The Slow Fade, It’s All Right By Me

My manager sent around this gem about modern dating, which was all about the new trend in relationships: fading out. It gave a few reasons as to why it’s popular: when dating seems to be getting serious, it's a prime time to bail out. Pair that with our natural inclination to use social media to constantly monitor the outside world for better options, and you've got the recipe for a quick fade out.

When I was in college, this trend slayed me. I mean – really – how hard is it to meet with me and tell me face to face why you’re not feeling it all of a sudden? I always wanted closure and rarely ever got it. The compounding factor was that I’d be friends with these guys on Facebook or follow them on Twitter and could see what they’re up to (or more importantly who they’re with), which would just throw a bit more coal on my burning fire of desire for closure.

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Tinder for conversation

By Cazey Williams Dating apps need no introduction. Tinder, OkCupid, Hinge: Your friends are on them if you aren’t. I have a friend who broke up with a dude because he was on Tinder while they were in Italy! Monsieur, what the hell.

I originally downloaded Tinder because – true story alert! – I was looking for a way to (ethically) meet a girl who was a student in a class I was TA’ing. Amy, I’m still looking for you.

For the uninitiated (though I’m calling your bluff if you’re single and aged between 18 and 26), you generally swipe right or heart a person on these apps if you think you might enjoy their company (read: looks). And then if the other person feels the same way about you, it’s a match, and you’re encouraged to chat, meet up, make babies, etc.

If you’re a female, matching with someone is considerably easier. “Instant gratification” is how my friend put it. You basically will match with anyone you say yes to.

That’s not to say I don’t have matches as a male; I just won’t share my number, not that I’m insecure or anything. In my defense, I am a selective swiper righter. If you have more than one selfie, no. If you like sports, I’m intimidated, so no. And if you are “a hot mess on a regular basis,” you are basic like the guacamole you love and eff no. (Though someone once wrote they love pho, and I almost said yes until I noticed their face.)

I actually sought out apps with better filters than what Tinder provides because of my requisites like grammar skills and a photo of more than your cleavage in bad lighting. On these classier apps like Bagel Meets Coffee, I can find my potential match’s height and occupation along with whether they have a trust fund or student debt.

So when I do find a match, they must be special, and I must be proposing right away. Wrong. Enter the classic commitmentphobe.

Many a-matches sit neglected in my inbox waiting for Prince Charming (me). I’ve messaged, like, five of them. I usually find them either blah or nonresponsive. One I did ask on a date (at my roommate’s urging) only to have it canceled before it was even scheduled. I believe her exact words were, “I can’t do this, I’m sorry.” Me either.

I suffer one crucial hang-up when it comes to initiating anything past “What’s up?” – and it has nothing to do with judging people who online date because I don’t. Essentially, I don’t know if I want to date. So I don’t know where I want this to go, so what am I initiating here? I’m not about that hookup culture, especially through an app (maybe I would be if this was and there were background checks).

Of course, I could just invite my hypothetical match (who never seems as appealing once we match as they did when I initially swiped right) to hang out and see where things go. But here, let us discuss the mainstream societal expectation that the man should pay on first date: Yes, not everyone believes this (phew), and also I agree there’s a gender pay gap so maybe it works out, but there is no bias in stipends for grad students, which is what I live on. Yeah, I could afford to cover coffee or no-strings-attached drinks (that means no appetizers), but the moment we say dinner, I’m thinking, “There goes the cost of my annual membership to the American Statistical Association.” And as you rise “to go to the bathroom,” I add, “That membership will pay the bills when we’re married.” Never married is what I really mean.

And if the date sucks altogether? I guess when the waiter comes, I could say, “Split please.” (<<<< Douche)

So for now I am content to collect my matches and stay busy with all the things I do other than chat with nearby strangers and pay for dates – and still keep looking for Amy.

Am I the Reason Chivalry is Dead?

My bosses sister told me never to date a man that doesn't tell me I'm beautiful everyday. While that sounds lovely, I find it somewhat antiquated advice. If some guy seriously told me I was beautiful everyday, I would probably think he was covering something up or only in it for my looks. My natural inclination would be to be skeptical, which made me wonder if skepticism is the reason that chivalry is dead. In people's version of Prince Charming, the guy is supposed to do all sorts of nice things when they court a lady, and I have realized that when guys actually do those things for me, I respond in all sorts of bizarre ways. For example, when I was climbing out of a high bus, the guy reached his hand back to me to help me down and I decided to grab onto the door handle and let myself down clumsily without touching his hand. Why? Because in my head it seemed less weird and showed that I can climb out of the bus on my own.

This need to prove that I don't need a male hand isn't just an isolated occurrence, I do it somewhat subconsciously all the time. I was carrying in boxes to be mailed and refused the help of a guy who was going to get me a dolly so that I wouldn't have to lug in four boxes weighing approximately 30 pounds each. Nope, I just scurried back and forth before he had time to help.

When a guy offers to pay for my meal, I have a weird internal complex about what it all means and what is expected from me. I lose my sense of self and typically waste the rest of the day trying to figure out their intentions rather than enjoying it.

Don't even get me started on the car door issue. Getting into a car makes sense to let the guy open the door, but a guy once asked me why I rushed out of the car before he could open it. Maybe because I am fully capable of opening my own car door and don't want to wait for you to stroll over to my side to let me out like a child? What am I supposed to do while I'm waiting? The radio is already off. I'll just end up sitting there wondering why I still haven't opened my own door yet.

My hang ups on chivalrous acts are never hidden well either. I make it so awkward that I am positive they will never try it again, which is somewhat nice but a bit disappointing. Even though I can open my own door and pay my own way, maybe it would be nice to let a guy do it for me without creating a scene.

So maybe it's my self-empowerment that killed chivalry and not males failing to reach societal expectations. Or maybe males have failed so many of the previous expectations that chivalry is literally a foreign concept to my generation, and I have no comprehension of what's supposed to happen, so I treat it all with a just amount of skepticism.

Chivalry might be dead, but we still don't know who killed it.