A Series: Dating at 21 (Pt.4)

Part 4: The “GREY” Area

Every once in awhile, we find ourselves in this dreaded area of uncertainty surrounding the question of, “Are we dating?”

This are we or aren’t we drives me insane. While listening to friends stories (or even reflecting on my own), I just shake my head. No wonder we, as a generation, are so hesitant about commitment and have major trust issues. We barely know what we want, so how are we expected to understand someone else’s intentions?

That being said, that doesn’t make dating any easier. Technology, apps, and the Internet in general, is suppose to make our lives simpler, by giving us easy access to connect with people from all over the world. But this only makes the uncertainty and temptation that much greater.

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This “grey” area is the phase in a new relationship where you aren’t sure whether you are something exclusive or anything less. This inability to define what your relationship is puts a strain on people as they find themselves lost. The worst part about all of this is that we are too afraid or nervous to say anything. Instead, we rather live with this conflicted state of mind and hope that one day the other person will bring it up first.

While this is all occurring, the trend of “ghosting” has gotten increasingly popular. Another social norm that I wish never existed. I am all about transparency and honesty, but that isn’t always the case when emotions begin to take over the mind.

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A funny definition of “Ghosting” suggested by Urban Dictionary is “when a guy seems really into you then suddenly disappears”. Of course, this term is not targeting a certain gender, but is done by everyone. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make it any easier.

When you’re on the receiving end of being ghosted, it’s never something you can mentally prepare for. That sudden realization that what you thought was something, suddenly gone – well isn’t that just like a backhand slap to the face? All those hours spent fixated on that last text you sent…questioning whether it was too aggressive or passive? We’re putting stress on ourselves when at the end of the day the fact of the matter is you’re better than this other person and should move on to someone that appreciates you.

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On the other end, to the people that actually preform the disappearing act of ghosting…why? I mean, we have all done it, I’m not going to pretend I’m some angel. We low-key distance ourselves from that annoying date that didn’t get the hint. But why can’t we just be human and simply let them know how we honestly feel? Why drag out the process of pretending to be interested and then suddenly stop? Maybe we’re all “too nice” and rather avoid delivering bad news and hope the situation figures itself out. Yeah, good luck.

These are just some small factors to the new challenges of 21st century dating. Do I think that technology is allowing us to access and connect to people all over the world easier? 100%. Do I think it’s making my dating life any more successful? Well, that’s still up for debate.

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