We can all pretty much agree that the world has gone to shit. Like, in so many ways, really. Too many to list here, for sure. I'm not even going to try. But I am just going to come right out and say that one of the ways that the world is going to shit is that romance is DEAD. Yeah, romance and love and dating and courtship and everything that we all know to be pure magic about this world are over and gone and we can all blame technology but, also, we can thank the New York Times for writing a trend piece about it. Because, does a trend even exist if the Times doesn't cover it? I mean, the trends the Times reports on certainly don't seem to exist before the Times writes about them, so who knows?
But so anyway, Alex Williams wrote a piece for the Times called "The End of Courtship?" which expresses concern over the fact that no one ever seems to date anymore, thus leading to a lonely life of reality television and dinner with platonic friends. And, really, dinner with friends? That sounds absolutely terrible.
So, what is to blame for the end of courtship? Well, partially to blame is the show "Girls," which, sure. But also to blame is the "rise of the 'hookup culture' among young people, characterized by spontaneous, commitment-free (and often, alcohol-fueled) romantic flings." Yes, that's right. "Hookup culture" and online dating and, of course, "Girls," have all contributed to such horrible romantic encounters as the following one, experienced by a 25-year-old woman named Lindsay who went to a bar one night and "exchanged flirtatious glances with a bouncer." Now, I'm not totally sure about this, but that seems to me like the beginning of a lifelong love—a story that can be passed down for generations. I mean, I have to assume Lindsay and her bouncer lived happily ever after, right?
Well, you'll probably be as surprised as I was to find out that Lindsay's story did not end with a marriage proposal, which, you know, is totally fine because she's ONLY 25. But, anyway, what happened next with the bouncer who maybe had a piece of dust in his eye was that he "invited [Lindsay] and her friends back to his apartment for whiskey and boxed macaroni and cheese. When she agreed, he gamely hoisted her over his shoulders, and, she recalled, 'carried me home, my girlfriends and his bros in tow, where we danced around a tiny apartment to some MGMT and Ratatat remixes.'”
Basically, it was a mixed bag, then? I mean, on the one hand, dancing around a tiny apartment to MGMT with some random "bros" sounds terrible, but, on the other hand, boxed macaroni and cheese and whiskey sounds amazing. Am I wrong in thinking that? Am I too a victim of "hookup culture"? Am I like Anna Goldfarb of Moorestown, NJ who is annoyed with men who want to know "what's going on tonight?" when clearly the answer, according to Ms. Goldfarb, is, "going to my friend’s house to drink cheap white wine and watch episodes of ‘Dance Moms’ on demand.”
Actually, no. No, I am not one of those women and neither are most of the other women I know who are (and this is the salient point) actually dating someone. The thing is, if you are actually dating someone, it is generally because they want to spend time with you. I don't just mean that they want to spend time with you because you are an interesting person to talk to and they are thinking about the future with you. I also mean that they want to rub themselves all over you and put their mouths on your body in places that you yourself can't reach. And if you're in a good relationship, all of these things come together in a beautiful way and having dinner at a nice restaurant can be a part of that because why not? Having someone buy you flowers can also be a part of that. Treating each other with respect and trying to make each other happy can all be a part of that totally healthy relationship. In fact, relationships and dating and love and romance can all be a wonderful thing. Well, for other people. They scare the shit out of me. I'm a whiskey-in-a-closed-room-for-24-hours kind of person, but that's not really the point right now. I mean, also I like jewelry, but, again, not the point right now.
The point is that, of course, young people still go on dates. But, also, sometimes people just want to have someone to have sex with. For all the women that the Times talked to who can't find anyone to date, well, far be it from me to give relationship advice, but, well, here's some advice. Don't confuse the guys with whom you're hooking up with for guys who are actually ready for a relationship. They're not the same thing. And if you only want to go on dates, then say no to the hookups. Although then you'll be missing out on casual sex. You win some, you lose some.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen