You won’t often see me write about love, dating, and relationships because a) I’m not Carrie Bradshaw, and b) there are more important things currently taking up my time. But today I read bits and pieces from The Gaggle, a book about how Millennials do the whole love and dating thing, and now I pretty much hate my generation.
I just want to clarify that this is not a book review, as I’ve only read bits and pieces. Rather, my beef is not with the book itself, but with the fact that it touches on something I always suspected, but fiercely hoped, would not be true: that Millennials have pretty much fucked-up love, dating, and relationships.
The book argues that people are no longer dating in the traditional sense, and that a guy asking a girl to go on a date (as in, “Can I take you out sometime?”) is pretty much a thing of the past. Rather, we are now living in a “post-dating” world, where texting, “non-dates” (spending time with a member of the opposite sex but it not being a date, i.e., “hanging out”), instant messaging, and other non-traditional methods of communicating are offering multiple paths to romance. Basically, we Millennials have created a clusterfuck of ambiguity. The book tries to put a positive spin on it, by outlining the ways in which we can navigate this mess, from offering tips on how to follow up after a “non-date” to using technology like emails and instant messaging to get to know a person better, with the end result being a relationship without actually having to traditionally date in order to get it. Or something. Even after reading the few excerpts I came across, my head was spinning, and I was just like:
The general impression I got was to fight ambiguity with more ambiguity, which, to me, sounds really lazy. And what’s even worse, is that some of what the book talks about–“non-dates,” for instance–is stuff I’ve seen happen in MY OWN LIFE. So as much as I would like to dismiss this book as just another silly dating self-help book, I can’t help but recognize that it is rooted in some truth, and that’s what pisses me off. It’s bad enough that communication for my generation is pretty much relegated to texting and Facebook messaging (of which I’m just as guilty), but now we’ve become lax in our dating relationships as well, settling for “non-dates” and just falling, it seems, into a relationship instead of dating and then having the, “Where are we going?” convo that leads to exclusivity. It looks to me like we’re by-passing the more direct and vulnerable approach to love in favor of one that is vague and confusing with the hope that it all works out in the end.
That approach just doesn’t fly with me. I want the, “Can I take you out sometime?” I like the, “If he’s truly interested, he will make a move and ask you out.” It’s honest, and leaves less room for confusion. I refuse to play into the “post-dating” mind-set, which is something I’m fully aware could render me single for the rest of my life. But you know what? I’d rather be single than start treating “non-dates” as if they were actual dates, and trying to figure out what his seemingly flirty text message is actually saying. I don’t want to settle for a bland TV dinner when I believe the possibility for a fabulous and flavorful three-course meal exists. And if it turns out that fabulous and flavorful three-course meal doesn’t exist? Then I’ll create it for myself. In the end, I’d rather choose me than the “post-dating” mind-fuck Millennials have created.
Sigh. I hate my generation. Mike Rowe, my offer still stands.