Don’t get me wrong I fully understand that technology has its benefits especially when it comes to dating. And although many do claim to be, none of us are really above Tinder. The stigma that was once associated with internet dating is now, at least to some degree, a thing of the past…everyone and his dog now seems to have an OKCupid profile. So if you can’t beat them join them seems to be the attitude of the day! But does our reliance on dating apps/websites mean that the chances of meeting our soulmate ‘In Real Life’ (IRL) are non-existent?
Today, I want to bring our minds back that old-school idea of organic dating. Remember the good old days when you’d hit the club with your girlfriends and get chatting to a guy at the bar, swap numbers and a few days later BOOM! you’ve landed yourself a date! Or when you were in your early twenties strolling down Long Street when you suddenly got accosted some dude – an encounter which led to a bit of a holiday romance and then some?
But the older we get, the smaller our social circle becomes and the more disillusioned we get about finding somebody compatible. Internet dating seems to offer an easy solution. Websites allow us to narrow down our search and cut through all that initial conversation crap (I mean time is precious and a busy girl can’t sit through three dates before finding out the guy is a sexual deviant or a religious fanatic). The internet also allows us to be brave when it comes to dating people we previously may considered out of league. Hiding behind a computer screen makes rejection less painful. This somewhat more impersonal approach to dating also gives allows us to build our confidence and get lots of practice (I seriously doubt I would have had 30 dates in such a short space of time if it weren’t for the web!).
Regardless, deep down I am yet to be truly convinced by modern dating practices. Call me old fashioned but I’m looking for a story to tell the grandkids and I’ve never read a fairytale that began ‘Once upon I time I swiped right…’ In the Age of Tinder it’s rather rare (and refreshing) to be asked out in the old-school way. Even when you do meet organically, he’ll still contact you via Facebook (so whether you like it or not technology will likely play a role in romance these days).
I’m not saying organic dating is better than more technologically-savvy version. You’ll certainly meet just as many heartbreakers in the club, at work, at a friend’s braai, at the supermarket, or randomly strolling down the street. But there are advantages to the organic way to doing things. Firstly, the spontaneity certainly serves to make things more exciting. There are probably more risks involved when it comes to meeting people IRL which, for me at least, makes things a little more romantic.
Also, meeting someone under more natural circumstances probably means that both parties get a more realistic impression of one another than on yet another awkward, sterile, run-of-the-mill tinder date. And finally, there is a certain accountability that comes if two people meet through friends. Unlike the anonymity that we have online, if we act like an idiot or do douche-bag like things, the fact is the people around will judge us (and probably hate on us too) and let’s face it we’d all rather just avoid that.
So, I’m not telling y’all to delete your Tinder profiles straight away (that could potentially mean romantic suicide) but I’m saying maybe it’s time for our generation to consider more old-school approaches in our quest for love. After all it worked (questionable!) for our parents/grandparents generation so what’s to say it can’t work for us too.
OK Rinsers over to you. What are your thoughts on ‘organic’ dating? Is it really possible for us to meet our soulmate IRL or is that just too much hassle? Are we too reliant on technology when it comes to dating? Are you a fan of utilising technological tools or did you find love the old fashioned way? Share your thoughts in the comments below.