To those of us whose coming-of-age involved graduating from MySpace to Facebook to Tinder, the idea of dating sans technology is almost unimaginable.
Take away our keyboards, mouse pads and our pointer fingers, and we would hardly know where to begin.
However, we are so technologically advanced that we are capable of doing almost anything -- meeting prospective partners, to falling in love, to making that love last -- from behind a screen.
Because the world in which we live and date is so drastically different from, say, the world our parents inhabited, there are certain things we can never hope to understand.
Here are 10 of them:
1. How anyone got dates pre-Tinder
Most single people I know go on at least one Tinder date a week. Their dating process is so streamlined, they don’t even have to bother smiling at the cute guy at Starbucks (not that it works anymore).
2. How people coped with face-to-face rejection
Yes, we still deal with our fair share of rejection, but thanks to technology, we are usually able to analyze, process and respond to it from behind a screen.
This gives us time to do things like stop freaking out, screenshot the convo to send to all our friends and craft the perfect response. Some apps and websites remove the rejection part altogether, only allowing you to communicate with people when there is a mutual attraction.
3. How people vetted prospective dates without stalking them on social media
This is a legitimate concern. Aside from breaking into someone’s house and pouring over his or her old journals and family photo albums, I truly cannot think of another way people could have checked up on their potential dates.
Which essentially means that you would have had to commit a crime in order to find out your date was a criminal. What, were you just supposed to take someone's word for it?
4. How anyone found a soulmate before eHarmony
Sure, we don’t all find our soulmates on eHarmony, but admit it: It’s kind of nice to know the option is there.
If, after a few of years of trying to date the new old-fashioned way, you tire of the game and just want to find someone who likes ponies and 19th century lit as much as you do, you can thank advanced computer algorithms and dating websites.
5. How people got each other’s numbers at a bar
Genuinely curious about this one. People must have walked around with tiny pens and notepads.
6. How people met up without cell phones
This just sounds like a logistical nightmare. I was so perplexed on this one I had to phone a friend (read: parent). “Well, people just were where they said they'd be.” How novel.
7. How people got to know each other without texting
I know, I know, there’s always the phone, but when it’s a landline, how practical is that?
Also, texting has several advantages. You can think about what you want to say, show people how you're feeling without having to talk about your emotions (thanks, blushing emoji) and say things you would normally feel uncomfortable saying because, hey, it's just a text.
8. How you knew someone liked you
If he can’t poke you, snap at you or like all your Instas, how on earth is he supposed to display his affection? Telegraphs? Flowers? And they say romance is dead...
9. How anyone survived an LDR
He can’t call; you can’t Skype; there’s no WhatsApp. Honestly, what could you do in an LDR before technology? And, yes, I know you could obviously write letters, but come on, how rich can a conversation really be at the pace of a one-week delay?
10. If we are really that much better off...
Comparing dating now to dating then is like comparing apples to orange-flavored vodka.
Without a doubt, technology has solved a ton of age-old problems, even going as far as to make rejection more digestible. But I can’t help but wonder if we are really that much better off.
To me, technology appears to be a double-edged sword, making it easier for us to connect and find each other, yet keeping us apart once we do. Relationships should feel authentic, and the more we automate them, the less real they are bound to feel and actually be.
Furthermore, when we rely on technology to facilitate all of our interactions, we run the risk of forgetting how to act in person. I am by no means suggesting anything as radical as removing technology from the dating process altogether, just that it might be nice to take certain aspects of it offline.
When you think about it, technology isn’t all that romantic or sexy, and your relationship should be.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It