FWB

Dating Conundrums as Told By a Modern Millennial

Dating has never been easy for any generation. There's been prearranged marriages that end up in tragic "Romeo and Juliet" type situations. There's been the chaperoned, "father approved" dates, so that women would be married by 17, and there was the "met in the bar, turned out he was a looney" kind of date. However, dating in the Millennial generation is increasingly difficult. 

We have developed a society thats mentality has made swiping equivalent to flirting. When you see someone, you swipe right and somehow become a "stud," and when you swipe left you become some kind of "hard to get player." Sex is no longer something between two people that love one another, instead it's labelled as hooking up or friends with benefits (FWB). Dates, if you find someone serious enough to commit to a date, consist of Netflix and pizza, if you're lucky. 

Many a person from the older generations simply don't get it. Why aren't Millennials committing to serious relationships? I don't think we much understand either. Speaking from a female perspective, there is something to be said about the lack of love between people. Perhaps it's the spike in mental illness within our generation that makes it difficult for us to commit to one another? Maybe we're all just trying to be edgy and defy sociatal norms? Possibly we're all just happier with our dogs? 

I personally think that we have a tremendous fear of rejection. The Gen Xers over compensated for their lack of parenting when they were children and started to make sure the Millennial generations had everything our spoiled hearts desired. They avoided saying no, we won prizes we didn't deserve so no one felt left out, and there was no feeling of rejection in our sheltered lives. Thus leaving in a mentality of "everything will work out for me because my mom says so." When we started facing rejection in real life with dating, we hid behind our screens, and the good people of online dating recognized this. They created a world where you can meet people and not be rejected, at least until you're in person that is. Which leads to the lack of commitment. I think we're too afraid to hear, "No. I'm not interested."

Whatever the real reason is, finding a "soul mate" seems to be next to impossible. How can one tell if the other is committed or if the connection is just leading to another nonchalant hookup? Most dates now consist of two people who met online so it's impossible to know what you're really getting into.

Navigating online dating is even worse! As a female there is a constant worry of jerks, creeps, perverts, or all of the above. And because you've never met whomever you're going on a date with in person, there's always a chance their real life personality is completely different than their online personality. Or the even worse case of being catfished.

The other tricky thing about dating in this generation is that everyone seems to be offended by everything. Just the other day I was out busking, and I had moved my scarf up around my head to keep my ears warm, because being the doofus I am I forgot to bring a hat, and some random called me Islamophobic scum. I'm not Islamophobic, I'm just keeping my head warm! I mean, I'm pretty sure "scarf wrapped around head" was a trend in the 50s when girls rode passenger side in their boyfriend's new Cadillac. 

How do I find someone to spend a good chunk of my time with when I can't even talk because any political views I have will be "disagreeable and offensive"?  I could say something like "9/11 was bad." Nope. That's Islamophobic. "Oh cool! An LGBT group," but I forgot to add the rest of the alphabet at the end so I must be homophobic too. I could open a door for a paraplegic, and that would be ableist because "they can do those things on their own." Well, heck yeah they can, but can't I be nice and open the door like I would for any other person? 

I don't want to spend a couple hours with a social justice warrior, which seems to be the vast majority, who spends Canada Day 150 protesting how we abused the Chinese Immigrants 100 years ago. (This actually happened to me by the way.) We can protest that tomorrow because it was a real terrible thing for us to do, but can't I just drink a Canadian beer and be happy for today without you saying I'm part of the problem?

We're stuck. We have a choice between social justice warriors or meninists. And to be honest, I'm not sure which is worse at this point.  

So what's the solution? Well, we could just all give up on online dating and meet other people the good old-fashioned ways of bars and bookstores. I think most people would agree, however, that those "traditional" ways come with their own disadvantages. To go even more traditional would mean chaperoned dates and prearranged marriages which no one would enjoy. 

For this generation to be able to date with confidence, however, would mean getting over our fear of hearing "No." Which seems next to impossible because most of us Millennials are pretty full of ourselves. 

We have to push past the justice warrior mentality and not be offended by everything. The world is not a "safe space." You can be a good person without thinking everything is socially unacceptable.

There probably never is going to be a definite solution to the nightmares of dating. Maybe dating will just always be flawed and difficult. Chances are the creeps, pervs, and jerks won't ever disappear. We'll always have social justice warriors. We'll never want to deal with rejection. The best we can do is just hope that we all have a soul mate or two out there waiting, and we just have to keep swiping in order to find them. 

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