Bumble (Dating), Tinder, Libertic, JoyClub, Fetlife, OKCupid et al.
I've been listening a lot to various podcasters of the Daily Wire, more notably Matt Walsh's (#mattwalsh) monologues. His crisp, unapologetic and somewhat sociopathic conservatism grows on you. Of course I don't agree with several of his viewpoints...I'm a liberal after all. Or at least a "live and let live" kind of liberal. If you want to identify as a tree and marry a leaf, by all means go forth and do it! However, without the expectation of my affirmation. The whole principle of free will hinges on exactly that "free will".
I agree with him and some of his colleagues that modern society is heading down an already trodden path while wearing new heels. Where before it was NOK to be different, it is now NOK to be normative. Either/or, the results are always the same: some sort of oppression. It is in fact a delicate balance to hold between narcissism, socialism and justice. Do what you want, within a common framework, respecting the laws and beliefs of your fellow man and woman, all the while nurturing personal values.
What does it all have to do with dating? Well, it's also the framework behind this particular human interaction.
Having bounced between various types of value systems without ever being questioned, or criticised for that matter, I've managed to effortlessly experience most of the things I write about. What you see is what you get!
In the dating game, what you see is the ONLY thing you get. Having taken a second leap down that cliff post-marriage and kids I can safely say that I do indeed miss "the good old days".
At 15 I had my first date. It was a platonic, romantic relationship that blossomed and lasted one and a half years. Of course there was some kissing, some neck biting...that sort of thing, but it all stayed above the belt. I wasn't ready for something truly physical.
The next relationship, however, did get physical. Not straight away though. It took some time as all things romantic should (value statement nr.1). It's also perfectly fine to have sex before even saying hello (value statement nr.2): That's my liberal theory. I wouldn't! (value statement nr.3): That's my conservative practice. One might say it is a difficult threesome to entertain.
No, not really. It's about balance.
At 17 I fell in love with two boys. Dated both to some extent. Followed a path with only one of them, rekindled the untrodden path many years later.
At 19 I had a tumultuous fling with a boy in a band. It could have been a Bonnie and Clyde scenario, but I was a nerd.
At 21 I fell in love with my first husband.
At 29 with my second.
Almost 10 years later I experienced a revival of the dual-romantic attachment that I'd always been prone to since my adolescent years.
In all of these romantic relationships, there was some form of dating or wooing involved. I never did one night stands, random hook-ups or emotionless interactions. Never my thing. Dating, and all the plethora of rituals involving it, was always a greater pleasure to me than getting down and dirty at first glance.
The main issue with Dating Apps (see list above) is that they're not really about dating after all.
Dating, old school, is mostly about discovery. Dating, app-style, is mostly about self-gratification.
Maybe you get to have both: You finally reach a consensus about meeting up; he drives you to the cinema, buys you a bag of sweeties; you sit next to each other and gradually your hands meet; you laugh, you cry and exchange theories about the movie ending; he almost kisses you; you hug goodbye...
Next day his profile has been deleted.
And you are left hanging!