First things first–when we talk about dating, we’re talking in much broader terms here. Dating could mean that you’re in a full-blown relationship, you’re actually casually dating someone, or you’re doing a friends with benefits thing (which let’s be honest is dating without having to call it that or make any sort of commitment). Everyone labels it differently, but in any case, all of these situations can potentially lead to confusing and irritating experiences.
So, let’s address the elephant in the room, which is clearly social media. Nowadays, people are all stalk, no action. Snapchat and Instagram make it easy to see what everyone is doing on a daily, or better yet, hourly basis. And when it comes to a significant other peeking in on your life and you on theirs, it turns into a game, or even worse, a trigger to get your attention or cause a reaction.
Along with this, women have become victims of “haunting”. I’m sure men have too, but I have yet to hear complaints from their end (if any men care to comment, please do so below). Anyway, “haunting”, for those who don’t know, is when a significant other is ignoring or “ghosting” you, but likes your social media posts and/or looks at your Stories or Snapchats. As the great Cardi B rapped, “Man, I thought you would’ve learned your lesson, ‘Bout liking pictures, not returning texts.” Even the best of us get haunted.
I also like to call this “fish tanking”. Cue Darla from Finding Nemo annoyingly tapping on the fish tank.
Guys now have you captured in a metaphorical fish tank that they literally tap on to see what you’re doing and sometimes get your attention, while also simultaneously ignoring you. It’s weird and confusing, but on the upside, consider yourself a beautiful tropical fish in which to be admired from afar.
Complisults–Thank You or No Thank You?
Guys have developed a wonderful new (or at least new to me) technique of suppressing the things they like about you, while also letting you know what those things are in a confusing way, all so they can keep their distance, but keep you wondering. It’s called a “complisult” and it’s a doozy.
“You could be a plus-size model.” Thanks for calling me pretty, but fat.
“You’re thick, but in a good way.” Once again, thanks for calling me fat.
“I like when you wear your glasses. Dorky looks cute on you.” I may be a dork, but I don’t need you to point that out!
“You look too young to be out at a bar.” Yeah, this can actually be insulting to some women.
“You’re not like other girls.” Or, “You’re just different.” Complete with no further explanation.
Some guys don’t know they are saying anything wrong and some guys don’t consciously realize they are using it as a defense mechanism. Still, it leaves you unsure of what a guy actual thinks of you.
The Occasional Swipe Right
Dating apps are the new norm now. I remember years ago when dating sites like Match.com and others became popular. These sites were and still are widely used, but they received a negative connotation because it seemed only people who were weird or had issues were on them. Sure, there’s plenty of people who found true love, but I’ve also heard some horror stories.
Fast forward to today and everyone at some point has been on a dating app. There is now way less negativity surrounding the use of these apps to find someone. Tinder was enormously popular, but became more of a hook-up app. Then came apps like Bumble, Clover, Hinge, and more, which are promoted as more serious dating apps, but are used for a variety of reasons.
I’ve tried most of them, made some good and bad connections, got frustrated and deleted the apps, re-downloaded the apps, and then deleted again. Currently, no apps are being used. I’m not a fan of the whole swipe right or left thing. It’s very superficial. Overall, you’re really taking a risk when you swipe right because some profiles can be inaccurate about who the person really is. It’s totally different meeting someone in person. You can read their vibe and attitude and they are more likely to show their true self.
This is why I only ever did the occasional swipe right. As I said, some good (but not lasting) connections were made, and then some really awful, painful dates and experiences happened too. It can be a real conflict when deciding to use dating apps or not. They sometimes feel so stupid and pointless and other times you meet people who you have a good time with. The jury is still out on all of this, but dating apps are not going away and people will certainly continue using them.