BBC historian Lucy Worsley recently rocked boats when she declared romance was dead thanks to dating apps. More and more people are using smart phones to hook up. A possible swipe to the right depends on superficial looks and a clever tagline. Actually, neither have to be authentic to get a first date. No worries about the second date because that isn’t happening. Most likely bored singles are looking for diversion in their busy lives, not relationships, and definitely not romance.
Romance is complex and often takes time. An initial interested glance encountered at the coffee shop or at work results in follow-up events. These incidents can be as simple as a hello or a smile. Eventually, an invitation is offered after weighing the pro and cons of doing so. If the date goes well, there is a second one, and the gradual road to getting to know one another. A few of us are old enough to remember the excitement of a growing flirtation, the specialness of a date request, even the importance of the first kiss.
With applications such as Tinder, people are little more than interchangeable units. There is no specialness when there seems to be an unending supply of people to pick from. In the end, some people showcase better than others, which only proves they’ve mastered smoke and mirror manipulation. It doesn’t really matter if the person isn’t single, a jet pilot, or former Olympian since he or she has no plans to stay around long enough for it to matter.
This type of throwaway dating is destined to cause bitterness. It is no wonder that other apps have shown up to allow people to rate their dates. The forthcoming Peeple app allows people to report on dates, sexual performance, bosses, and restaurant servers. Someone in a funk could lambast an ex, his or her boss, and the barista at the local coffee shop. While it is supposed to improve service in the service area, it will eventually bully or humiliate people.
So why is romance dying a swift death? It could be that people always assume what is new is better. Fast food wowed people with convenience but worsened the health of the consumers. Smart phones are not only contributing to the lack of memory skills but are taking people out of the moment. A recent photo at a popular movie premiere illustrated that fact with everyone either staring at their phones or attempting to take pictures for future viewing. Only one lone woman seemed content to be in the now.
Is romance dead? Sadly, it may be for twenty-something adults who had cell phones before they could even drive. Dating is about getting to know someone. You date until you realize you wouldn’t work as a couple. Most people can do this by crawling through each other’s social media.
Traditionalists will still meet for drinks, make plans for dates, and answer the phone when called. Others will only read tweets replying when they feel like it. For some people, romance didn’t die because it never even existed.
Want a copy of the first Dating After Forty-Eight book for .99 or win $40 Amazon GC? Click here to find out more