Have Singles Lost that “Magic Feeling”?
written by: Ellen Curnow/Scenergy Dating Blog Contributor
Blondie sang, “Here come’s the 21st Century, it’s gonna be much better for a girl like me”. But was she right? Especially when it comes to the world of dating?
Single life, and the search for love, have changed dramatically since Debbie Harry pranced around the stage singing, “I want that man!” Has the magic gone out of dating? Does that first dinner feel more like a job interview? Do you still get butterflies in the stomach?
Let’s explore the face of dating in the age of Tinder, texting and Facebook.
NOW AND THEN: HAS DATING REALLY CHANGED THAT MUCH?
On the surface, the answer is YES. For anyone re-entering singledom after a few years coupled up, the scene seems to have changed dramatically. Mobile apps let you locate and chat to any singles within a mile of you. Pages of duck-faced selfies give false impressions. You know a person’s height, weight, hair color, occupation, salary and hobbies without having to engage in conversation.You can send a series of abbreviated (and essentially meaningless) texts to find out if someone’s on the same page. The magic of meeting someone at a friend’s party and building up the courage to ask them out on a date is gone. Romance appears to be dead.
But, underneath all that, dating today is still the same as it was 20 or 30 years ago. You’re still looking for someone to connect with. For that magic spark. You still want to fall in love.
TOO MANY OPTIONS?
Does this scenario sound familiar? You’ve had an unsuccessful date. For whatever reason there was just no spark. Before you even make it to the car park, you’re texting the next option or scrolling Tinder to see who’s new.
In days gone by, it was actually quite hard to meet people, now it seems there are too many options. There’s a danger in this: you’re always wondering if the other people you’re chatting with are a better option than the one sitting in front of you. You can’t remember what you said to whom. The temptation to “keep your options open” ruins any chance of making a meaningful connection.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the plethora of choice that technology seems to offer you. And remember to be a decent human being. Take it slow. Date one person at a time. This is supposed to be fun!
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY (AND THE ONE YOU JUST CAN’T SHAKE!):
Dating is fraught with disappointment. You meet someone and think they might just be the one. Unfortunately, they don’t feel the same about you. This might happen more often these days because the world of dating is much faster and because there are more options, but it’s pretty much always been that way. It’s all part of the adventure. Embrace it.
Or, there’s the opposite scenario:
So you’ve been on a couple of dates and you realize you’re not really into this person. In the past, you might have told them so and parted ways. Now, you’re Facebook friends, they’ve got your cell phone number and can reach you wherever you are, they can see when you’re on Tinder. In the world of technological dating, it can be really hard to shake that unsuccessful date.
Just a side note: if you can’t resist the temptation to text, call or Facebook stalk the “one that got away”, then YOU’RE the one that THEY just can’t shake.
Do yourself a favor: delete that number!
WHAT HAPPENED TO MYSTERY?
Okay, I’m not such a prude as to suggest you have to wait for marriage before you do the deed.
But… isn’t there something to be said for a little mystery?
With modern technology it’s likely that, before you’ve even met, you’ve already seen more of each other than couples of the past would have glimpsed before their wedding night!
If dating in the 21st century really has lost it’s magic then this has to be one of the biggest reasons why. That magic, that feeling of butterflies in the stomach came out of the mystery and anticipation of getting to know the other person. Don’t let go of that too quickly, there’s no rush.
HAVE ROMANTIC MOVIES RUINED US FOR DATING?
Boy meets girl. A series of comical misunderstandings. An eventual declaration of everlasting love. And finally, wedding bells.
We’re practically fed this crap with our Mothers’ milk. From old fashioned fairy tales like Cinderella, to Disney classics like Beauty and the Beast, to Jane Austen, to romantic comedies on Netflix. We’re raised with the ideals of “one true love” and “happily ever after”. But do these books and movies set us up with unrealistic expectations and the certainty of disappointment? Particularly on the modern dating scene?
If you’re going on a date wondering what song you’ll have at your wedding or what to name your children, you’re doing it wrong. If you’ve got a Tinder or internet dating profile that goes something like, “My ideal partner is tall, good looking, healthy, wealthy, fit, organized, motivated, relaxed, funny…etc, etc, etc,” you’re also doing it wrong. And here’s why: you’re looking for some sort of movie star ideal and not a real person. You’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
While you were waiting to meet your one true love and for your life to magically transform into some sort of Disney movie, you missed out on getting to know (and maybe to love?) a real person. Drop the cookie cutter ideal and be genuine and open: see your date as a unique individual.
SUMMARY: DATING IN THE 21ST CENTURY – LET’S NOT LOSE THE MAGIC!
So, to finish off, I’d like to propose 5 simple rules for keeping the magic alive on the single scene in 2016.
1. Date one person at a time: be yourself, get to know them and enjoy their company (preferably in person and not through text). Don’t expect Prince (or Princess!) Charming and a ride off into the sunset. But don’t write people off at first glance either. We all have hidden depths.
2. Chivalry is not dead: you can be a lot more creative and romantic than Netflix and the sofa!
3. Get to know the person BEFORE you jump in the sack! Keep the mystery alive!
4. Suggestive (or downright nude!) photos are never a good idea when you’re looking for love.
5. Do not “Drink and Dial”. If you’re heading out on the town, write all potential soulmate’s numbers down in a notebook, hide it and delete their digits from your phone. There’s nothing worse than a sloppy declaration of love at 2 am. Not to mention the horror of waking up to find you booty called the wrong person.
Don’t give up hope. Single life needn’t be a technological and emotional minefield. Romantic love is just as possible as it was in any other generation . Boy can still meet girl. All you need to do is keep it real.