Why Modern Dating Doesn't Make Any Sense

Between all of the unspoken rules, unclear relationship statuses and attempts to mix traditional and new ideals, modern dating has come to make absolutely no sense. I know that college life may not be a romantic comedy movie, but it does not have to be such a tangled web of miscommunications and awkward moments. Here are a few reasons that modern dating makes no sense at all, so that maybe we can try to solve some of these issues or, more likely, complain about them to our girl friends the next time we have a bad date. 

1. We are in a generation that fears emotional vulnerability.

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Many people, myself included, are obsessed with being a “chill” person. No one wants to be judged for the way they feel, and labeled as the clingy, crazy girlfriend or the jealous, whipped boyfriend. You come off as "uncool" if you show that you’re upset or even that you’re really into someone. So many people are hesitant in showing how they truly feel, which results in acting cold or distant. Life may not be a romantic comedy where someone comes forward and announces that they are in love with you at a dramatic moment. However, it would make dating so much easier if people could be clear and open about their feelings. I’ve had enough “chill” dates, how about you?

2.  No one knows when or how to make it exclusive.

Image via Decider

“Modern dating doesn't make sense to me because nowadays guys assume and will call you their girlfriend just because you guys hang out and talk a lot. They think it's okay to skip the step of formally asking the girl to be their girlfriend but instead they just assume and that makes it awkward for the girl to be like 'umm we actually aren't dating because you haven't asked me yet.' " -the quit assuming queen**

Some people think it’s too “middle school” to formally ask someone to be exclusive, to be their boyfriend or girlfriend. But how do you know that you are exclusive if no one brings it up? Can people please just ask? Middle schoolers are beating us at dating, seriously.

3. There is the constant struggle between chivalry and equality.

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Does he pay for dinner? Does it make me rude if I pay? Does it make me a bad feminist if he pays? Does he open the door to be polite or look at my butt? Do we split the bill? Is it sexist to expect him/her to fulfill the stereotypical duties of their gender such as picking me up, dropping me off, choosing a place or dressing up? It probably depends on the person and is somewhere in the middle, but it is still uncomfortable figuring it out.

4.  The definition of a modern date is very unclear.

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“Modern dating doesn't make sense because you’ll meet a guy, really cute, tall guy but his idea of a date is meeting at a park to meet all his friends. Kinda awk, but whatever. Flash forward to a couple more sub-par dates and getting to know each other, boom you're ghosted. The best part is, a couple weeks later I get the DM on insta “wyd” at 12:30 am. Really?” -the anon park date princess**

Dates are the worst. I don’t know about everyone else, but sitting across the table from someone at a fancy restaurant and trying to look cute while eating something that someone else is paying for makes me actually want to die. And if it isn’t a formal date, the process of figuring out what to do together can be an awkward struggle. Is it a group hang? Is it casually getting food together alone? Is it any time you spend together by yourselves? No one really understands what a modern date is which just creates awkward moments and adds to the whole "well are we dating or are we just hanging out" enigma. 

5. People's short attention span leads to confusing, short relationships.

Image via Time

“I was seeing this guy and we were getting serious but then when I left for vacation, he told me he was still in love with his ex-girlfriend and was going to try to make things work with her.  So of course, I was pissed. Then, as soon as I came back, he started blowing up my phone. He said he messed up and he wanted to be with me now. Which makes no sense, what an idiot. He just wanted to sleep with someone while I was on vacation.” -an anonymous girl who clearly deserves better**

After figuring out the whole “you’ll meet so many people in college” thing was a lie, many people turn to online dating to get out there and a lot of the time, it’s great. But, online dating has created a short attention span since everyone can see someone for a little, while not have an immediate rom-com connection, and then go home and swipe through hundreds of faces on Tinder. How are we expected to give all our attention to one person when there are hundreds of people with what seems like unlimited potential?

Here’s to the wine nights to come, asking your girl squad “what does he mean by this text?” and the hesitant guys asking “sooo…what are we?” But keep in mind that hey, it gets better when you meet the right person. 


**The comments and stories come from an anonymous poll of college women attending the University of California, Santa Barbara.