This is Real Stories - a blog by Let's Be Real members about their experiences with relationships, dating, and more. LBR is a movement by young people for young people about relationships.
In today’s world, with the array of dating apps and social media platforms, it is pretty easy to meet new people. The act of dating has transformed because a lot of the process is taking place through a screen instead of face-to-face. It seems like people are more comfortable striking up a conversation making it much easier to find a romantic connection.
With that said, this new style of dating can also become exhausting. Re-reading text messages to figure out what your crush really meant and counting how many of your Instagram posts they liked or Snapchat stories they watched to decipher whether they are interested or not is a lot of work. It’s like having a full time job!
In terms of the beginning of a relationship, we now sit around and wait for that special someone to text us back. There’s always the excuse of being busy or being bad with our phones, but at the end of the day, we know that everyone has their phones glued to their hips. So we let our minds wander to bad places. “Why aren’t they answering?” “Does this mean they don’t like me?” “Is it okay for me to text them again?” We read into every emoji, character, and punctuation that we receive, with no indication of their actual tone or intentions. While sitting around examining these messages over and over again, we eventually have to come to terms with the fact that we may be waiting for a text message that will never come. Ghosting someone, the act of not answering a person’s messages with the intention of ending a relationship without having to actually break up with someone, has become so common that it is almost acceptable. Imagine if you were on a date and your partner just stopped talking in the middle of your dinner and walked out without saying anything. That would be completely unacceptable and yet, is the old-fashioned equivalent to the act of ghosting someone.
While discussing this with a friend, they said that with social media involved, they don’t even know what it means to be in a real relationship. If you don’t post a picture of you and your significant other on Instagram, is your relationship actually official? If you don’t change your relationship status on Facebook, is it really dating? These are the types of questions we find necessary to ask ourselves about dating and defining the relationship. Romance - the kind we read about in books, see in the movies, or hear about from parents - seems to be dying out to the point where getting a call from someone you are interested in or being asked out on an "official" date is a thing of the past. If things keep going the way they currently are, maybe one day dates will just be people sitting in their own homes, having their own dinners, and texting each other while they do so. Probably an exaggeration, but it does make you think!
In order to release some of the hold that social media has over our romantic lives, I have a challenge for you. The next time you’re crushing on that special someone, or even planning a nice date for your significant other, try the old-fashioned route. Give your crush a call asking them out, avoiding subtext of emojis and DM's to keep the relationship as simple as possible. On the date, turn your phones off, forget about posting on social media, and have a night of uninterrupted conversation. Remember, sharing your love online is awesome and fun, but a relationship is not defined by how often it can be seen through the lens of others, but by the quality time you spend together. It's a chance to have real conversations and get to know one another on a deeper level, and that's how healthy relationships truly grow!
This blog was written by Meghan G., a Break the Cycle intern.