Our society has boomed since the embrace of the technology era. Relationships are still work like I am sure they were before everything was at our fingertips. I don’t believe one generation’s dating times are better than another, but because I only have the knowledge of my own, I don’t want to create an opinion over when it was the easiest to date. Older generations had different struggles with relationships, that we experience in our own ways now, and I am praying for future generations.
We are so plugged in that many forget to step away from the screen throughout the day. I am a bit of a classic chaser myself. I’ll send love letters just as I send birthday cards as opposed to birthday Facebook posts. I would much rather Facetime or speak on the phone instead of text all day to get to know someone. I actually prefer long walks on the beach over going to the movies.
We can reach people on dating apps where before you met people through, well, interacting outside of our phones. We live in a world now that you can know a lot about the person before you even hear it from them through social media dumpster diving. We really can’t hide much if it is out there. You see what everyone is up to through the lens they want you to see it. There is no in between when it comes to boasting or dramatizing lives. You do it, or you don’t, but still, people judge regardless.
Online dating, take it or leave it, we’ve all at least thought about it and formed an opinion on it. I am sure some more than most would admit to it, but we are curious if you can really find love through it. The guys I have come across and had feelings for in the past have been a fifty-fifty split between apps and in personal encounters. I am not going to knack online dating. It comes with ease for sure. When I was living in a new large city you can run into endless opportunities for possibly finding love, I know several who have.
What I loved most was just meeting people—meeting people through the people I matched with mostly. I aimed to use dating apps in the past not to find love, but find answers. I hate to admit that I most likely exploited human attraction to find more in the world. I never let it progress if there wasn’t a deeper connection with the men, but I knew I wasn’t on there to find love which is why I avoid journeying that way again.
I like the idea of mutual friends or even casual encounters with strangers the most when broadly looking at the men I have been attracted to. I don’t mind receiving friend requests on Facebook from men simply because I put my humility on the line and introduced myself to strangers, you know like in the olden days. Obviously, there was something common that brought us together, but human interaction is something I thrive on more than our messaging.
I have struggled in the past with just talking to a phone and reading the words others write. I cannot remember a time that I didn’t do that though… Maybe my elementary school boyfriend? I think back to my middle school crushes and even then I remember staying up late sending nonsense with my T9 keyboard. Everything has lived through technology. I guess I could thank the era for bringing me together with the men I have crushed on, but it really never showed me, love, like physically being with someone.
I have made friendships with some of the men from dating apps that probably should have only ever been friends. I think the constraints around the dreaded friend zone are silly because relationships aren’t confined by a romantic interest or not. I would rather show them their part of my life is important to me and I will strengthen it where I can, but to pretend feelings are there when they may have never existed fails to be worth it for me.
Right now, I don’t see myself trying to find love like I have in the past. I go through stages where I am all about it, or I am trying to hide from it, and right now I am not sure where I fall in terms of love. If there is anything to take from dating today it has to be, you need to love yourself first. That is where dating today leaves me—with a relationship with myself because I deserve my love.
Love will find you when you least expect it, I fully have felt that, but you need to be ready when it does. Loving yourself starts today with you.