THE LATEST THINKING
The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.
On the painful reality of dating amidst modern hookup culture.
In an age when we are more connected than ever before, we deal with disconnecting from others dispassionately. The logical continuation of the sexual revolution is modern "hookup culture."
For most young Americans today, sex is completely divorced from the idea of marriage; It can be gotten easily without needing to say your vows. It can even be had without entering a long term relationship. One needn’t even go out into the world and face the challenge of approaching strangers who may or may not turn into sexual partners.
With dating apps like Tinder and Bumble extremely popular among young Americans, sex is cheap and people are tossed aside for even the most trivial reasons.
Women on these apps are flooded with messages from the men they match with, equipping them with an abundance mentality. In this worldview, individuals are not celebrated for what makes them unique, but rather held in comparison with the elusive "perfect" person who seems obtainable given the enormous range of options people are exposed to with extreme convenience.
So why end a short love affair amicably? Why explain to your recent partner why you’ve decided to move on?
Anyone who’s participated in the predominantly sex-based dating scene today has probably been "ghosted."
This is when the person you’re seeing (or think you’re seeing) chooses to avoid responding to your messages or calls with no explanation. Assuming a face-to-face explanation is out of the question, a few options exist to part ways with your short term partner:
-A direct an honest explanation: e.g. "I think I can do better," or "you smell like a horse."
-A dishonest, avoidant explanation: e.g. "I’m going through some weird stuff right now," or "I’m too busy for a relationship."
-Putting off explanation, without cutting off contact: e.g. "I’m going to be busy for a while, maybe in a few weeks!" or "haha see you soon I hope!"
-Or finally, ghosting: e.g. “.........”
Among these four painful options, which would you want done to you?
You might hope for the delayed explanation, but only because you think you might still have a chance. If it is indeed over and time to move on, you would be best served by learning the truth.
Maybe you really do smell like horses, and after hearing the hard truth you switch shampoos and are better off for it. When an explanation is given, whether truthful or not, you are put in the best situation to move on, simply because you know it’s over.
So given that nobody would choose to be ghosted, why is it so common? Why don’t we do unto others as we would have done unto ourselves?
Perhaps because it is simply the easiest option, or because in today’s sexual climate you don’t need to treat others with dignity. Time will tell what this effect this shallow trend will have upon the emotional health of the younger generations.