This is the story of how my parents met.
They went to the same high school and my dad told my mom's best friend that he wanted to go out with her. After a while, he called her house phone and (after asking her father who picked up the phone to speak with her) asked her to go on a date with him. She's told me the story of how she had to drive by guys houses in high school to see if they were home (and how one time her best friend laid on the horn and ducked so it seemed like my mom was honking.) Eventually, he asked my mom to "go steady" with him and gave her his class ring. He would come and pick her up for dates, call her on the landline, and do homework together at nights. They got out of high school, went to the same college in the city they grew up in, and got married.
My parent's love story is my favorite because, well, they're my parents. But you might wonder why I told you their story.
I told you their story for sake of example, to show the vast contrast in relationships between the decades.
Relationships now are not like they were back then.
We don't date anymore.
We don't live in the world of romance- we live in the world of technology.
And use Tinder.
Instead of seeing someone and finding interest in them enough to ask them out, now we've resorted to social media to get someone's attention.
How many times have you heard this?
"This guy in my class is so cute, I'm going to stalk him on social media and see what he's like."
Or how about this?
"Oh they broke up, they haven't posted an insta together in 4 weeks."
"Omg I have the screenshots of what he said, let me send them to you. Help me figure out what to say back!"
"I thought he was cool but then I looked at his Facebook and he's like, really weird."
Instead of learning someone and their personality, we're learning to judge someone by what they choose to put on a social media profile.
Instead of keeping the relationship between the 2 members involved, suddenly all 2,000 of your facebook friends know what he got you for your 2 month anniversary.
The problem with social media in dating is that it is teaching us that technology belongs inside of a relationship.
Are you really dating if you aren't Facebook official?
Did you really celebrate Valentines if you didn't post a picture on instagram?
Does he really love you if he doesn't post long captions about you like he did with his ex?
I'm no stranger to voicing my opinions on the toxicity of social media (http://mallorybeale.blogspot.com/2015/11/my-thoughts-on-social-media.html, http://mallorybeale.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-other-dayi-was-mindlessly-scrolling.html) but when it comes to dating, social media takes on a life of it's own.
Our relationships in 2017 are one foot in and one foot out the door, at all times.
We're never really, truly committed.
We're always seeing other people's pictures -
People happier in their relationships with longer, sweeter captions.
That ex we can't seem to get over on Spring Break in his bathing suit.
That hot girl from your math class that asks you about homework.
The problem is that we can never truly be happy in our relationship, because we're always looking at something better.
Everyday, we're being taught the throw away mentality.
Who cares if you break up with your significant other when you can open instagram and see hundreds of girls in your city that are single?
The problem is that we have the entire world at our fingertips.
Sure, you're happy in your relationship, but did you see how good Jennifer Aniston looked at the Oscars?
You might be happy with your girlfriend, but your fraternity brothers seem so much happier in their pictures, so maybe you should just end it?
One quote I love is from a couple that was married for over 65 years.
Upon asked how they managed to stay together for so long, they responded,
"We were born in a time when if something was broken, we would fix it- not throw it away."
Social media has ruined this mentality for our generation.
What we've learned is that we have millions of people available at our fingertips.
What we have now is boyfriends watching pornography after their girlfriends leave their apartment.
What we have now is a girlfriend following the guy from her accounting class on insta because he has abs.
What we have now is a boyfriend scrolling through instagram and seeing any girl he wants in a bikini, and liking the pictures while his girlfriend is sitting beside him on the couch.
Instead of Drive-In Movie Theatres, we have Netflix and chill.
Instead of written notes, we have heart emojis.
Instead of phone calls, we have texts.
Instead of asking someone out, we swipe right.
Instead of learning about someone's interest, we read their Twitter bio.
So you may say to yourself:
Mallory, you're over-reacting! I don't care if my boyfriend follows girls on instagram and likes their bikini pictures. My boyfriend doesn't care that I text my ex! We're in a good relationship!
Now, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and this is mine.
If someone had handed my dad a book in high school of all the girls he went to school with, with a edited photo of them and 5 different filters, I don't know if he would have pursued my mom.
If my mom had a book of every guy she went to college with and their interests, I don't know if she would have stayed with my dad.
Now this might be taking it too far, I don't know.
But I do know this- I don't want to date anyone in 2017.
(Hey Mallory, I thought you had a boyfriend! What happened to that?")
Yes, I do have a boyfriend.
We have been together nearly 2 and a half years now.
But what we have is so much more than "dating".
We are actively
Pursuing one another.
Courting one another.
Fighting over stupid little things.
Having our phones off at the dinner table.
But regardless, we are actively loving each other.
To minimize all of our feelings into this cliche phrase "dating" is demeaning to all the feelings that we have for one another, and all the work it takes to keep our relationship afloat.
I don't want to "date" my boyfriend.
I want to do so much more.