I would often come home from elementary school and middle school to see a bouquet of flowers on our kitchen table. There was no reason; Dad would buy them just to see Mom smile. He always told me, even though they were married, “a man can never stop chasing his woman.”
Now, maybe I have simply been dating the wrong men, but I don’t see or experience the same chase our parents experienced.
Technology has glorified and encouraged one-night stands and changed our generation’s expectations regarding sex.
There have been overwhelming amounts of debates regarding whether it is appropriate for women to pursue men, and I am fully in support of women taking the initiative. Before I elaborate on how our generation has failed to practice appropriate romantic pursuits, I would like to clarify that the “chase” I am describing does not necessarily pertain only to a man pursuing a woman.
Technology has taught us the idea of instant gratification, and we have extended that idea of instant gratification into other parts of our lives, ultimately skewing our understanding of romance. The pursuit of an individual no longer includes flowers, phone calls, or efforts of the same accord.
While I do agree that technological advances are necessary in society, I believe that individuals abuse this technology in order to better their life in the bedroom.
Why pursue someone you meet in a real setting who won’t necessarily end up going home with you, when you can swipe right on Tinder and message your matches until someone agrees to come over?
Let’s be honest, most individuals that agree to meet up past 10 pm have a basic understanding that the underlying intentions may not be wholesome.
Sex is a basic human need; it has been characterized as such since Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. There are physical and emotional benefits of sexual activity, and I am in no way trying to belittle the individuals who engage in these activities. Only you can decide whom to have sex with, and only you can decide how long is appropriate to wait before having sex with your partner.
But because sex has become such a common part of college culture, it is often expected immediately, and what’s worse is that it is often expected without any attachment.
While some individuals would prefer this type of casual sex, the expectation of immediacy has resulted in individuals who do not want to engage in such sex being referred to and identified as “prude” or a “tease.”
The idea of an individual abstaining from sexual activity used to be highly respected, and it was looked down upon to engage in casual sex. As I have said, I do not believe individuals are wrong in pursing casual sex. Sex is a personal choice, and America has made great strides in eradicating “slut shaming” in college settings (although there is still work to be done). However, with casual sex on the rise, those who choose to refrain from it are no longer as acknowledged in evening settings on campus.
When my mom sat me down to have the great “birds and bees” talk, she began it with the cliché line “when two people love each other very much…” As overused as it is, I remember understanding that sex was a big deal, and ultimately a direct result of love. As I grew up, external influences began to alter my overall understanding of sex, making a concept that once seemed so intimate nothing more than an action that two individuals engage in for carnal bliss.
I believe that technology is directly responsible for our generation’s division of love and sex. Sex has just become another form of instant gratification.
Gone are the days of spending four hours preparing for a first date, as you hope they find you attractive during your first time experiencing a romantic setting. With apps such as Tinder and Hot or Not, there is a chance that these two individuals have already had an intimate encounter. No longer is a first impression formed from a first date, but more often from a first “meet up.”
As a woman who spent years asking her parents to tell the story of how they met, the idea that modern “romance” is often achieved through an iPhone app and a late night encounter greatly disappoints me.
One of my biggest fears is telling my children that I met their father because we both “swiped right.”
I want my future children to respect both themselves and their partners, and come to their own decisions regarding their sexual experiences. I do not want my children to feel that responding to a message they receive at 11 pm on a Friday night is the only way to find romance.
I would like to hope that like my mother, I will come home to flowers for no reason other than the love of my life wanting to see me smile.
I would like to believe the chase still exists, and it involves more than simply swiping right.