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New Dating Trends We Hate

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Image via Bustle

By Rachel Fogletto

Every time you turn around there seems to be a new and terrifying dating trend that poses a brand new risk to the modern single person’s psyche. The real bad news is that none of this is actually new at all, and people have been treating each other shittily once they learned they were capable of lying.

At this point, we’ve probably all heard of ghosting. But now dishonesty is literally the only common factor in all of these “trends”, and it’s far from unusual. Sometimes it’s just easier to think that our intimacy issues make us uniquely neurotic, which is why we need to ditch the Tinder-generation related hysteria, and just accept that all people can be toxic, including ourselves.

Take breadcrumbing for instance, which is basically sending the same sext to 5 people in hopes that you can lure enough interested parties that you’ll eventually score. I mastered that shit in the days of AOL instant messenger. Top that off with an aloof song lyric for your fake “away” message when you’re not really away. There I’d have an easy recipe for dick city, population me. If you were baffled by my ancient reference to the days of AIM which I guess may as well be days of yore, that’s nothing. Imagine how easy it was to keep multiple flirtations a secret when there weren’t hundreds of social media sites that could easily give you away by tagged location or a heart reaction to your profile photo.

Then there’s cushioning …which is flirting with one or more people on the side for insurance in case your main relationship falls through. This is basically a watered-down version of benching. 

I guess it makes sense to keep the furniture theme going.

You don’t even need to be conscious to do this, so you certainly don’t need all the bells and whistles of modern technology. Cheating literally cannot happen without first engaging in this behavior, and we all know how long that’s been around.

All of these have one thing in common, and it’s the pattern of misleading behavior or sometimes blatant dishonesty. Most people are self-serving and will do what’s best for them, especially in the beginning stages of getting to know someone romantically. This is because as adults, most of us have already made the elementary mistakes of falling too hard for a new romantic interest in our teens or early 20’s. To a degree, these behaviors aren’t really insane or sociopathic, they’re simply emotional survival strategies.

On the flip side, if you find yourself to be the person who is always on the receiving end of these dating behaviors, consider that it’s because you are actually being dishonest in another way. Are you expecting behaviors out of a person you’ve gone on three dates with that you have not actually performed yourself? For instance, have you ever not responded to a text right away if the person sending it didn’t mean that much to you? Have you ever had a romantic partner get upset with you for doing or not doing something you had no idea was hurting them? Chances are you have.

In fact, chances are that when you’re getting benched by some dude or chick who is trying to see if they can get with the person they really want, you’re probably doing one of these to someone else. How many times have you been out drinking with a friend, listening to her vent about a guy who ghosted her as she swipes through potential Bumble Matches? The cycle of misleading and wall building is able to continue because we are all contributing to the biggest act of dishonesty of all, which is expecting someone we hardly know to be a better person than we are.

Again, think of how many times you or someone you know has said, “yeah but I would think they would tell me if…” about a person they just started seeing. This assumption of disclosure could be anything ranging from that they’re in a serious relationship with someone or maybe that they’re only looking for sex and may never call you again. Really, why would you think that?

Would they really tell you? Image via this site

Because it’s something that is important to you is not the logical answer.

You could just as easily date a person who would be horrified to find out you have a history of bankruptcy or be judgy about how many partners you’ve had, or by something else you don’t think is necessary to tell them.  If every human on the planet held the exact same values there would be no fighting and no wars. Unfortunately, there’d probably be no fucking either because no one would be interesting. So since we must exist in the world of fluid morality, how do we find a person who most closely matches ours?

Maybe we stop expecting everyone we meet will care about us. This doesn’t mean lower your expectations. On the contrary, it means celebrating them. If someone isn’t giving you what you need after one or two dates, consider that you probably aren’t doing it for them either, so in a weird way it’s kind of mutual. If you stay in contact out of boredom, sex, or even entertainment, that’s totally cool, as long as you’re not staying out of hopes that they will change.

Maybe the next insane new dating trend can be ridiculously blunt honesty.

That is where everyone would just come to the table with their most brutal realities, and the insanity would result from people literally not knowing how to navigate transparency.  Maybe we could call it “Apple Updating” because you’re getting all of the information but in order for it to work, you’re probably going to have to delete some storage. Personal status updates would always be available. Like, “There’s a new version of me available that is starting to fall in love with this other person I met after we started talking, but if it doesn’t  work out with them I’ll totally still bang you but not text as much. Would you like to download it?”  or “You know how we didn’t use condoms the last time we had sex? I’m not so much worried that you’re sleeping with someone else, but that you could love another person after we’ve been so close.”

In order to move forward we would have to delete old and problematic information we’ve been hanging onto that we no longer need. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who has a bunch of drunk selfie bursts I could stand to get rid of.

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