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The Twisted Game Of Dating As A Millennial

Why it’s so shocking when you meet someone who doesn’t play mind games
Brianna Costache

I recently started talking to someone who completely changed my perspective on dating and how my generation has royally screwed it up. The fairytale dreams of courting, wooing, and being openly head over heels for each other have been lost on us. Instead, the majority of us have this complicated and very strategic formula that will result in a relationship, if that.

Most people my age, usually at college, start with “talking” which means texting as more than just friends, then if that’s going well and both parties are interested they start hooking up, which can become a regular thing. If this goes on long enough, then they become exclusive and eventually are “together.” No one likes to share their feelings, because they think that if they move forward too fast, then the other person might reject them. No one wants to put themselves out there and be the one that loses in the end. In a world consisting of instant gratification, the fear of rejection is terrifying and most of us don’t know how to deal with it, so we just do our best to avoid it. Why have we become so guarded this young?

I myself have fallen into that trap in spite of myself. Sometimes you can’t even help it, because it is such an ingrained part of our generation’s social script. Feelings have become something to be frowned upon; when in fact they are totally normal and should be a good thing. When I met this boy who was totally open about the way he felt about me, I was completely taken aback at first. Who actually says they like you anymore? At first it weirded me out and I wasn’t very responsive. But then I took a step back and asked myself why I was encouraging the stupid and pointless tradition of my generation that never seems to result in an easy and positive outcome?

Instead of following that messy path, I got to know this person and discovered that I liked him too. And I told him that. Much to my surprise, it was awesome. We were aware of our feelings and shared them with each other, leaving out the doubt, the guessing, or the complicated mind games. This is what it’s supposed to be like, not having to be so overly self-conscious of how you actually feel, but to instead embrace and celebrate the attraction and romantic feelings two people feel towards each other.

This refreshing change of pace makes me sad, though, because I realize how our generation misses out on honest feelings and the opportunity to share and bond. We are compromising our own happiness in favor of a trend that shouldn’t have become implanted into society in the first place. Why we ever gave up on the good old days of real dating and relationships is beyond me, but I wish we could get them back because that’s the real way this should work, not just casually talking for an extended period of time, but actually trying to win the other person over.

Coming across someone who is openly and unabashedly expressive in their interest shouldn’t be a rarity or evoke the automatic response to push them away. Instead it should come as a natural step in pursuing a romantic relationship. We need to learn as a generation to not guard our feelings so much, and to actually enjoy the process of falling in love, because we’re young and carefree with so much, why not our feelings? There is nothing more beautiful then falling in love; that’s what makes you feel alive and makes your whole world sparkle with happiness. I don’t know how my love story will play out, but I don’t intend to let the games of our generation interfere.

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