Many of you may have seen this article floating around the interwebs by now, titled “18 Ugly Truths About Modern Dating That You Have To Deal With.”
Call me an idealist, but I don’t think these ‘truths’ can be seen as universal, and our future generations would be in (more) trouble if they were.
So, here is a response to this list, written by the romantic idealist inside me. The original points are in bold below.
1. The person who cares less has all the power. Nobody wants to be the one who’s more interested.
Since when are relationships about power? To say someone has “all the power” is to say that they’re in control of both the relationship and the other person. It’s also to say that the other person doesn’t have enough self-respect to walk away from somebody who doesn’t care about them, and will follow them around trying to get their attention.
Healthy relationships are about collaboration and cooperation. A team taking on life together. What’s described here is not a healthy relationship.
2. Because we want to show how cavalier and blasé we can be to the other person, little psychological games like ‘Intentionally Take Hours Or Days To Text Back’ will happen. They aren’t fun.
Call when you want to call, text when you want to text. There should be no games or manipulation when building, again, a *healthy* relationship. Two people who genuinely are interested and want to get to know each other will have no reason to play around with the other’s feelings. Maturity plays a large role in this.
3. A person being carefree because they have zero interest in you looks exactly like a person being carefree because they think you’re amazing & are making a conscious effort to play it cool. Good luck deciphering between the two.
…What? Again, it’s a matter of maturity between the partners. If someone is really not interested in you at all, you will know. If they are, they’ll put in the effort to see you and get to know you.
If they’re not doing that, they’re not really interested.
4. Making phone calls is a dying art. Chances are, most of your relationship’s communication will happen via text, which is the most detached, impersonal form of interaction. Get familiar with those emoticon options.
While I do agree with this for the most part (I hardly ever talk to my girlfriend on the phone, it’s all via text), I think it has to be addressed that when first building a relationship or for milestones such as asking out on the first date, giving big news, or even breaking up – there is no substitute for a phone call.
I discuss calling and not texting a date invite in 8 Acts Of Chivalry To Bring Back.
5. Set plans are dead. People have options and up-to-the-minute updates on their friends (or other potential romantic interests) whereabouts thanks to texts & social media. If you aren’t the top priority, your invitation to spend time will be given a “Maybe” or “I’ll let you know” and the deciding factor(s) will be if that person has offers more fun/interesting than you on the table.
Stop it. Just…stop it. Where is this fantastically apathetic attitude towards building relationships coming from? The author is making it sound like everything is on a whim and basically if the other person has nothing better to do, I guess they’ll sort of agree to go out with you. I mean maybe. It depends kinda.
A real date will be planned between two people. See you at 7:30 on Friday night, we have reservations at 8:00. Thanks.
6. Someone who hurt you isn’t automatically going to have bad karma. At least not in the immediate future. I know it only seems fair, but sometimes people cheat and betray and move on happily while the person they left is in shambles.
This one is mostly true, except I don’t think people who cheat and betray *always* move on happily. Anyone with a sense of compassion would feel bad about what they’ve done to someone they care about.
Though I suppose if they were compassionate, they wouldn’t have done it in the first place. I discuss this more in depth in this article.
7. The only difference between your actions being romantic and creepy is how attractive the other person finds you. That’s it, that’s all.
As much as I hate to admit it…I’ve heard more than one person say this. While looks aren’t everything, there might be something to it. Can’t change human nature.
8. “Let’s chill” & “Wanna hang out?” are vague phrases that likely mean “let’s hookup” — and while you probably hate receiving them, they’re the common way to invite someone to spend time these days, and appear to be here to stay.
This one is true, but it should be noted that these don’t show any real investment by the other person to improve a relationship. If two people are casual and have a mutual understanding about their circumstances, then fine. But if you’re looking to build something long term, you’ve got to do better than that.
9. Some people just want to hookup and if you’re seeking more than sex, they won’t tell you that they’re the wrong person for you. At least, not until after they score your prize. While human decency is ideal, honesty isn’t mandatory.
If you’re not able to spot a player or someone who is just trying to use you for one thing rather than really getting to know you, maybe this will help you.
10. The text message you sent went through. If they didn’t respond, it wasn’t because of malfunctioning phone carrier services.
This is true. It’s 2014 and everyone is attached to their phones, telling someone you “didn’t get their text” is a cop-out. If you don’t hear back after a couple of texts, don’t push the envelope by sending more. It will do more bad than good.
