Dating Apps: Final Nail in Coffin of Courtship
January 15, 2016
On a steamy night at Satsko, everyone is Tindering. Or OkCupiding, or Happning, or Hinging. The tables are filled with young women and men drinking sake and beer and intermittently checking their phones and swiping. "Agh, look at this," says Kelly, 26, who's sitting at a table with friends, holding up a message she received from a guy on OkCupid. "I want to have you on all fours," it says, going on to propose a graphic sexual scene. "I've never met this person," says Kelly.
At a table in the front, six young women have met up for an after-work drink. They're seniors from Boston College, all in New York for summer internships, ranging from work in a medical-research lab to a luxury department store. They're attractive and fashionable, with bright eyes highlighted with dark eyeliner wings. None of them are in relationships, they say. I ask them how they're finding New York dating.
"New York guys, from our experience, they're not really looking for girlfriends," says the blonde named Reese. "They're just looking for hit-it-and-quit-it on Tinder."
"People send really creepy shit on it," says Jane, the serious one.
"They start out with 'Send me nudes,' " says Reese. "Or they say something like 'I'm looking for something quick within the next 10 or 20 minutes--are you available?' 'O.K., you're a mile away, tell me your location.' It's straight efficiency."
"I think that iPhones and dating apps have really changed the way that dating happens for our generation," says Stephanie, the one with an arm full of bracelets.
"There is no dating. There's no relationships," says Amanda, the tall elegant one. "They're rare. You can have a fling that could last like seven, eight months and you could never actually call someone your 'boyfriend.' [Hooking up] is a lot easier. No one gets hurt--well, not on the surface."
They give a wary laugh.
They tell me how, at their school, an adjunct instructor in philosophy, Kerry Cronin, teaches a freshman class in which an optional assignment is going out on an actual date. "And meet them sober and not when you're both, like, blackout drunk," says Jane. "Like, get to know someone before you start something with them. And I know that's scary."
They say they think their own anxiety about intimacy comes from having "grown up on social media," so "we don't know how to talk to each other face-to-face." "You form your first impression based off Facebook rather than forming a connection with someone, so you're, like, forming your connection with their profile," says Stephanie, smiling grimly at the absurdity of it.
When it comes to hooking up, they say, it's not as simple as just having sex. "It's such a game, and you have to always be doing everything right, and if not, you risk losing whoever you're hooking up with," says Fallon, the soft-spoken one. By "doing everything right" she means "not texting back too soon; never double texting; liking the right amount of his stuff," on social media.
"And it reaches a point," says Jane, "where, if you receive a text message" from a guy, "you forward the message to, like, seven different people: 'What do I say back? Oh my God, he just texted me!' It becomes a surprise. 'He texted me!' Which is really sad."
"It is sad," Amanda says. "That one A.M. text becomes 'Oh my God, he texted me!' No, he texted you at one A.M.--it's meaningless."
They laugh ruefully.
"If he texts you before midnight he actually likes you as a person. If it's after midnight, it's just for your body," says Amanda. It's not, she says, that women don't want to have sex. "Who doesn't want to have sex? But it feels bad when they're like, 'See ya.' "
"It seems like the girls don't have any control over the situation, and it should not be like that at all," Fallon says.
"It's a contest to see who cares less, and guys win a lot at caring less," Amanda says.
"Sex should stem from emotional intimacy, and it's the opposite with us right now, and I think it really is kind of destroying females' self-images," says Fallon.
"It's body first, personality second," says Stephanie.
"Honestly, I feel like the body doesn't even matter to them as long as you're willing," says Reese. "It's that bad."
"But if you say any of this out loud, it's like you're weak, you're not independent, you somehow missed the whole memo about third-wave feminism," says Amanda.
Thanks for the Tip NG!
Related - Feminism Killed Courtship on Campus
First Comment from Eli Klein, co ed age 20 :
I read your newest article and I have to say it's complete garbage, no offense. Trust me, young women aren't the poor innocent angels who are being ruined by online dating apps like this article makes them out to be. They love promiscuous sex as much as the men and they love the attention the men give them. I've talked to many of them and they talk about how they don't want to be married and how much a lifelong marriage relationship would ruin their sexual fun. Don't fall for this garbage.
Eli adds: I'm doing fine, thank you. I'm still holding on to my beliefs about marriage despite the disapproval of friends and peers. I can tell you the recent article is wrong because I know how most of my female friends and acquaintances act and their attitudes toward sex. They are loose and they enjoy it. They often brag to me about their "conquests" with whatever man they're toying with at the moment, sometimes seeing multiple guys at once. They describe their casual sex as wild, kinky, dirty, animalistic, and that's just the way they like it. I've told you about how they usually ridicule me about my beliefs, understand that it's mainly the WOMEN who make fun of me. Granted they're my friends and it's mainly lighthearted teasing and jokes, but understand that beneath the humor lies their true attitudes toward marriage, commitment, everything. They say they don't want marriage at all because it will ruin their wild sex lives or they'll get married much later after they've had their "fun". I'm sure a hardworking young man would be delighted to marry a woman who's had many casual sex partners and an entitled princess attitude.