Romance in the Post-Romance Age
I might be an 80 year old grandma trapped in a 19 year old’s body. Help me.
By Mallory Arnold, Ohio University
I grew up with the inclination that even if they were a little dirty and gross, boys were basically innately good inside—except that time Trey Hoffman ate a worm for a dollar: I thought that was pretty cool.
The rules were simple. If he liked you, he chased you on the playground, IMed you twice a week and then almost never spoke to you.
As an overall-wearing, koala obsessed kid, I could handle boys. I thought I was okay with how the rules of “dating” were when I was little because I knew when I grew up, it would be different.
I guess I thought you hit a certain age and suddenly you looked exactly like your mom and a dad appeared right next to you with a *poof*. But as I got older dating just became harder than those insanely large, dusty jawbreakers the Hobby Shop would sell for a nickel. (Those were bomb. Where’d those go? Someone should really look into that.)
OK—I was a dreamy kinda child, alright? Don’t judge me. I know you tried to eat dirt at one point in your life.
But I quickly found out that’s not how life works at all nowadays.
I met my first boyfriend on Facebook. He was insanely creepy, stalker-ish and invaded my personal privacy right away. (Swoon.)
He sent me a message asking what was up, and I had to cautiously reply online that all was well. Somehow that snowballed into months of chatting and eventually becoming best friends before a relationship blossomed.
Even though I don’t regret dating him for even a minute, that’s not how I expected to begin my adventure in love. My hopeless romantic of a grandma would have heard that story and smacked me with a rolled up Harley Digest magazine. Yeah, Grammy is a badass. But in all seriousness, that’s not how people are supposed to meet. Eharmony, match.com, Jdate—it’s just not the kind of thing I watched in my disney films growing up. Can you imagine Cinderella logging into her PlentyofFish account?
Or the worser evil- (I don’t even wanna say it aloud)… gulp. Tinder.
Tinder okay? I said it. The app that singlehandedly created some of the most ignorant, arrogant, selfie-smooching people we know. The idea of scanning through hundreds of pictures and “approving” or “disapproving” of whether or not you’d like to sleep with them is just barbaric. What some people do after swiping right is even more so.
Before a swarm of angry feminists with clubs made of organic chia latte tea leaves bursts into my room and starts beating me in front of my Johnny Cash poster, I’ll throw a white flag in the air.
I’m all about freedom of sexuality. Anyone can sleep with anyone. Go for it, you crazy love birds. Wake up in whoever’s bed in whoever’s t-shirt with however many people. But don’t drag yourself home and immediately go to your social media tweeting “Where are all the good guys? #lonely #foreveralone.”
Because what you’re doing, isn’t dating. And while it may be fine if you’re not looking for anything intense, it’s not the way to find a partner. But by all means, keep scrolling through Tinder while listening to Celine Dion’s “All by Myself.”
I’ve been trying to figure out what changed here. In my opinion, somewhere along the timeline of drive-in movie dates and shared sundaes, something went askew. Boys used to call girls up on the phone, nervously asking her father if they could take his daughter out at seven o’clock next Friday.
He’d come to the door and knock, maybe holding a collection of flowers in one quivering hand. With a nervous grin he’d shake her father’s hand. Maybe the boy would take his date to a dinner and then the drive-in movies. Possibly mini golf.
He’d say things like “Gee you look pretty.” Or “Wow you look beautiful.” They’d drive home by ten, and he’d walk her to the door. Depending on how the night went, he might kiss her goodnight.
Fast forward to today; the scenario is a little shorter.
Boy texts girl: “Hey what’s up.”
Girl replies: “Nothing.”
“Wanna Netflix and chill?”
WHICH, BY THE WAY, DOES NOT MEAN ACTUALLY SITTING AND ENJOYING THAT WONDEROUS INVENTION CALLED NETFLIX.
I’m the type of person who wants to sit down and actually enjoy a movie, making comments throughout and maybe throwing popcorn at the screen when the main character does something stupid. (“Jack don’t let go!” Rose give him some room on the f*cking door!”) I’m serious. It’s a proven theory.
But somehow our dating world has skipped every amazing, lovely and romantic stage to skip to hooking up.
It used to be that sleeping with someone meant that things were serious. In our current time, going on a dinner date—now that’s pretty freaking serious. What, are you guys getting married or something? Like, chill out…
Maybe we’re like this because society has given us so much technology to connect, that we’re so disconnected and thus desperate for physical interaction. While you’re scrolling through that dating app, there’s a cute boy sitting across the dining hall wearing your favorite band’s shirt.
I am an 80 year old grandma living in a 19 year old’s body.
Because once upon a time a boy asked if I wanted to go out on a date, but instead brought me into his crappy dorm room and tried to make-out with me. After I shoved him away he called me a tease, asking what I thought we were gonna be doing.
“I kinda assumed we were going on a date. Like a dinner and a movie or a walk or-”
“What are you? 80 f*cking years old? I’m 20 for christsakes, get out.”
It’s simply my personal preference to stay off Tinder and social media sites that encourage online “dating.” So I wander around in my little dating world, meeting those rare boys who buy me flowers and let me drag them to mini golf once in a while.
Not gonna lie, today’s generation is awesome, because there’s less judgment and more freedom in relationships. So make as many “walk of shames” or “struts of pride” as you want, but you gotta admit: The walk would be a lot less lonely with a boy holding your hand.
Maybe you should ditch Tinder and listen to this grandma.