07 May 2018

Modern romance

Swipe left, swipe right. Bumble. Plenty of Fish. 'What's your Snapchat name?'. 

Dating in 2018 is something else. My (very wise) aunt commented recently that she'd hate to be my age again as it seems to be so complicated.... and it is! Our 'swiping' culture seems to focus a lot more on hook-ups than on long term relationships. It's a confusing place to be in as people's intentions online can seem very different to those in real life. 

You get the ones who are the chancers. They'll have all the chat, lure you into thinking they are nice but then are still looking for a quick fix. You get the direct ones who like to open with a dirty line straight away. And you get everything in between. I've gone on Tinder dates with limited success and the ironic thing is, I've always met people through friends, work or nights out that have been of any lasting value. 

I know this situation isn't unique to me. I could name you at least ten beautiful, smart and decent women of different sexual orientations who are having the same problems. It seems like the concept of 'dating' seems to have gone away. I mean what's nicer than someone asking you to go for dinner or a drink? But that doesn't seem to be the way things go anymore. Chivalry really does feel dead in so many ways. If you are single and reading this, when was the last time someone in a bar offered to buy you a drink? Even that seems like a dying trait!

The same wise auntie also said, 'Why would people eat at Deane's when they can try every restaurant in Belfast first?'. I then reminded her that we only have 2 Michelin stars in Belfast and one of them is a Deane's! The hookup culture is not one to be ashamed about. I'm all for people doing whatever they are comfortable with but seldom does it result in a lasting relationship.

What's the answer to all of this? I really don't know. I think often as women we do put pressure on ourselves to meet someone or compare ourselves to others ('But if so and so has a boyfriend, why don't I?). 

Timing is everything. I know people who have married and are getting divorced at my age so could be on a second marriage by the time I'm on my first. People keep saying 'you find someone when you least expect it' and maybe that's true. Perhaps we are all pursuing something so much that it puts a huge pressure on our expectations of what love is.

I've had times where I've said I'm giving up looking, whether that be after a bad experience or just sheer boredom from boring, meaningless conversations online. But I'm going to keep looking or at least, keep my eyes peeled. You never know, I could bump into him in IKEA or the petrol station - maybe when I'm least expecting it!