It’s a new dawn for dating.
For any adult whose dating life began in the in the era of social media, dating might not seem so strange. For adults who have been dating across multiple decades, the dating world might feel as foreign and the dystopian future of Divergent. Before ‘dating’ became an accepted past time for single adults there was courtship. It might sound familiar but has become a lost art today. To court someone in the earliest definition of the practice, meant to be involved with romantically, typically with the intention of marrying.
If a man and woman were embarking on a date it was because they knew each other and wanted to explore romantic opportunities.
Dating is difficult today because single adults wait until they on the date to start getting to know the person that they have agreed to spend time with. Dating also comes with new intentions. While courtship was a clear indicator of marital interest, the reasons anyone will accept a date today varies.
For the first time in history dating and marriage are no longer interlinked. Although the word courtship isn’t due to make a resurgence into modern vocabulary any time soon, a practice that I’m sure many singles would appreciate revisiting, there are many terms that now pepper our vocabulary when referring to dating in the modern time.
Before the world was connected via the Internet people ghosted. The reason the term seems more applicable is because they don’t truly disappear as they once did when there was no such thing as Google search. Ghosting which indicates someone has left your life with no warning but still remains to be amongst the living is a term that can only exist because we now have digital footprints that are hard to erase.
No one wants to define the relationship but single men and women still believe in boundaries. This practice of micro-cheating is straddling every fine line possible before a boundary is violated. Any action such as chatting on Twitch with a stranger or liking racy photos on Instagram might be deemed a transgression. We not only expect love from our partners but loyalty. We date with the expectation that attention can only come from one source. Without physically engaging in an illicit affair sending a DM to an old flame can have the same damaging impact on trust.
Self – Partnered
When dating becomes too much to bear it becomes easier to just date yourself. Self-partnered is more than just a new term for single. It’s the concept of giving to yourself the love, care, attention, and affection that one might receive from a relationship. Everyone is born single but many accept the sadness or solitude that comes with it. Instead of the triumphant but inaccurate phrase ‘single by choice’, self-partnered is the concept of giving yourself exactly what you would require from a romantic partner.
As comedian Jerrod Carmichael puts it, ‘We have all Tindered’. This is the practice of deciding who to sleep with before ever speaking with the person in real life. It’s the quick elimination process that most singles subscribe to when at a bar or a nightclub but the dating app has made it a new past time.
Also referring to looking for a date for the night, or browsing dating apps just to browse, Tindering – similar to Googling – is the verb assigned to swiping as a whole. Tindering is the act of swiping for fun, leisure, or to kill time with no intention of actually going on a date, but just to ‘see what’s out there’.
There are more terms in the dating world than anyone can keep track of. Harder than dating itself is describing what two people who have been out a few times, have known each other ‘for awhile’ but aren’t seeing each other regularly is called, is still a mystery.