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There’s Nothing Wrong With Modern Dating, You Just Suck

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modern dating, love and relationships,Toa Heftiba

You can spend all your days whining about how this guy or that girl wouldn’t let you in. You can waste your time on dating apps when you’re really not looking for something casual. You can spend all your energy on someone who ghosted you, or by chasing after something that resembles love but you know, in the back of your mind, will never amount to anything real.

You can lose out on a meaningful connection because you’re too busy running in circles around someone who isn’t interested in you for the long term, or by being angry over the hookup that never turned into a relationship because you were never clear about your intentions in the first place.

You can hate on modern dating all you want, based on the few negative relationships / flings / instances / moments you’ve had. But that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with modern dating. That means you just suck.

You suck because you’re letting a few terrible times alter your perception of the way the world dates. You suck because you’re choosing to only see the crap, rather than the possibility, the ‘maybes,’ the ‘could bes’ surrounding letting another person in. You suck because you’ve either be a participant, or a victim of the poor ways we treat each other, and instead of doing something, you’re just complaining.

The truth is, if you spend so much of your time, and energy, and love on the wrong people, you can’t sit there and blame the dating world for how your heart is broken. If you sleep with someone who you know isn’t looking for a relationship, you can’t point fingers at the opposite sex, saying they’re ‘players’ or only trying to take what they can get from you.

If you start talking to someone but don’t really show them who you are or how you’re feeling, you can’t be upset when they don’t really let you in either, or when your relationship becomes static and dry instead of blooming into something beautiful.

Sure, sometimes modern dating sucks. Sometimes the way people treat one another makes you feel like you’re never going to find someone who actually cares about the beating of your heart. Sometimes the way we date now seems so fake, so constructed through a little screen, so interrupt-driven and complicated with social media and our messy pasts and our fears over the future.

But that’s not the reality of how it is.

See, if you choose to focus on the girl who cheated on you, the guy who never took you on a real date, the relationship that consisted of nothing but physical attraction, the person who would only text and never talk on the phone, or the connection you had with someone that left you heartbroken and vulnerable, you’re never going to experience modern dating for what it can be. Which is honestly beautiful, if you give it a legitimate chance.

The truth is, for every negative experience you’ve had, there are a million other positives. It’s just hard to see them when your vision is zoomed in on parts that went wrong, on the pieces of you that were lost, or on the ways your ties with someone loosened instead of knotting together.

The truth is, there are genuine people out there. People who love to love, who want to be open, who are sensitive and caring and kind. Who want to build a bond with someone, who believe in forever, and who don’t just run at the first sign of trouble.

The truth is, there are people—both men and women—who don’t want to treat their significant others like crap, who are trustworthy and selfless, but also imperfect, and yet will do their best to create a relationship that is permanent and meaningful and real.

If you’re only focusing on the ways modern dating has fallen short in the past, you’re never going to see a good person when the stumble into your line of vision.

You’re never going to have a positive attitude going into a new relationship. You’re never going to believe in the truth someone shares with you. You’re never going to really let yourself open, or let someone in.

And you’re going to be miserable.

So maybe instead of complaining about modern dating—how we are so connected to our cell phones and social media profiles, how we are too guarded to really love, how we’re scared of commitment, how everything is so instantaneous and pleasure-driven, blah blah blah—you try to change that.

You give people eye contact. You put down your phone. You tell someone something on your heart or mind. You commit, without worrying about someone’s whereabouts all the time, and without bringing baggage from a previous relationship into this one.

You stop focusing on what you can get from someone, but what you can give. And you start treating people like the wonderful, complex creations they are, instead of objects or conquests.

How about you take some ownership of the way the dating world has changed? How about we all take some ownership? Instead of complaining, we start talking to people with respect, start going on real dates, start showing someone how we feel instead of trying to mask our emotion.

How about we all stop sucking at this and start loving without fear?

There are so many excuses you can make, so many things you can use as rationale for why modern dating is the worst. But have you taken a look at yourself? Have you been forgiving, receptive, open? Or have you let a few bad experiences cloud the way you look at anyone you meet?

Maybe it’s not really modern dating that sucks; maybe it’s you. TC mark
 


Marisa Donnelly is a poet and author of the book, Somewhere on a Highway, available here.

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