How Do Generational Differences Impact Dating Culture?

I am going to be honest; this article was based off a paper I wrote for my social psychology class. The assignment was to read “Modern Romance” by Aziz Ansari. Yes, the “Treat Yo Self” guy. I had no idea what to expect when reading it besides learning 'how we date'. There was so much more. What we see every day but do not really give a second look, it is all in words. Online dating, dating in different countries, dating in small towns, and long-term relationships. What we had to do for class was compare two people, one above fifty and one person in college and who's twenty years old. What I discovered during these interviews pleasantly surprised me.

The twenty-year-old woman has been one of my good friends for many years. We met in high school and have been close ever since. I could go on about our amazing friendship, but I must tell you about what I discovered about her. Ever since we became friends, she has always been in a relationship. Starting off, her two main significant relationships have been started because of her. She did not meet those boys due to friends. Today, we are so used to having friends introduce us to people at parties, events, and even through social media. Her relationships happened because of her doing. She is the one who initiated conversation and everything blossomed through there.  I find her to be a very unique girl, in her attitude and how she approaches situations. Saying that, online dating or getting set up with a partner would never be on her to-do list. When she met these boys, she felt a heart tug, and from there things worked out, for a while at least. Her current boyfriend, she believes is the one. She knows this because he lets her be herself, which is being affectionate in public (not the obnoxious making out, but butt grabs and hair playing--the decent things) and doing the little things that makes her heart skip a beat and get the chills. I see them daily and I know despite the simple arguments, they are perfect for one another.

Then, I compared my first meeting with my meeting with a woman I interviewed who is fifty years old. She refused to be asked out on dates, be set up on a blind date, or even have one-on-one connection with a boy when she was twenty. There were a few boys here and there, and she was accused of stealing a boyfriend and got beat up for it, but boys never lasted with her because she got bored and no interest. Today, we are surrounded by people who are “talking” or “have a thing”--this is what she would describe it as. My friend from above was never into small and meaningless hook ups/relationships; everything had to have a purpose. The fifty-year-old is currently happily married. She was the vice president in sales at Chuck E. Cheese (how badass) at twenty-two years old without going to college. They needed to hire a restaurant manager, and so it begins. She ended up hiring a man (we will call him Steve because who doesn't like the name Steve?) and Steve was a cocky bastard. There was a day where the woman had to correctly tailor the Chuck E. Cheese costume, so she grabbed Steve and made him try it on so they could get it hemmed. He agreed to the daunting and humiliating ask and took his shirt off, in front of her.  She could barely look at him, but had to do to his bomb-ass body. (Woah, steamy!) She rolled her eyes, got the measurements, and left. The next day, Steve sent her flowers, to her home and called her to ask her out, to the circus. 

So, pause. Cool right? I feel like that is something people today would do. The woman thought this was old-fashioned, but people today do this because we try to be “retro”. She agreed to the date and he continued to buy her flowers and bring her on interesting dates. It worked. A month later, they got engaged at a Barry Manilow concert by having the ring be a prize in the Cracker Jack box. Yes, a month. She never planned to or even wanted to get married. Work and herself were her main priorities and she did not want someone to hold her back.   

If you were to read these stories without the ages, would you have guessed who's was who's correctly besides the Chuck E. Cheese and Barry Manilow name drop?  You can never read a relationship from afar. Finding hidden treasures within people and learning about how they approach this everyday occurrence is intriguing and sometimes even migraine-giving.  I highly suggest the book “Modern Romance” by Aziz Ansari and I challenge you to sit down and ask a friend, family member, or anyone about what their takes are on relationships. Their answers may be familiar or bizarre--just ask!