We dated the Zeros… so you don’t have to.

20
April

What’s The Rush?

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So the other night my friend and I were bemoaning the end of the “butterflies in the stomach” stage of our dating lives. Reminiscing about our younger years, we both admitted to missing those meaningful looks across the cafeteria that kept us guessing if Mr. Hottie in history class wanted more than a study buddy. It was excruciating at times, but that’s what made it so fun. It was all about the buildup. The potential for something new and exciting. The conjuring of ways to see each other and interact. Sadly, the buildup is all but gone nowadays.

I blame technology. We know far too much about each other’s lives. Totally kills the mystery. Whereas you used to get dolled up for a party on the chance your crush might show, now all you have to do is check his Facebook status to see where he’ll be that night. Out of town, you say? Then forget the party; you have a more pressing engagement with your couch and remote control.

Though I will concede that Facebook and the like can save you from an embarrassing predicament or two. No one wants to find out after the fact that the dude you were flirting with all night already has a girlfriend. Put a check in the pros column. But there are plenty of cons as well. For instance, the unhealthy stalking. Say you met a guy last week who you thought was cute, who you might wanna ask out… until you see that photo of him with Unknown Girl. Is that his girlfriend? His sister? Their hug is too ambiguous too tell. Yet now you’re completely paranoid and won’t be asking him out because you don’t want to be made a fool. Are you saving face or potentially missing out on a great new relationship? All because of a Facebook photo you had no business viewing in the first place.

Or what if you see that his religious status or political status or whatever status is not “compatible” with your own? Would that kill it for you as well? Without so much as one conversation, the guy is blacklisted. Could have been that he said he was Zoroastrian to be ironic or maybe that was true four years ago but he forgot to update it to his current identification as Jewish. You don’t know. You just think you know and so now he’s cut from the roster.

Not only can technology skew our perspective, it also makes us think that everything must happen immediately, again eviscerating the chance to get to know someone gradually. Back in the day, should you meet someone new, it was a big deal to give out your number. For the next several days, your heart would beat just a bit faster every time the phone rang. Was it him calling? If yes, a first date was most definitely in your near future. Now if you give a guy your number, you expect him to text you the same night. If he doesn’t, you’re insulted. If he does, it’s much worse. A guy texting you at 2am? He has something on his mind, that’s for sure, but it’s certainly not what kind of flowers to bring on your date.

But the worst is when TMI meets instant gratification in the form of the bar creeper. There was once a time when conversation starters centered on questions such as “Where did you go to college?” or “What do you do for a living?” They might still be asked upon meeting someone new, but I’ve noticed that lately they’re merely precursors to a more personal line of questioning. In a world where you can simply go online to find out someone’s alma mater and job description, the ante is raised mighty quickly. Intrusive has become the new flirty. The guy thinks he’s cute and funny, but being asked, “So where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever done it?” is hardly charming to me.

I know times have changed, but I still miss the buildup. Of course I’m not going to shut down my Facebook account, and I can’t say I’m not guilty of some late night texting myself. But I still want to be at that party and catch him looking at me looking at him. I want an unexpected phone call that lasts into the wee hours of the morning. Maybe a date or two where he learns about my life rather than my bra size. Is that too much to ask? What do you think?

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Anna Keizer

About the author: Anna Keizer

Anna Keizer is a Midwest transplant now living and writing in Los Angeles. Though family and friends back in Chicago are dearly missed, she shudders at the thought of having to scrape ice off her car ever again and visits only during baseball season. In the meantime, she spends her days working on both a book of essays and a few feature comedy scripts. Fingers crossed they turn out funny enough to get published or produced one day.

Anna has written 6 articles for us.

One Response to “What’s The Rush?”

  1. April 21, 2011 at 9:39 am

    So insightful Anna! Tech dating has got to be crazy . . .

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