The Dating Dilemma: what happened to real relationships?

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Molly Keshin, Editor-in-Chief
@mollykCourant

At every family gathering, I know I dread the moment (or moments, because it definitely happens more than once) when an older cousin or relative asks mid-conversation, “So, do you have a boyfriend??” Not only is it an embarrassing, uncomfortable situation when your middle-aged aunt is trying to squeeze information out of you, but it’s also really awkward when you always have to tell them, “No, I don’t!”

This article isn’t meant to be some personal sob story about my relationships. But thinking about those moments has made me think that my relatives are probably so invested in my “love life” because at this time in their own lives, they probably had some high school sweetheart. Well, I hate to break it to you aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins, but dating isn’t really a thing anymore. Somewhere along the line, the youth of America shifted from “going steady” to just having a “thing.”

Where did we go wrong, Generation Y? What has happened to people wanting that epic Noah and Allie love story from The Notebook, or a friends-turned-significant other relationship like Monica and Chandler from Friends? Where do our priorities lie?

I figured the best way to approach this dilemma is to talk about why people don’t want to date, and see if I can prove them wrong (disclaimer: I’m not a relationship expert).

Reason #1: “There’s not enough time”

I know, students of NCHS, our schedules are constantly filled to the brim with homework, sports, extracurriculars, and whatever else, but I think we can all admit that we take enough time out of the day to find some personal time. If we make time in our busy days dedicated to Netflix, or procrastinate and waste time by looking at our phones for hours on end (don’t worry, I’m definitely guilty of this too), then I think we can find the time to go out and be social. If you talk to a parent or an older teacher at this school, I’m sure many would say that they would have a date most weekends, even if it was just to a party. Once you’re in a relationship I’m sure you’d make time to see your significant other, it just depends on us to prioritize our social life every once in awhile.

Reason #2: “I’m not confident enough!”

Trust me, I’m right there with you. I admit I’m also not the most confident person on the planet. Everybody feels insecure or shy at least once in their lifetime. But, that’s where something like a Sadie Hawkins dance would come in handy, right StuCo? It’s not necessarily for the purpose of empowering females, but instead to give girls a chance to see what it’s like to take that risk and ask a guy to be their date.

And hey you guys out there, don’t think that feeling unsure or scared is just a “girl thing.” It’s not! Sadie Hawkins is a break for the boys who don’t always have the confidence to ask a girl to prom, and a change of pace from the stereotypical idea of a girl always waiting for the guy to ask. It’s 2016 people (almost 2017, actually)! It’s time that we all, myself included, take the chances that we want to take in order to be with the people that we want in our lives. It doesn’t matter if we do things “right.” It’s about time we realize that there is no “dating code,” official order or progression of relationships. We should just go for it and see what happens.

Reason #3: “I only want a physical relationship” 

I think a large part of this problem is all thanks to apps like Tinder and Bumble, and dating websites of the like. It is practically impossible for us as human beings to only judge or form a relationship with somebody soley based  off of their personality. There always has to be some sort of physical attraction, but those apps have made that the basis of the connection between two people. What happened to people wanting to have somebody to talk to? Our version of dating nowadays is people Snapchatting, which leads to texting, which leads to hooking up. The physical side of a relationship can only go so far. Don’t we want to surround ourselves with people that we can relate to mentally and emotionally, somebody that we can confide in? Now, this doesn’t mean that I think the cliche 1950’s “going steady” is the way all relationships should be, but we’ve strayed from what it means to have a real relationship.

Reason #4:“My friends won’t like it”

It seems like with guys especially, being “tied down” by dating somebody is “lame.” Well, here’s a message to friends that think that: deal with it. If you’re somebody’s real friend, you’ll support their relationship no matter who it’s with. It’s okay for a guy to be with someone and not be considered “whipped,” and it’s okay to split time between your boyfriend/girlfriend and your friends.

So, NCHS students, I’m not saying that everything I’ve said must be done. It’s just weird to see where our innocence has gone and how so much has changed since our parents were our age. However, I think the moral of the story is, don’t knock it ‘till you try it. Then maybe, someday, we’ll all have an answer for those pesky relatives.

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About Author

Molly is a senior at NCHS and the an Editor-in-Chief on the Executive Council for the Courant. This is her third year of taking journalism, which she wishes to pursue in college.

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