The Pain (and Pleasure) of Millennial Dating

By Contributor | Monday 13th March, 2017

After 2 weeks of messaging on Tinder, we decided to meet up. The date went surprisingly well.

She was easy to talk to, attractive, intelligent and humble. “You look better than your profile picture” and “I can’t believe someone like you is on tinder” were just some of the generic compliments being tossed about. “Add me on Facebook” she said as we walked towards the tube. I obliged.

The Game Changer

With the advent of dating apps/social media sites such as Tinder, Instagram and Snapchat, millennial relationships have become almost entirely reliant on the digital world. In fact, according to statistics, the number of millennials using these apps has nearly tripled since 2013. Alongside this advancement in technology, the increased ease of communicating with strangers has removed the long-winded task of going out to meet someone at a bar, buying them a drink and awkwardly making small talk. But is this a good thing?

The effortlessness of these apps/sites is what makes them so attractive to our generation: a couple of taps on your mobile or a swipe to the right and - BOOM - they know that you’re interested; instant gratification guaranteed. It also takes the pressure off financially. For cash-poor but time-rich millennials, the cost of going on numerous dates whilst getting to know someone can be a real challenge. My own brother claims that the ease of getting to know someone relatively well online before meeting up means that there is less of an expectation to flash the cash whilst desperately trying to initially impress someone (thank God).

My Dad couldn’t believe it when he saw me swiping during half time at an Arsenal match. “You know in my day we had to go to bars and events to meet people, your generation is just lazy”.

It’s All Roses…

Being able to virtually meet and talk to a number of people simultaneously has given millennials a host of options that has never been available before on the dating scene. For those looking for casual fun (urhum…) these apps are a godsend. A few photos and a postcode is enough for many to make the absolute most of their young, wild and free days. Why not? In a way, these apps have made the university gold rush almost obsolete.

Don’t get me wrong, real relationships are possible. My friend from school matched with a girl on Tinder in 2014 and they met up for a post-work “drink” soon after. Fast forward three years and they are now engaged and living together. Sounds implausible for most of you right? Well… I said it was possible, not common.

But Lean A Lil’ Bit Closer, See That Roses Really Smell Of… Well… Shit

Dating apps can have a pretty bad rap. I mean, can you find someone genuine knowing full well that the person you’re dating is probably speaking to 5 others? They probably copy and pasted the same opening line to everyone they matched with after swiping right to Every. Single. Person.

And then there is the problem of people pretending they’re someone that they’re not… “So how was your date last night?” I asked my friend. “Well he said his pictures were a bit outdated but I was expecting a slightly older version of Liam Payne… not Liam Neeson”. The temptation to present a perfect image of yourself on a social profile is too tantalising for most. Along with the dawn of the Snapchat filter, nearly every profile gives the impression of the user being a sociable, outgoing, successful, travel-obsessed, animal loving saint. I’ve got a picture of myself with my sister’s puppy on Tinder so no, I’m no better!

So, just like a blind date, it becomes a complete lottery and you genuinely don’t know what sort of person you’re going to meet. Last month I had a date with a girl who posts daily on Instagram/Snapchat yet when we met up, she was basically silent the entire time. How ironic.

So What’s Next For The World Of Dating?

If casual fun is what you’re in it for then hey, download Tinder. If not then maybe it’s time to pluck up the courage to speak to that pretty girl you see at the train station every morning, or the handsome guy from your Thursday seminar. Sometimes these apps just remove the organic nature of meeting someone in the traditional way.

But in all fairness, this more modern way of dating for millennials may be a positive thing. People are able to meet others in a quick and easy way, removing embarrassment and awkwardness. On top of that, being rejected on an app is a lot less shit than being rejected at the bar having just bought someone a double vodka and shots for all their mates.

As a 90’s baby, it’s amazing how the dating scene has changed in 10 years and it makes me wonder what the dating scene will look like in 2027. With robots, machine-learning algorithms and cheaper DNA analysis, who knows eh?

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