The dating scene is a completely different ballgame from what it used to be, even within the last 5 years. No longer do you have to have the courage to actually approach someone, you can just contact them on Facebook, Tinder, or whatever social media you use. That being said, what do you need to know (as a parent of a teenager, as a young adult, or whoever you are) about the dating world?
1. There Are A Lot Of Grey Areas
Often times, people don’t want to put a label on a relationship because at that point it means that they’re really committed. Until you actually define what your relationship is, don’t expect there to be any kind of commitment.
2. You Have to Learn How To Read Subtle Messages
If you are dating someone, don’t necessarily expect them to express their feelings outright (at first). They might post a quote or some song lyrics that express how they feel, but they won’t make any kind of reference to you. You just have to kind of understand that it’s directed towards you.
3. The Person Who Is Less Invested Has More Power
These days, showing your emotions is a sign of weakness. If you’re more invested in a relationship than your significant other, they’re the one calling all the shots. Unless you’re both in the relationship for the long run (FYI most high school relationships aren’t), you can expect their to be an imbalance of power. Talk about an unhealthy relationship.
4. Phone Calls Are Dead
Gone are the days of having to work up the courage to dial your crushes phone number and the accompanying anxiety of waiting while the phone rings. Now you just have to send a text, type a Facebook message, or tweet at them. All of which are super impersonal and terrible ways to interact.
5. Sometimes People Just Want to Hookup
If you’re two people looking to just get some action on the weekend, then great. However, if one person is looking for a relationship and the other isn’t, be ready for some hurt feelings. This is more common than you would think. Also, people will say anything to get what they want.
6. Social Media is Like a Buffett of Temptation
If you’re in a committed relationship, be prepared to be bombarded with opportunities to cheat on your significant other. Facebook is always suggesting friends that are usually pretty attractive people. Old flames from high school are posting pictures of their spring break vacation they just returned from, and they’re looking pretty good in that bathing suit. It’s super easy to send that private message or like those swimsuit photos.
7. People Put on a Front
You have to date someone for quite some time to actually figure out who they are. Those first couple weeks (or months even) can be difficult to navigate. People are afraid to let their true personality show. People tend to stay just kind of in the middle of the road until they figure out what boundaries they can cross.
8. Be Prepared to Play Ridiculous Mind Games
People have this strange idea that replying to quickly to a text or being the first one to make contact after a date is a bad thing. Get used to the strange intricacies and rules of modern communication.
9. Forget About Making Plans
If you’re pursuing a person and trying to make plans, you better have the best option on the table because if you don’t, they’ll most likely pick someone else. People are completely up to date on what everyone is doing, so if you’re not the best option don’t expect much.
10. Forget Actual Dates, Get Ready to Just Chill and Hangout
Nobody wants to actually go on a date. Usually when people say that, they just want to hook up. Forget courting people. Men and women alike are just out for some action and that’s about it.
11. Looks Mean Way To Much
This trend seems to go away as you get older, but if an unattractive person compliments you on something, they’re a creeper. If an attractive person compliments you on the same thing, all of a sudden you’re happy as can be.
12. Be Ready to Be Ignored
Text and Facebook messages are easy to ignore. If someone doesn’t want to talk to you, they don’t have to. People don’t have to face the consequences of ignoring you right to your face.
13. It’s Really Easy to Break Contact
If you get over someone, it’s really easy (and common) to break up with them and move on to the next thing. If you have no more emotional attachment to them, what’s holding you back?
14. There Are Only Two Outcomes
Either you’ll be in it for the long run with a person or you’ll break up with them. There aren’t many other options.