Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Things that have changed since you were single/dating

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This topic contains 41 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by avatar dinoceros 3 months ago.

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  • #684968 Reply
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    Fyodor

    Having been off the market for about eleven years now and married for nine, I see these letters come in and a lot of the dynamics seem alien to me. So I thought I’d articulate what seems different to me and would be curious on other people’s thoughts who have been out of the market. A lot of them are technology oriented, unsurprisingly. I’ll preface this by saying that I know that people usually ask for advice when they have grievances so I may be getting a skewed perspective.

    1. The expectation of constant/frequent texting communication between dates. *In my day* you’d call to set up the date and maybe confirm the date of.

    2.The existence of emotionally invested “relationships” that go on for weeks or months where people have never or rarely met.

    3. Condomless sex outside of exclusive relationships seems to be much more of a thing now. It’s hard to say though whether people just write about it more. But it was considered insane and dangerous fifteen years ago. (it still is).

    Interestingly, “ghosting” which people talk about it like it’s new was the default when I was dating. If a woman didn’t want to go on a second or third or fourth date she wouldn’t return my calls and I’d get the point-I probably preferred it that way. I’d probably say that I even had a few women I dated for longer non-exclusively (months) that faded out in a similar way.

    #685026 Reply
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    Heather

    You’re right about ‘ghosting’ , but it’s more obvious now because of the constant texting expectations. I also think it didn’t have a name, it was just an unnamed behaviour-he or she just disappeared.

    I’m in my 30’s so remember before & now. I do miss people just making plans & sticking to them as you couldn’t cancel without day or more notice. Flaking whilst in charge of a cell phone is fairly standard.

    Now, the texting/emailing/skyping/Snapchatting etc for ages before meeting is idiotic. I don’t mean those already in a normal face to face relationship & then using the above. Yes we all want to avoid rejection & love a bit of affirmation, but it’s fantasy until you’ve spent months etc in each others company.

    Grrrrrrr to protection sex. Pregnancy & STD’s are still a BIG thing. I can’t get my head around that at all!!

    #685031 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    Yeah, agree with all that. I’m baffled that people get so mad about ghosting and consider it rude. I think it’s f’d up after months of dating, but after 1, 2, 3, 4, even 5 dates? Nah. I think it’s normal and ok.

    The no-protection sex amazes me. There are strains of STDs now that are resistant to antibiotics, and everyone is just like, “so I got pregnant,” like, “naturally.”

    And yeah, anything beyond exchanging a few messages through the app or website prior to the date is really dumb in my opinion.

    Also what I wrote on the dating thread the other day… people used to be pretty quick to get offline and into a dating relationship if they clicked with someone, whereas now it’s just an endless loop of first and second dates and everyone just stays on the apps looking for more.

    #685036 Reply
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    bondgirl

    While I do believe it wouldn’t kill someone to just give a heads up if they’re not interested in someone they went on a few dates with….it baffles my mind as to why anyone wouldn’t use protection when hooking up with someone they barely know. Now I mainly say this in regards to the antibiotic-resistant infections; I mean, incurable gonorrhea sounds like a horrible consequence of sex, as does herpes. And with the frequency of which people are being diagnosed with HPV, why wouldn’t you want to take any precautions? But maybe I’m a little biased since I know people who have contracted herpes from unprotected sex from just one time.

    #685037 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    So, before, if I didn’t hear from someone, I knew they weren’t interested and didn’t need them to tell me. I wonder if there’s something different now about how people communicate that makes it so they need it confirmed in a text?

    #685039 Reply
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    Fyodor

    I think that *some* of it is that the previous ritual (Guy calls, woman answers/calls back or doesn’t) had some kind of illusion of non-rejection. Maybe she was too busy to get back to me! Whereas with all of the immediate kinds of communications and everyone on their phones all the time, today’s ghosting seems like more of a snub? But to be honest, I don’t understand the fury. I’d rather not have someone tell me that they don’t want to go out with me.

    I was explaining to a young person the lyrics of No Doubt’s “Spiderweb,” which was written during the 10 year period when people had home answering machines but no caller ID and would screen phone calls by listening to the beginning of the message on their answering machines.

    #685040 Reply
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    Heather

    There is a thing called ‘breadcrumbing’ in which someone texts a lot or just enough to peak/keep interest going & then has no intention of meeting or keep on meeting. It’s a low maintenance way of getting sexual attention, but no follow through needed-beyond a ‘hey, babe- miss you’. That totally feeds in to being ghosted.

    #685043 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    Yeah, that makes sense. Guys didn’t really used to do that bread crumb crap.

    #685046 Reply
    Copa
    Copa
    Participant

    I don’t like ghosting, and it’s exactly for the reason cited here: everyone is connected, constantly. So chances are, people are communicating more between dates than they used to back in the day. I can’t speak for everyone, but when I’ve been out with someone several times and we’re communicating daily and suddenly I stop hearing from them, I’d rather it be acknowledged. And texts are less confrontational than telling someone to their face or by phone that you’re not interested. There’s obviously a huge difference between someone disappearing after one date vs. months of dating, but I think it’s dumb notwithstanding.

    To my knowledge, I don’t know a single person who fails to use protection in casual situations.

    I only have one friend who would text guys endlessly before meeting, and she managed to meet someone online, so I’m sure she’d say it works. (I think it’s weird.)

    #685049 Reply
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    Telegrammar

    I’m pretty young, but I got into a serious relationship right when the “tinder” culture was taking off. I have no idea what that experience is like, but I notice (as I’m sure you have) that such apps and other techy things have made for a lot of misunderstandings and grey areas in terms of definitions of fidelity.

    #685051 Reply
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    Janelle

    I will say as far as the ghosting thing goes, the few times I have been direct but polite about not being interested in pursuing things further I am met with an angry tirade of name calling and “I didn’t like you anyway”. I have not once had someone not lose it on me. This may just be my experience, and I am 100% sure I am not being rude, just something along the lines of “I had a great time but I think we just aren’t the right match”. I think this has contributed to me occasionally doing this….although I haven’t dated much going from a 10 year relationship to a 2 year one and I am only 34.

    #685052 Reply
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    ele4phant

    So first off, been in a relationship for nearly a decade – since my early twenties, but put me down as another person who doesn’t understand why ghosting is a big deal now. I get that people are in more communication now between dates then they were in my day, but I still don’t see why there’s now an expectation you should get an official breakup from someone you’ve only been out with a few times.

    I mean, if anything, shouldn’t the fact that people communicate so much more now make it even more acceptable to ghost? Like, if you were texting someone a few times a day before you go out, and then after your date communication drops off, isn’t that your sign? At least now you don’t sit around the phone for a few days; slowly realizing that call isn’t coming.

    Now you know much quicker and can move on much quicker. Why do you need confirmation from that person?

    Even if I’m not dating anymore, I feel like ghosting can happen socially, and that doesn’t bother me. If I want to be friends with someone, and they don’t respond to a text asking to hang out eventually, that’s fine. I mean maybe they’re just busy, but even so, if it was a priority to hangout they’d get back, and they’re not, and that’s okay. I get it and my feelings aren’t hurt.

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