Let's Talk About Today's Dating Culture

In the era of tinder, bumble even Jigtalk (which for the record, I've seen advertised on stickers on lampposts so I'm not sure about the integrity of it...), people think it's okay to

treat other people a different way to how it used to be.

In the era of meeting people online, instead of in bars and clubs, until you meet this person in real life, they may feel like more of a digital presence than a real person. But, you've always got to remember, they are real. A real person on their phone, talking to you. Smiling at your texts. Laughing.

Yes, you know you're talking to a real person and you're getting pictures sent by a real person. But sometimes it doesn't feel that way. And because of that, it makes it feel okay to treat people a certain way.

Don't get me wrong, I too am a massive part of this culture. I met my partner, P, on Tinder

(even though I wasn't looking for a relationship at the time), I've had many dates, successful and unsuccessful through the app. I've tried Bumble. And I've even been ghosted before.

Here's my old Tinder Profile, Looking sexy as ever!

When I got ghosted, it was from someone who I'd known for 6 months, but we started seeing each other in only the last couple of months before he ghosted me.

We worked together, then he quit to go back to uni. We started seeing each other (quite casually, but because we were quite good friends beforehand it felt like something) and then, boom.

Nothing. We said goodbye at a bus stop in Shepherds Bush (coincidentally where I now live) and he never texted me again. After a day or so, I got the picture, considering we'd been talking a lot before this. I sent him a message wishing him the best (despite the fact I was hurt, upset and angry, I decided to take the moral high ground) and that was it. He didn't even have the common decency to do the same to me.

I, to this day (it was 3 years ago), don't know why it happened. Maybe he wasn't into me anymore. Maybe it was because he was going back to uni. Maybe I said something, did something that annoyed or upset him. I don't know. I'm not angry or bitter, I've accepted what happened, but at the start, when it happened, I was. I was hurt and upset. and people who have also been ghosted feel the same.

Ghosting is not okay. Period. We had a good old natter about it at work the other day, and it seems out of the three of us sitting there, two (including me) had been ghosted. If you've given someone your time, be it dates, money or sex, or even just talking on Whatsapp and tinder, and they've seen you decent enough to reciprocate, you owe it to them, a human being, with limited time of their own, to meet them for coffee and explain you're not interested anymore, or if you've been talking for a while, a quick text or call. A quick text doesn't take long and leaves the other person with closure, not the worry or anxiety that they did something wrong , or even with less self-worth than when they started talking to you. It's the digital equivalent of using someone as a doormat. To this day, despite having successful relationships since then and being in one now, I still wonder why I was ghosted.

When people talk about dating, It's very common, especially in London, for them to see multiple people at once.

I hate this term 'seeing' someone.

I'm very old fashioned when it comes to dating; I believe you should only date one person at once- as a human being, I would want to be treated the same way.

Don't get me wrong, in my eyes, it's okay to talk to more than one person- they're doing the exact same thing, especially if you met them online.

But if you start dating somebody, and, hell even sleeping with them, then for me, there should only be one person at once- I don't like the idea of somebody spending time with me, money on me (and my money on them), going on dates with them, or even sleeping with them and knowing that they're doing the exact same thing with somebody else, or even multiple people.

To say that you're just casually seeing people, and that you want to keep your options open makes me feel invalid as a romantic interest. Like, you aren't really committed to me, whatever we have. Be it a few dates or months of dating.

Even when you are just dating, there is a certain level of commitment to it.

It's like you're trying to compete for their attention, like I'm on an episode of The Bachelor.

Like, you're competing with all of these other girls or guys that they're seeing, for them, who you might not even want, and, I've got to compete for this attention and time that you want from me.

It also makes you sounds fairly arrogant, like you've got a street full of girls or guys or both, waiting to pounce on you and that you're just wasting your time with me until you find somebody else.

If you and the other person have stated clearly between each other that you're seeing other people, then that is okay. But to do it sneakily, like you're expecting me to expect it and be okay with it, is not. And that has happened literally too many times to count.

This whole era of Tinder has led to this becoming more and more commonplace.

I purposefully stopped seeing somebody, back when I was dating if they told me that they were keeping their options open or they were still seeing other people, even after a while of dating them.

I really hate the idea that it became it's become okay, and even commonplace for people to get you to compete in this invisible competition for their time and attention.

C x


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Created by Ciara Loane.

London-based writer and stylist.

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