Why Our Generation is Failing at Traditional Romance

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.

casualsex

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9 thoughts on “Why Our Generation is Failing at Traditional Romance

  1. I wrote something of an opposite of this post on my site. I would like to think that traditional ways of dating have not died due to technology, though most people are taking the Tinder approach of it due to that certain phase in their life at that time. Technology in my opinion can either be a blessing in disguise or your nemesis, depending on how the user is utilizing it. Sure Tinder is mainly for those looking to “hook up,” but there is also sites that are for more “long term” relationships, where there has been great successes for people. Tinder is a quick and easy way for people to find sex, match.com is a more long and tedious process for those looking for a relationship.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that we all go through different phases in our life. Some are only looking for a casual relationship, due to commitment issues, or just the fact they aren’t looking for anything serious at the time. Where as there are others in the “settling down” phase, who are looking for the man/woman to be their husband/wife. I believe we are all different individuals seeking different things in our life at different times, traditional dating is only dead to those who do not want to participate in that type of dating.

    Enjoyed reading this article, it was very insightful and a great read!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have been thinking about this topic recently, and have a similar belief as you. Traditional ways are definitely much more romantic, but unfortunately quite rare these days thanks to technology.

    My dad also used to buy my mom flowers for no reason at all. For Westerners, it may have been normal, but for Eastern Asians like us, it was pretty uncommon. Since our culture is much more “reserved”, acts of love were even frowned upon (in our times it is getting more acceptable), but he continuously showed them anyway.

    But yes, I believe that the chase still exists, because I know there are people out there (like you & I), who still believe in it 🙂

    Great posts by the way, you’ve earned yourself a new follower!

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  3. Thanks you, I very much enjoyed reading this article and I very much understand where you’re coming from in the respect that technology has certainly produced a distancing in the links of emotional and physical contact with people in this day and age. However I just feel that I must add that ideas about sex and romance are so subjective that it is difficult to make swift judgments. You say that sex and romance used to mean this or that but I’m just wondering which ‘used to’ you’re referring to. Romance is a cultural production and in some countries, cultures and time periods romance and love has very little bearing to the act of sex. Coming from a similar cultural background as yourself I appreciate the relationship between love and sex and as such I have similar ideas about what I want from sexual relationships. However, we cannot presume that our way is necessarily the RIGHT way. Concepts about sex and sexuality are continuously changing and there is also a beauty that lies in the liberation of sexuality that has developed over the past half century or so. Of course no one should feel pressured into sex and we do have many issues in regards to slut-shaming, rape and consent that we MUST address, but this being said technology has provided a wonderful platform for those people that find it difficult to meet people in real life to get the wheels turning, maybe even just giving them the confidence that they need to pursue a love or sexual interest. I personally can find the romance in swiping left.. as fate would have it, they swiped left too.

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  4. I do disagree with “Sex is a basic human need”. Many asexuals choose not to have sex and are perfectly fine, as well as people of other orientations who choose celibacy.

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  5. I liked your article. I am a little older and used to feel the same way. However I dont believe my generation, or yours, are materially different from our parents – your father is perhaps not reflective of all males in his generation. From what i have seen men aged under 25 are not gentlemen. But they do in general grow up, and come to respect and appreciate love, if they did not in their youth; these are the ones who go on to have wonderful families and happy marriages. Dont lose faith in your generation – they will grow up.

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  6. A dreaded love story a partner can have. It is inevitable that two people can meet through iPhone app such as Facebook, Instagram, or dating app from what you had said earlier. This ‘generation’s division of love and sex’ is uncontrollable. The only way to minimize this is to show them what is real love is and it should be started in our home.

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