Dating in college has never been easy — that much I know is true. But, ask any current female college student and she could probably talk relationship woes for hours.
I want to believe there is hope for us, but I have to be honest: We have some serious work to do. Between the shifts in “relationships” (if we can still call them that), to how we're gradually losing respect for the opposite sex, at this rate, dating is doomed. Here's why:
The Hook-up Culture
Our generation has embraced the “hook-up culture.” Casual sex has been occurring for decades — everyone's been doing it for years. The problem is that we, as a generation, have become so reliant on “hooking up” that we rarely make a more intimate and emotional connection with one another. It has become all about sex. It's the lack of actual courtship — giving out your phone number, making plans, dinner and a movie, meeting the parents, etc. — that will be our downfall.
Young, single ladies nowadays are often wrongfully stereotyped as being “too emotional,” “crazy” or “desperate” for wanting to strike a deeper connection. Men seem to think that all women do is pine over them. Apparently, we have sleepovers, sit around with our other single girlfriends and devise plans to manipulate our respective men into becoming official; in fact, it’s generally quite the opposite.
We're busy building our empires and figuring out how to achieve our own goals, too. But is it really so terrible to want to have someone with whom to share our success? Our hopes, dreams and future? It shouldn’t be.
The male idea of “what women actually want” needs to be revisited. Women are more than capable of having a casual sexual relationship. It’s the lack of discussion and influx of mixed signals that confuse many of us. One day you’re into it, the next day you’re not; it’s enough to make any sane woman feel nuts. While discussing the direction of your relationship can be scary, it’s the only way to assure that both of you are on the same page, keeping expectations controllable.
In “The Notebook,” Noah wrote Allie 365 love letters, one for every single day they were apart… I'm just trying to get a guy to answer my text messages. We have become so dependent on technology to communicate with each other that emoji pictures convey actual emotions, less than 3 (<3) has become synonymous with “I Love You,” and there are rules about how and when to respond to a text.
Enough is enough! If you want to talk to someone, go for it! If you're feeling really into someone, give him or her a call! So much is misconstrued from text messaging. Too many of us have spent hours analyzing a single text. Do yourself a favor and have an actual conversation — nothing holds more power.
Feelings — Don't Catch 'Em!
When did “emotionally unavailable” become a thing? Our generation is so afraid of commitment, interpreting it as the be-all, end-all in life. We're afraid of allowing ourselves to actually like someone, but why? It all comes down to the “whoever cares less wins” dynamic on which we now base too many of our relationships. The problem is, no one is benefitting! No one enjoys playing games, but we're all trying so hard not to care. Ultimately, no one wins.
Another phenomenon is who holds the power in the relationship. This stems directly from the “whoever cares less wins” dynamic, as well. We too often forget that while we struggle for the power, we disrespect each other. Someone drafted an unspoken rule that by ignoring each other and waiting for the other person to make the move, communicating as vaguely as possible and having a lack of official commitment, you become powerful.
In reality, this just makes you out to be an assh*le. It encourages people to be disconnected. Acting unaffected doesn’t give you power, it just puts up a wall. This wall holds us back and doesn't make us look cool — only lonely.
It's time for women to stand up for themselves and demand the respect they deserve. Stop settling for jerks who act like they don't care — because they probably don't.
There are plenty of worthy guys out there and we just have to start being more honest and open. We need to stop playing mind games. If you want to talk to someone, do it. If you want more from your partner, speak up. If you’re unhappy, fix it. If we keep falling into the same routines, dating is destined to be a thing of the past.
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