Dear Mom: 9 Things I Wish You Understood About Why I'm Still Single

by Lauren Martin

I hate to break it to you, Mom, but dating just isn’t what it used to be. Contrary to your outdated beliefs, men aren’t what they used to be, and some ass action on the first date is most definitely on the menu.

Texting is an acceptable form of rejection and it’s no longer dinner then sex, but sex then maybe dinner (if it was worth it).

It’s men in sneakers and women on Instagram. It’s rejection across five forms of communication and sex on seven.

I know it’s hard to believe I could be single at a time when you were contemplating marriage, but things are different now. If things keep going the way they have been, I could be single for a long while more.

You think it’s because I hate men; you think it's because I’m too harsh and too “feminist” to see the good in anything with a penis.

You believe there’s a ton of good guys out there and it's me jumping to wild stereotypes and scathing assumptions. You tell me all the time that I'm looking in the wrong places -- that there are good men out there.

I’m sure there are good guys out there -- actually, I know there are. They're the ones with girlfriends, or they're living celibate as monks in Thailand -- believe me, I’ve looked and they're not around here.

Then again, it may not be the men. It could be the dating culture we’ve created (now downgraded to "hook-up culture"). It could be Tinder and Facebook and Instagram and the general lack of respect we’ve put on the dating process.

It could be a collection of things, a mash-up of men, women, social media and the example you've set.

And not to remind you of your age or anything, but just remember, you haven't dated in 30 years... a lot has changed.

They know if they’re not getting it from you, they can get it somewhere else.

Don't blame it on alcohol; blame it on social media. Try being honorable and dignified in 2015, and all it gets you is a left swipe on Tinder and another Friday night in with Netflix.

It's no longer stringing men along because they want something you have, and they can't get. Now men are so used to getting it right then and there, or it's back to Tinder and on to the next woman who's ready to give them what they want.

You didn’t have so much competition.

Men couldn’t look you up on the Internet and decide your best friend was hotter. You couldn’t find out he’s a douchebag before the date; you had to find out in person, or at least after a couple of dates.

They couldn't decide your bikini photos are better than the real thing, and they definitely couldn't pick up the phone on your date and make another one.

Back then, you were home by 11, now you’re just getting out the door.

You know when you used to say nothing good happens after 11? Well, you were right. Unfortunately, we're forced to date between 10 and 12, and men know exactly what this means.

There's no more "decent time home" or "acceptable hours." It's booty calls, late night hookups and dates ending when we should be waking up.

You didn’t have cell phones.

Cell phones have changed everything about the dating landscape. Think about it: With landlines, you couldn’t cancel a date five minutes before because they were already on their way.

With texting, you can send a text two minutes after the designated time and still feel okay about yourself.

There are more unwritten rules.

You don't even know what mind games are until you've experienced what it's like to date with texting, Tinder, Instagram and Facebook. You've never had to strategize status updates, "likes" and notifications.

You lived in a time of simplicity, where the only mind games you played were willing the phone to ring.

You guys did such a sh*tty job that we’re in less of a rush.

I know it seems like a low dig, but it's the truth. You led by example, and that example was that marriage doesn't work.

Why would we be in such a rush to commit? So we can end up miserable or divorced? We've learned how to date from your mistakes, and if you taught us anything it's that there's no greater mistake than committing.

Because we can’t agree on anything in our own minds.

We’re not sold on any American dream. We’re willing to change our minds and change them again. We're in the process of making our own dream, our own ideas of what's right and wrong.

We can't decide on a bar tonight, let alone which match we're going to message on Tinder. We change course every day, wrestling with those complex choices of guac or no guac, relationship or Netflix.

We’re always looking for something better

We're a generation of one-uppers. We've been raised to believe we deserve the best (Whose fault is that?), and nothing is good enough. We're innovators and inventors, refusing to conform to the mold left by previous generations.

We've changed the idea of the 9-5, the office culture and the perfect partner. We're not just looking for someone, we're looking for "the one."

Being married is the last thing on our list

We're thinking about our careers, our friendships and that amazing life we always dreamed of for ourselves.

Granted, that life may have included that perfect relationship, but we'd rather have the strong foundation before the beautiful house that's likely to crumble.

We're ready to start being adults, but we're not ready to start pretending we're ready to marry any.