Sunday, November 7, 2010
Aside from David Bowie not believing in it, what do we know about Modern Love?
We know modern love is at least somewhat dependent on technology. Not only do we date via online dating sites, but we also rely on all sorts of technology for dating communication. We send text messages back and forth, we become facebook friends (and now thanks to the new facebook "friendship" button, your entire relationship can be documented for you online where you and everyone else can see it in all it's glory), we chat on MSN, and the list goes on. But has any of this really changed the fundamental act of dating? Sure, we spend less time talking on the phone and more time talking via texting, but we still go out on real dates as well, right? Sort of.
Let me put it to you this way. When was the last time a guy or girl actually asked you out on a date? I don't mean when was the last time you had 8 martinis and threw yourself at the person you've been crushing on who then said "Let's makeout!". I mean when was the last time another person looked at you and said "Hey, would you like to go out to dinner sometime?"
You're still thinking right? I'll give you a few minutes.
A few more minutes? K ... I'll go build a shed or something while I'm waiting. Actually, let me make it easier on you. You haven't been asked out on a date, have you? Don't feel bad! There are a lot of people in the same boat!
It dawned on me a few days ago, while discussing new age dating practices with my roommate, that I don't actually remember a guy ever walking up to me and asking me out. Neither did my roommate. Neither do the majority of my friends to whom I've asked the same question in the past week. I've met up with a lot of guys for dinner or coffee through online dating sites, but at some point you have to move from online messaging to a real life venue. It's less "Would you like to go out sometime because I think you're attractive and I'd like to get to know you better?" and more "Let's meet up in person to see if we actually have any chemistry." What ever happened to one person asking another person "Hey ... wanna go out sometime?"
I mean when it really comes down to it, "going out" could be many things. In essence, a date is a shared activity between two people who have romantic interest in each other. It could be dinner and a movie, it could be roller blading in the park, it could be a group belly dancing class ... whatever floats your boat. It's not the activity that's important, it's choosing to partake in a specific activity with a specific person that is. It's the idea that two people really like each other and are therefore choosing to spend an allotted amount of time with each other. So, why hasn't technology made this easier?
Maybe this was always a rare occurrence and years of watching Hollywood rom-coms has rotted my brain, but it seems to me that once upon a time, guys used to ask girls on a date. I know, I know ... it's a little sexist of me to expect a guy to do this when I don't ever intend on doing it myself. But that's not the point! Did guys actually do this back in the day or are women wondering why some non-existent phenomenon hasn't happened to them? If indeed this was once a common social practice, why has it suddenly disappeared? Has technology made us lazy, or has the whole concept of dating evolved into something else?
So many deep, burning questions for a Sunday morning. Maybe you have the answers?
Until next time and happy fishing ;)