11. So many people are scared of commitment and being official that they’ll remain in a label-free relationship, which blurs lines and only works until it doesn’t. I’ve said it many times before, I’ll say it again – “we’re just talking” is opening the door for cheating that technically wasn’t cheating because, hey, you weren’t together together.
There is truth to this one if, again, you’re not working on building a mature and healthy relationship. This article seems to be perpetuating the anti-commitment hookup culture and it’s really only talking about people who aren’t secure enough in what they want to define it.
12. Social media creates new temptations and opportunities to cheat. The private messaging and options for subtle flirtation (e.g. liking of pictures) aren’t an excuse or validation for cheating, but they certainly increase the chances of it happening.
Ohhhh here we go. I’ve heard so many things about how “Facebook” is now being listed on something like 30% of divorce reasons? As if people never cheated or got divorced before Facebook and social media…
We are surrounded by temptation all day, every day. People who will cheat will find a way to do it without social media, and people who won’t cheat…won’t cheat, period. Blaming social media is a flimsy excuse for not having self-control.
13. Social media can also create the illusion of having options, which leads to people looking at Facebook as an attractive people menu instead of a means of keeping contact with friends & family.
Social media is a viable way to meet new people, I don’t care what anyone says. I’ve made some great friends just through mutual interests or connections online. Facebook is actually the catalyst for how my girlfriend and I ended up re-connecting after 5 years (remind me to tell you the story sometime, it’s a good one).
To call it a “people menu” is to cheapen and creepify (I just made that up) the idea of meeting new people. What would you have if you only talked to the people you already know? A boring life, that’s what.
14. You aren’t likely to see much of someone’s genuine, unfiltered self until you’re in an actual relationship with him or her. Generally people are scared that sincerely putting themselves out there will result in finding out that they’re too available, too anxious, too nerdy, too nice, too safe, too boring, not funny enough, not pretty enough, not some other person enough to be embraced.
Oh so everyone in a relationship is just living a lie and putting on a facade to make themselves seem like what the other person wants, and is not being genuine?
The cynical immaturity is strong with this one.
15. Any person you get romantically involved with you’ll either wind up staying with forever or breaking up with them at some point. These are equally terrifying concepts.
GAH. WHAT? Let me tell you something – if you break up with someone, then it wasn’t meant to last and you’re free to build something new with somebody who is better suited for you. I wouldn’t call this “terrifying,” but instead a silver lining to a temporary emotional slump that comes along with a break-up.
And if it’s terrifying to be with someone forever, then you’re with the wrong person. Sorry.
16. When dating, instead of expressing how they feel directly to you, a person is more likely to post a Facebook status or Instagram a Tumblr-esque photo of a sunset with a quote or song lyric of someone else’s words on it, and while it may not mention your name, it’s blatantly directed at you.
If they’re like, 16, then yes.
17. There are plenty of people who’ll have zero respect for your relationship and if they want the person you’re with, they’ll have no qualms with trying to overstep boundaries to get to ‘em. Girl code and guy code are wishful thinking and human code isn’t embedded in everyone.
I don’t know what kinds of friends this author has, but it sounds like they need some new ones.
18. If you get dumped, it’s probably going to be pretty brutal. People can cut ties over the phone and avoid seeing the tears stream down your face or end things via text and avoid hearing the pain in your cracking voice and sniffling nose. Send a lengthy text and voilà, relationship over. The easy way out is far from the most considerate.
Everyone deals with things in their own way. There is no predicting how someone will break up with you, if they’re going to. Some will be more direct about it and some will try to avoid the issue altogether and just take the easy way out. It’s never an easy situation regardless of what side you’re on.
If you care about the person but it’s just not going to work, then it’s devastating to actually do the breaking up. If you’re on the receiving end and it’s not your choice, then it’s devastating to be broken up with. It’s a hard situation, and everyone will approach it differently. Again, the situation the author describes here is chock-full-o’-immaturity.
Most of the points described in the original article, sound to me, like one or both partners building this so-called relationship just aren’t ready for something serious. They’re not mature enough to live their life alongside another person and they’re definitely not mature enough to be up front and honest with the person they’re supposed to be caring about. It sounds a lot like one, or both partners are settling for less than they deserve – which you should never do.
The reason I created the New Chivalry Movement is to combat the perpetuation of nonsense like this. Stop accepting it. Stop making it normal. Stop thinking it’s the only way things can be.
You deserve better.
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