How Technology Swiped All The Fun Out Of Dating


Right now, my right hip, lower back and left shoulder hurt. My crow’s feet have grown arms and legs. I am the oldest person in the Snowbird Café. I have fewer years ahead of me than behind. I forgot your name.

Mid-life rules!

Recent conversations with Millennials and 30-somethings have made me feel even better about my age and lucky to have spent my Millennial dating years pre-internet, well before the current awfulness of online “hooking-up”.

While technology has made dating easier, it’s actually made it harder.

I work and play tennis with loads of adorable, amazing younger women, most of them single. I ask why. Not that there is anything wrong with being single. I am just curious. To a smart, successful Google girl with a wicked slice I ask, “I would think you could walk into a bar, raise your hand, and walk out with any guy in there” to which she replies, “ha, hardly, everyone in bars these days is either coupled up or glued to their phone, scrolling through dating apps. It sucks.”

I hear versions of this story all the time. Another young woman who works in advertising groaned: “I miss the days before everyone was on Tinder, where you could meet a guy and have a drunken make-out session in a dark corner of the Kozy Kar. Never happens anymore.”

She went on to explain that even when she has had decent Tinder or Match dates, instead of the intoxicating flurry of post-date texts, there often is silence, because he’s home swiping to see who else is out there. And there is always someone else out there. There are millions.

I probably know more single women of “a certain age” than I do married, and I get that this issue is not confined to millennials alone. But at least we know what the pre-Tinder days were like and got to experience dating in the real world in all of it’s gory glory. Got to wait by the phone. Got to rejoice at the red blinking answering machine light that signaled a message – hopefully from that guy from the Oasis. Got to dance and talk and make-out and be present without checking Facebook or messenger or our Instagram feed. Got to really feel live music dodging arms armed with phones blocking the view. And got to break-up or get dumped with a bit of dignity, instead of being forced to relive it all on our social accounts, taking a stroll through digital memory lane, only to find him sharing selfies with the new girlfriend, hiking on Mt. Tam far too soon after we ended.

Hopefully, single men in our age range also remember the magic of romance out in the wild, versus in a phone. And yet, I do know many recently 50-something men who now have access to thousands of women, and unfortunately won’t swipe on anybody over thirty. As if.

We talk about Millennials being the entitled generation (and many are). I really think they should be entitled to an old-school romance, warts and all. That’s something we had, and for which I feel grateful.

For more of our musings about how we give Father Time the finger, please visit us at Blankstareblink.

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

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