engaged after three dates: the urgency of modern love

Take this journey with me…

Day 1 (hour 1): “meeting” on a dating app.

Day 1 (hour 4): message conversation flows nicely and is cut short when I have to shower and go to Target. He jokingly asks for an invite. I jokingly agree. We meet at the store for the first time, shopping for toiletry items. Walked around talking for about an hour.

Day 1 (hour 5): decided to get a coffee. Learn more about each other. Conversation continued for about two hours. Then I went home as I had other things to do.

Day 1 (hour 10): after constantly texting all day, he decided to engage in our first hour long call. While awkward at first, it got better.

Days 2, 3, 4: constant texting, snapping, social media stalking.

Day 5: first home visit, long conversations, chemistry seemed to flourish, a few intimate, romantic moments happened.

Day 6: went for a lunch date, then window shopping to various locations, then to the movies. Lots of hand-holding, kissing, cutesy inside jokes.

It’s important to note that this day, my Snapchat was hacked:

hacked

Days 7, 8, 9: constant texting, snapping, social media stalking. “I have a family reunion this Saturday! I wish you would be off from work so you could go with me.”- he said. The first “I miss yous” were exchanged. I thought it would be rude not to say it too.

Day 10:

message

Does this look familiar?

Why are most of us desperate to turn dating into love? Why can’t we appreciate dating for what it is? Of course, I am projecting on a personal level, but I’ve seen this scenario way too much in my life to assume it just happens to me. We live in the social media generation. A generation that is directly following the “meet-cute” generation. To meet someone we don’t need to rely on making eye contact at a public place. We now have multiple resources like Tinder, Match, Grindr, amongst countless others. So is the increased access to unconventional meeting types affecting the way we view love? Why are we all moving so fast? Based on my personal experiences, I’ll give you my two cents on why I think our generation is having issues of pace in the dating world.

It takes two

“It takes two to make a thing go right
It takes two to make it out of sight”

These are not just some lyrics to a popular late 80s song by American girl group Seduction, they are essentially a life lesson. Let’s look back at the unfortunate experience I vaguely recounted at the beginning of the article. I need to be clear that I am not bashing the dude or blaming him for this not working out. Yes, he was moving too fast, but I can admit that that was equally my fault. I should’ve been more honest and upfront from the start instead of just riding the high of “new love.” By saying “I miss you” back, not only was I lying, but I was contributing to the accelerated pace of the relationship. By allowing things like getting hacked, getting called babe, and making hour-long phone conversations, I was being complicit to the increased nature of the evolution of the relationship. So I admit that this was a 50/50 misstep. When a relationship moves on too fast, its usually because both parties are desperate to make things work, or like in my case, one party is, and the other one is not being honest. By looking at what role you are playing, you will be able to make a thoughtful decision for the future of the relationship.

FOBA

FOBA (fear of being alone) is one of the top reasons why people jump too fast and are willing to withstand an unhappy relationship. Personally, seeing others around me getting into (seemingly) happy relationships, has made me see myself as a lonely entity. Watching other people display their love and affection towards each other, has had a certain vulnerable effect that makes me question my own wellbeing. Seeing others in relationships has often made me want to follow suit.  So when dating is going well, it has been difficult for me not to picture myself being the next one posting “happy couple” Instagram shots. There are several things wrong with this scenario. First, wanting a relationship because others have it, is the equivalent of wanting to use the swing on the playground just because some other kid is using it. It is an immature act that doesn’t really reflect a desire, but rather a tantrum. Second, in another personal experience, I have discovered that posting relationship details on social media doesn’t always work out well. Third, and most importantly, wanting a relationship because of feeling lonely defeats the purpose of love. By settling for any person that will decrease your loneliness, you’re basically giving up on finding the right person for you, someone that will truly make you happy.

Categorization (age, sexual orientation, race, and other factors)

Other factors that might contribute to the rapid pace of a relationship would be things like age, sexual orientation, race, and others. People on their late twenties or over, are more likely to want to make something work than, say, someone who just turned twenty. When you reach an age where all of your friends are married or in stable relationships, it adds a certain self-induced pressure to get in a relationship. By not being heterosexual, people with different sexual orientations essentially diminish their dating pool drastically. That is why I think moving too fast is a bigger issue in the gay world.

Why we should take things slow

The rush of that feeling of “new love” is wonderful. The problem is that said level of infatuation often leads people to take the next steps in the relationship without being objective towards its success. More often than not, things that are rushed lead to disappointment and a breakup that is emotionally draining. By allowing a relationship to develop, you’re metaphorically adding bricks to a wall that when you least expect it, will be strong enough to survive whatever hits it takes. When you meet someone new, everything you experience with them seems exciting. Even if it’s just sitting next to them, hanging out with them, or getting coffee, it is a great feeling. but to make that feeling last, you need to know that the feeling is legitimate. Never rush love, take it from me, it hurts both parties involved. So whenever you are getting that tingly sensation ask yourself: is this someone I’m really falling in love with? Or is it the idea of love that I’m falling for?

Disclaimer:

This was in no way meant to be a personal dig at anyone in particular. I used a specific example to make a relatable point, but it’s not meant to be a blast or a petty shoutout. If you’re the subject of the screenshot and you want to have it removed, send me a message.

– Juan

5 comments

  1. So, when I saw your update that you were tackling this subject, I was like ‘GUH!’ Reading it, I had the biggest knot in my throat, possibly from the huge plate of nachos with mounds of chile I had for lupper, but really because it was like I was reliving fall 2013, and winter 2016.
    I was always apprehensive of jumping into anything, but 2013.., I was determined never to make the same mistake; in 2016 I tried to keep that in mind, although this guy reminded me A LOT of my ex, I was still kind of intrigued, and falling. Now I am even MORE determined to not date the same guy in looks, personality, hang-ups, etc.
    Part of me defo thinks it’s FOBA, the gay community here, and in part El Paso. There is a certain loneliness in being gay, and EP’s gay scene is so insular I have noticed. Loneliness is a plague, a symptom I think of low self-esteem. There are a lot of factors involved in why the gays fall in and out of love/rush relationships here. It’s just hard to remember to pump the breaks, especially when you find someone you can share loneliness with.
    As an aside, I’m writing a piece inspired by 2013, and in the loneliness he was, and it’s made me come to terms with the weight that word carries.

    Like

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