Stay. I won’t try to have sex with you,” he says, lying though his teeth.

“Okay,” I say, naively, sometimes actually believing it.

*Get into the bed*

*Start making out again*

*Hands roam everywhere*

*Sex*

END SCENE

“Well gee, Lover Lo, why the hell would you sleep over in his bed if you weren’t planning on having sex?” You ask. That’s a perfectly legitimate question, which is why I usually end up putting out.

That’s why this is such a challenge. Because we want it just as much as the guy wants it. We have to keep dodging and dancing around until we just can’t take it anymore, and sometimes that can only last until the end of the night of the first date!

Most guys will tell you that how fast you sleep with them has little to no bearing on whether or not the relationship will have longevity. My brother is engaged to a girl he met in a bar and slept with that same night. But more often than not men like a challenge, so I am under the impression that we should be more willing to give them that.

Here’s to hoping that I can test this out with the next guy. I don’t know how long I will make him wait or how I will be able to pull off not progressing to the bedroom too quick, but I’m still single after 6 years, so I am willing to try.

 

xx,

 

Lover Lo

 

 

 

Social Media is Ruining Our Dating Lives

Is social media ruining dating?

I know this is not a new question, but it’s a question that’s been becoming more dire in recent years with the frighteningly smart (or invasive, however you like to put it) advancements in technology that leave very little to the imagination. Dating is supposed to be all about the mystery and discovery of a new person and with TwitAnInstaBookFaceSnap we are left without any work to do. No wonder everyone is in a “hook up” culture these days. There is no need for conversational “get to know you” dinners when you can already clearly see a person’s likes/dislikes, personality, hopes, dreams, and interests. I’m going to be honest, it’s a nice way to weed people out before you have to waste your night and theirs, but on the flip side of that, are we becoming too picky and judgmental about things that may be completely harmless? It’s hard to tell in writing! And then what is the alternative? TRY and not check any of their profiles before a 6 date minimum so you can get to know them organically? Or better yet just hope they are like some social media unicorn who has no profiles anywhere? (Yeah right.)

And then after you manage to somehow successfully end up consistently dating someone, social media brings on a whole new set of problems. Comments from girls on your man’s pictures or Facebook statuses can send one into a full on panic attack where you want to scream, “get off his balls, you dirty little slut!” (No? Just me?) And cause one to create a whole set of imaginary circumstances where you are POSITIVE he is a lying, manipulating cheater. As if there aren’t enough things to over analyze when you first start seeing someone, add social media into the mix and it can do some MAJOR damage. But really, maybe it’s just helping you catch the shady guys better? It’s hard to tell which one comes first. Was he a dirty, cheating bastard that just never got caught before it was so easy or is it causing us to overreact about nothing? It’s exhausting!

I have a friend who was recounting the drama in her dating life the other night. She had been dating Ben (name changed) for a couple months and was wigging out about an Instagram post he had put up on Monday night. It was a picture of his sort of new-ish place and a post saying something along the lines of “welcome me to my new crib!” One of the hash tags said “foosball party” and one said “wine party”. My friend expected a text or call asking her to join in the fun that night, especially since he knows Monday night is one of her nights off and that she is available. But alas, he did not contact her. At 9pm she texted “what are you up to tonight” to which she didn’t receive a response until 12:30am. Ben claimed that he had been online all night researching something and wasn’t even paying attention to his phone.

My friend was convinced that he was lying and threw a huge party with a bunch of big boobed whores and didn’t invite her because he didn’t want her to ruin the fun. I’ve met Ben and he does not seem at all like a shady dude. But there is a definite chance that he was lying to my friend about the text, especially in our “Her” society where not answering a text for 3 1-2 hours would only be plausible if he were on a flight somewhere or dead. She was absolutely livid and she was ready to end their courtship over it.

First of all, agonizing over hash tags makes me wanna vomit because that is actually sort of valid (as I’ve done it too) but so ridiculously absurd to freak about. But it’s not worth her time to get angry in her head until she knows for sure what he did with his night. And she may never know for sure if he lied about a party because one of the worst parts about dating someone new is that you have to give them the benefit of the doubt and only get to know what they tell you (TRUST, ew). But they better at least have a good excuse for incriminating hashtags they post online for everyone to see.

I had an experience not too long ago where I had been sleeping with this guy inconsistently for about 6 months who had had a crush on me for years and put up a Facebook status that I’m still convinced ruined everything. It said, “Missed opportunities, hooking up and hanging out, unrequited love in friends with benefits situations=Millenial dating lyfe”. Now, my guy had told me that he was NEVER on Facebook and I stupidly believed him, so I thought the post was harmless. I was also at a point in my life where I was so shut down and emotionless that I thought I didn’t care about him, so when he got LIVIDLY angry that night after he called me out on the “unrequited love” part, I wasn’t worried. Fast forward to 9 months later where I am now in love with that guy (of course) and it’s too late for it to work out. It is over for more reasons than just that status, but I think it set the ball rolling into breakupville.

Social media is not only a problem that is not going away, it’s only going to get worse. I’m worried for the dating scene my children will have to deal with! So how can we manage to manage it? Hopefully, with age, we will get to a mature place where we don’t feel the need to over expose everything and document our entire lives. I’m already getting a little sick of every platform except Facebook. And at least with FB I can regulate who sees it. There is hope for us yet I hope!!!

xx

Unknown