I am glad I am not single or still dating in this day and age.
I recall when I was younger and how hard it was navigating the dating scene. The initial attraction when you meet someone and then the wondering if this person is the one. The trying to figure out if you are being lied to and how sincere a person is. Trying to read between the lines to see if the person is truly on the same page with you.
I used to get anxiety attacks, wondering if I would one day just end up with a psycho. Because it is so hard to know who a person is; as most people are adept at hiding and if we know anything about marriage is that it is very difficult to hide inside a marriage.
My insurance then was really keeping myself. And by that, I mean not sleeping with anyone while dating. I was determined, first of all, for religious reasons to maintain my virginity till I got married. Then it was also because I felt that having sexual relations with any man would complicate things for me.
I could not imagine sharing myself with a man that feels nothing for me. I would feel like a vital part of me had been stolen. Feel free to question why I felt this way. Sex in my time was something a woman gave to a man and it made her less of who she was, unless she was married to the man.
I realize that there are many problematic things about this thinking. But on the whole, I think it helped me be less warped while navigating the clogged up trenches of relationships. It was easier for me to see clearly and walk away when this sort of intimacy was reserved. It was easy separating the chaff from the grain.
Believe it or not, sex complicates things in dating.
I had no energy to deal with pregnancy scares and unhealthy attachments. And because sex is something a woman gives a man even if her pleasure is not guaranteed; withholding this gave me a healthy dose of self-confidence.
If I thought dating in the 90s and 2000s was difficult; I had no idea what social media was bringing to the world. And I am so glad that social media met me as an adult. I recall joining Twitter and Facebook after I had gotten married.
A younger friend told me that after he broke up with his girlfriend; he deleted all her nudes and communication. He said it was only fair.
A realization hit me like lightning.
I had no idea what current etiquette was like on this subject matter.
In my time, pictures were organized with a photographer and so nudes were not an easy occurrence; till probably when those little digital cameras became popular. But even at that, how were they going to distribute nudes? Would they print it and photocopy it? How cumbersome revenge porn would have been.
But now, everything has changed. Sending nudes apparently is a given in most relationships. The ease with which it happens is another thing. We are long past the grainy photo stage of camera phones of the mid-2000s. Or the impossibility of multimedia messages.
A nude is just a second away from a person a thousand miles away.
There is also the matter of if to make a relationship visible on social media or not. Would I demand a guy that claims he loves me to post it and declare it on his timeline? Can I trust that his claims of privacy are real and are not just a way to play different women; while keeping his timeline clean so he can do that?
In this day of Instagram models and women seeming to have conquered how to present themselves perfectly; how would I have coped if I was in today’s generation of young people? Would I cave into the pressure to become a trap queen because being simple and off social media makes me a social pariah?
With the ease of hook ups, would I be paranoid over my partner’s possible secret communications? Checking DMs and chats and SMS and getting worked up all the time. How do younger people find themselves to love in a world so connected; that everything is a mishmash of twines and weeds, navigating seems impossible?
I find the younger generation more cynical about love than I was at their age. I find more and more do not want to marry. They want kids and do not mind having baby mamas and baby daddies. But the commitment is something they consciously run away from.
I don’t envy our kids.
There is no road map I can give them that is relevant to their time. All my knowledge is obsolete. It is a new jungle they have to hack away at to make an in road for themselves. I do not envy them.
It is official.
I am old.
I genuinely think things were simpler back in the day.
Stay safe, people. COVID-19 hasn’t gone away. People are still dying.
Sanitize/wash your hands.
Do not listen to conspiracy theories.
Don’t allow misinformation kill you.