I’m starting to notice a trend among my people — this is you guys, so pay attention — of abandoning the traditional mate-hunting methods of dating everything in sight. There seems to be a new method emerging, which (as near as I can see, squinting through my binoculars from here in the bushes) consists of having actual standards and waiting until those standards are met. Many of my friends go out every weekend to bars or parties, they regularly attend the gym, they go to school with thousands of other attractive youths: in short, they are out in the world, meeting the who’s who and other dregs. But they hardly ever come home with a phone number. And these people, these friends of mine, are to the last person attractive, intelligent, witty and kind. So what’s going on?
“Dating in California has reached new lows of timidity,” said noted psychologist Dr. Ruth Ascot-Bettentopher when interviewed in the March issue of Vanity Fair. “People seem more and more fearful of putting themselves and their feelings on the line. It might be due to increasingly prevalent media images of suspiciously perfect people living perfect lives; no one feels they can live up to what has become everyone’s fantasy.”
“But isn’t is possible that people are just no longer interested in the grueling round of first date, second date, third date, breakup?” asked the interviewer. “Maybe today’s youth culture is turning away from the sugar-pop mentality of Gen X and moving into a value system based on, well, things that are valuable. Maybe instead of focusing on the endless search for the perfect other half, these 20-somethings are putting their energy into artistic endeavors, or volunteer work, or their careers, or friends. Don’t you think the explanation might simply be that with the exception of a few throwbacks, kids today are just not interested in sifting through the morass of humanity, but are content to wait until they find someone shiny enough to be worth picking up?”
Dr. Ascot-Bettentopher considered for a moment. “No,” she said.
Seriously though, speaking as a Throwback Who Sometimes Dates, I can definitely see the con side to it. To dating I mean. I can count on one hand the meaningful connections I’ve made with people I’ve dated, and I only have two fingers on that hand after the meat-packing incident. “So if it these encounters are as repetitive and devoid of meaning as you claim, why do you continue?” asked noted psychologist Dan Small last night.
Whoops! We’re out of space. Guess I can’t answer that.