The Art of 21st Century Dating

Whether you’re freshly single, or have never been in a relationship, “dating” is basically the rollercoaster we all need to board at some time or other.

There’s a part of me, which loves nothing more than coming in from a date and sitting down,
dissecting every inch of it over a glass of cab sav with my eagerly-awaiting housemates.

But there is also a part of me, which is repulsed at the thought of Tinder, Bumble, or any form of online dating. The swiping right until your thumb aches, the awkward small talk and never knowing whether the person you’re talking to wants a one night thing, or something a little more serious.

Being a young adult is notoriously hard work, whatever time period you look at. From being paired off in the Tudor times to being chaperoned around in the 1920s.

But 21st Century dating brings a new obstacle. Turning the real life 'what the f***is going on' into to a 24/7 texting hell.

Photo by Alexa Suter on Unsplash

A texting-hell where you know the person you've been texting for two weeks is still keeping their options open and Tinder-ing away, because you are too.

We’re faced with this new, sparkly, issue of communication.

Instead of confronting feelings, we can hide behind a keyboard; instead of chatting on the phone until 3am, we're texting until our thumbs hurt; instead of choosing which outfit to wear for a first impression, we’re choosing which photo makes us a 10/10 without the worry of accidentally-cat-fishing them.

Ironically, the problem with this new-found communication, is how little communicating we're doing.

Prince Charming was never going to save us from the highest tower, but where it once might have been a possibility he accidentally spilt coffee on you in Starbucks and looks up to see his one true love staring back… now he's so busy concentrating on his phone, he doesn't stop to help and walks straight past you.

But it’s ok, because you might match on Tinder later that night.

The rise of social media and dating apps, has created a whole new pressure on finding “the one”, because hello, Prince Charming could be right at your finger tips.

The focus has stopped being on the happiness of yourself as a strong independent woman/man,
and has suddenly become about the dependency of having a boyfriend/girlfriend.

Whereas once it might've taken you weeks or months to pluck up the courage to get back out
there on the dating scene, there's now no getting out there.

Instead, you can download an app in your living room, probably (definitely) drunk.

In a world of left and right swipes it's very easy to get lost in the possibility of having fulfilment
through another half. Just make sure you've spent enough time making yourself happy, before you start to depend on another person for happiness.

Most of us can admit, love lives would be far more simple without the existence of apps and online dating, but it seems they're here to stay.

Just make sure, however you meet your Mr (or Mrs) Right, they’re in your life because they’re
incredible, not because they’re accessible.

How do you navigate 21st century dating? What are the biggest pitfalls or benefits?

alice dodd author

by Alice

Alice is a 23-year-old blogger and freelance writer who quit the London 9-5 and bought a one-way ticket to Sydney. Usually found drinking red wine, writing about red wine, or regretting red-wine-antics.

You can find Alice on Twitter and her own blog.

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