This Jezebel article does a pretty solid job of pointing out some of what bugs me about many of the trend pieces about online dating:
Sounds shitty, indeed. But one clueless musician’s interaction with a social media manager hardly means that “Women in their 20s these days are lucky to get a last-minute text to tag along.” And why is it always up to men to set the dating tone? All of the anecdotes in these articles are from straight women, because straight women are apparently the only people who would be devastated about the demise of traditional courtship. But if you want to go to dinner and a movie, why not…suggest going to dinner and a movie?
Because hey, everyone: if you are interested in a specific kind of date, or a specific kind of relationship, you should communicate that to the people you are getting involved with.
Because hey, then you either
a) get the thing you want, hooray for you!
or b) learn that the person(s) in question want something different from what you want, and you can make decisions about whether you would like to modify your attitudes about dates/relationships or end your romantic/sexual involvement with that person(s) and move on.
It is actually that easy (sometimes).
Of course, often people don’t know what they want, want conflicting things, are unable to accept or access what they want due to societal or other pressures, have trouble clearly communicating what they want, etc. etc. etc. Relationships are messy business and always will be.
But real talk these things need to go:
- the idea that anyone should be tricking anyone else into a relationship (bonus points for the fucked up attitudes about gender that are usually involved)
- the expectation that you can always assume what kind of dates or relationship someone wants
- the expectation that someone else will know what kind of dates or relationship you want if you do not tell them.
I am, duh, guilty of having done all of these things at various points in my relationship/not-relationship history, so my apologies if all that comes off as didactic. This is all coming from the place of feeling like I’ve learned some things from that chaotic history, and having just had a surprisingly easy and communicative new relationship conversation that has me feeling optimistic about humans telling other humans about dem feeeeeelings.