Solving the Dating Epidemic
Written by: Harrison Forman
Dating is…Incredible, horrible, unreal, annoying, enjoyable, expensive, expensive again, and brutally necessary. I’d like to focus specifically on the fourth adjective in my diatribe: annoying. It’s goddam annoying dating in 2016…in a big city…with new dating apps and this thing we call a career.
For those who have read Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance, this viewpoint may sound all too familiar, but I’d venture a guess that maybe (just maybe) an every day twentysomething living with two roommates, a 9–5, and a maxed out CC might have a bit more of an everyday experience on the dating front than a TV star with millions of Twitter followers.
With that said, here is an anecdote that I’m sure for all of you sounds all too relatable:
A few months back, at a counter across which alcoholic drinks or refreshments are served, I met an AMAZING girl (okay, she was cool, but with three vodka red bulls it was clearly inching towards amazing). Smart (Berkeley alum), unique (professional soccer player), and fun (savvy dance moves). What could go wrong?! Come to think of it, nothing did go wrong on this night… she prodded me along with invitations to visit her in Sweden (long story), mentioned how she’s “never clicked with someone like this before”(short story), and most promising of all, a phone number exchange (real story). Jackpot.
Naturally, I waited 24 hours (okay it was more like 17, but who’s counting?) to send a text with what I was promised by three confirmed Google searches would work: 1) Solid length, no less than 100 characters 2) Reiteration of inside jokes from the previous night 3) Call-to-action.
Horn tooting aside, it was a solid text, a fine work of art; I expected results. Solid results.
One day…nothing (she’s just following the rules of the game…too)
Two days…nothing (c’mon, everyone knows 48 hours is like the sweet spot of text responses!)
Three days…nada (clearly lost her phone…we all do, right?!)
At this point, the confusion crept in, excessive snacking began, and the foot-tapping commenced…I just had to send a follow up text, after all, “WE CLICKED!” so I did it. Follow-up text sent! (again, witty, but not too witty/creepy),
Holy moses, she responds: “Hey….I apologize about being mia :-)…had some family issues that took over this past week. Swedish food sounds good if your still up for it! (Sweden flag emoji)”
(Note, please do not use Swedish food as your ethnic food text template. This was one of our inside jokes, which led to said “clicking.”)
I was fired up about her response (there were two emojis for crying out loud!) and immediately, sent the following reply: “Wahoo! So happy you responded, I knew the second text would work :-) You know what, let’s scrap the Swedish food and just make this Facebook official right now!”
…Bet I had you until the Facebook official line, right?!
My ACTUAL response: “Let’s do it. So I found this place Pläj that looks pretty legit. Sunday work for you?”
Emphatic. Well-researched. Suave. It was a LOCK (plus, the more I looked into this mysterious Pläj, the more I was excited to try out some Elk Wallenberg).
I felt like Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part 3: “Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in.” I was back in the game, and ready for my Academy Award winning Thank You speech to at least 10 separate friends who helped me navigate this particular game.
But then, the unthinkable happened…
No text response from her ever again.
It was over. Disassociation.
Why in the world do we put ourselves through the misery of texting?! Heck, our relative ancestors didn’t! They walked right next door, and out came a relationship.
Today, texting is nauseating, and Emojis are fake.
Rather than offer texting advice, I decided to offer a simple solution:
Call. Do it. I bet just seeing that word, “call,” written online is a time-machine in and of itself. Associating the word “call” when it comes to dating is like thinking Playboy when it comes to porn. It’s archaic, but not extinct.
Did you know that according to NetScape, texts are used to set up the date today more than 70% of all occasions? Staggering, right.
So, I want you, you, and you who just slightly rolled your eyes because you still think you’ll find French Toast recipes on brunchmedia.com to call up your next prospect BEFORE the first text. Call to say hey, call to say hi, call to say bae. Just call!
Say what the heck, press those tiny digital buttons, and opportunity will knock.
Folks, it won’t be easy to bring about this massively change in this Millennial norm. We need to change the game, and it comes down to fear. Wait; not fear, but opportunity.
Instead of the mundane text leading to a Snapchat style reply, let’s take a risk on a phone call, even if it does lead to…
… one, most likely 45 minute small talk exchange at a local bar over two half-decent gin and tonics (actually, she ordered Vodka soda) where the waiter keeps grinning, every bathroom break feels like an hour, and the sudden question of whether to go for the hug goodbye or take it a step further is racing in your mind throughout the date causing you to forget what is actually being said in the aforementioned small talk conversation.
Okay, now, that’s a digression. SHEESH! You get the point.