The other day, I met a guy.
He was tall, chocolate, with a great set of teeth, just how I like. Unlike my recent encounters with young men, ages 23-27, he was not profiled in a series of photos based on my split-second decision to swipe left or right, he was real and in the flesh.
We shared jokes in their proper tone, exchanged witty responses that didn’t take 34 minutes to receive, traded bashful glances at one another and smiled, a lot. What I’m describing here is what traditionalist like to call “a conversation” remember those? Our interaction reconnected me to the “Hopeful Romantic” within me that I had been locked away in the attic of my yesteryear along with the rotary phones, handwritten letters, and all the other obsolete forms of communication.
Whatever happened to the days of love found offline? Where we would write down our number on the back of a crumpled receipt and anxiously await a phone call later that night.
Whatever happened to sharing a stranger’s gaze from across the room and not having our iPhone to break the awkward tension?
Whatever happened to romantic gestures that we documented in our journals and didn’t have to be publicized in the form of viral Prom-prosals plastered all over our timeline?
Somewhere between the creation of the Motorola Razor and the 140-character limit on Twitter, we lost this.
As a single woman, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want the cute, mushy stuff whenever God sees fit for me to be in a relationship. I’m talking Just-Because-It’s-Thursday roses, “get dress, I’m on my way” surprise text messages, secret handshakes, and matching outfits on date nights, you know: the works! But leave it to my most recent dating experiences and you would lead me to believe that my Happily Ever After fantasies is becoming more like dreams deferred.
The dates that I’ve been on here recently have been the textbook, bare minimum of effort. It’s as if guy think that having dinner is all there is to do to be considered as date material.
Sometimes it’s not even about the amount of money a guy spends on the date as it is about the amount of effort and creativity he put in.
I think guys underestimate the intuition of a woman, as in they think they’re getting one over on us when they take us to the same place they’ve taken all the other girls they’ve been out with this month. Like, why does the waitress know your name, sir?
You can be broke as a bad joke, but with the right creativity, you can still put on a stellar night of fun. Google is right at our fingertips, yet, we choose not to use it for its proper function which – if I’m not mistaken – is supposed to be research.
- Go to a free night at local library.
- Draw and paint portraits of each other.
- Find a cool location and do a photoshoot with each other with your iPhones.
- Go on a hike together.
- Have an entire meal of Costco samples.
- Stay inside and play your favorite board games.
- Go bike riding.
- Attend a local sporting event.
And that was just off one search. Needless to say, dating still has me... exhausted.
Being a single millennial can seem like a death sentence but if we used our technological savviness in cooperation with traditional dating methods, maybe all hope wouldn’t seem lost after all. Text, but also pick up the phone. Use an app to meet a nice guy, but try shaking up your daily routine for some human-to-human mingling.
Call me old-fashioned or delusional, but there’s something about sharing a spark between the cute guy at the checkout. There’s something about having a “How I Met Your Grandmother” story to tell the grand-babies at the family cookout. There’s something about being swooped off your feet as opposed to being swiped right.
If I’m crazy for wanting connection and romance this is a world of thumb-scrollers, bad texters, and screen addicts then so be it.
I just refuse to give up.
Aley Arion is the greatest writer you never heard of. In 2014, aleyarion.com was launched as an escape from her mundane college studies and now serves as a digital diary for all things millennial-lifestyle related. Writing is how she processes the world and the events that take place within it. Her goal is to use her voice and storytelling ability to inspire 20-something’s to hope in a better “tomorrow,” no matter how their “today” looks. She currently works as a freelance writer, with bylines in Blavity, Hello Giggles, and now, Creative Smart Girl.
Twitter: @aleyarion Instagram: @aleyarion