Dating in the 21st Century

By Amari D. Pollard

Dating. What does it even mean to date in 2015? Are we dating if I’m “talking” to you? Are we dating if I’m “seeing” you on a regular basis? Are we dating if we’ve gone on a couple of dates? More importantly, is dating even a thing anymore?

As a side effect of reading too many fictional love stories and watching too much television, I was always under the impression that dating meant courting, which meant working towards something called a relationship. But can that be true today when that would suggest some type of commitment (no matter how small) and committing is not something we really do nowadays. I mean, what’s the sense of committing to one person when there are so many more options out there—especially when they’re so accessible at the flick of a finger on things like Tinder and

Even when we do choose to commit, we have one eye on the person beside us and the other wandering behind the one passing by. We want the security of knowing someone is always there, but we also want to know we have the freedom to leave whenever we choose; to have the ability to chase whoever is able to give us satisfaction in that moment.

So, we move from one person to the next, searching for that person who can entertain us in some way that the other wasn’t able to. We stay for a little while until our curiosity and intrigue is quenched, and the boredom starts to settle in. And we justify leaving bits of ourselves here and there because monogamy is stupid, it’s not natural, it goes against the animalistic desire within us that we try to conceal.

And then people are left wondering why they can’t find that person to commit to or who wants to commit to them. It’s because the institution of adoration isn’t as widely believed in as it was before. So there’s no point in leaving yourself out there vulnerable, asking for something that no one seems willing to give you.

(However I am very aware this is not the case for everyone, and many people still believe in the idea of dating, relationships and marriage.)

But hey, we’re young; this is the time to explore and see what’s out there. Why try to add someone to the equation when you’re still trying to figure yourself out and grow as a person. The only thing is, you never stop trying to figure out who you are or stop growing as a person. So when exactly is the right time to take that step?

Well, that’s distinctive to each individual. I guess you just wait until you’re ready and you find the person that makes you want to grow with someone.

I think so many people somewhat reject the idea of commitment because they have the tendency to associate it with forever, and we all know forever is a very, very scary concept to wrap our heads around. But remember, you’re not signing a paper or saying any vows when you decide to date someone. You just commit to them in that moment because that’s all you can do—you commit to getting to know them, to actually talking to them instead of texting them, to enjoying the now.

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