That’s a big word for me to swallow. I am dating. Again. It’s scary. After being with someone for so long and then having to start all over again. Especially when kids are involved, it gets a little more complicated. I can’t let just anyone in my life anymore. I’ve become extremely picky. And in the few months I’ve been dating, I’ve realized that it may be a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.
Dating and relationships aren’t what they used to be. Instead of locking eyes across a coffee shop, or meeting someone at a party, we hide behind our computer screens and usernames. There is no initial “first meet” because you already know everything about each other thanks to good ole Facebook and Instagram.
Let me tell you about one of my favorite movies. You’ll probably judge me on it, but I love it. One of my all-time favorite rom-coms: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey are hilarious together.
Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) is a witty, smart, and beautiful columnist for a women’s magazine, while Ben Berry (Matthew McConaughey) is an executive for an advertising company. Long story short, she’s writing an article about how to lose a guy in 10 days – hints the movie title. Basically she has to meet a guy, pull him in, and then do all of the things that women do that drive men away… in 10 days. So, she and her girlfriends go to a bar and seek out the poor soul Andie is about to torture for a week and a half. Enter Ben. Handsome, charming, absolutely delicious. Ben just entered a bet where he says he can make any woman fall in love with him… in just 10 days. (You see the plot, right?)
Ben and Andie meet in this bar, make small talk, flirt like it’s their jobs (which, I guess it kinda is), and roll out on Ben’s motorcycle to go have a fancy seafood dinner. The rest is history.
These days, the only way a guy will talk to a girl and vice versa is to “slide into their DM’s” as they say. It’s like going out and actually taking the time to meet and talk to people face to face is an inconvenience. I understand, this generation was born into technology, and it is so much easier to talk to people on social media to get to know them. But I have some problems with this.
The person you talk to on your social media site could be, and probably will be, completely different than the person you meet face to face. Ever seen Catfish? Hellooooo, people, Nev and Max deal with this all the time. I’m not just talking about catfishing though. That is a big thing that could happen, but that’s an extreme case.
What I mean is, filters and photo editing are taking over. Snapchat is a prime example. The filters that are offered can make someone look completely different. What if that girl you’ve been snapping doesn’t really have blue eyes and beautiful white teeth? What if her face isn’t as flawless as her pictures? Are you going to be hurt and disappointed?
I am one to believe that looks aren’t everything, looks aren’t a priority. But do not fool people into thinking that you look a certain way when you don’t. Embrace who you are. Being open and honest about your looks are just as important as everything else.
Which brings me to this: Do. Not. Lie. About. Who. You. Are.
Ladies, if you don’t know anything about football or basketball then for God’s sake, STOP PRETENDING THAT YOU DO. Wanna know why? When you finally go out on that date with that super amazing guy you’ve been talking to on Twitter for two weeks, he’s going to bring up games, plays, passes, points, who fouled who. He’s going to ask you about it. He will ask you if you watched that Cavs game last night. Are you going to come up with an excuse or go with it?
Don’t like hiking or being active? You better tell Mr. Nature right then and there, because I assure you, you will be going on a 5 mile hike up a steep-ass mountain and he will think you’re having the time of your life. When really, you’re thinking about a bubble bath and the latest Fixer Upper episode. Don’t like eating healthy or working out? Home girl, you tell that hot buff guy that you enjoy sitting on your couch and eating Reese’s Cups, because I can tell you right now, he will invite you to the gym. And you don’t wanna do that! Lord knows I don’t!
Do not put yourself in an uncomfortable position where you are miserable just to impress someone. You will fail. And you will regret it.
2. Facebook Stalking
If you try and tell me you’ve never Facebook stalked someone, you’re lying.
You see/hear a name and want to know more. What do you do? Pull up a Facebook search and you can pretty much see that person’s life story. If you have a really good reason to do, then by all means, Nancy Drew away. I’m not against it. But here’s the thing…
I had a friend once. Let’s call her Brittany. She posted a cute selfie on Facebook. A guy liked it. Moments later he was messaging her. First thing she does is go to his profile and check it out. Cool. Normal. Then, she scrolls through his statuses, and past photos, looks through his information. She now knows his birthday, past two ex-girlfriends, all of his interests, that one time he went to the Bahamas, and can name everyone in his extended family. In a matter of 15 minutes, Brittany was already mad at a guy for talking to a girl on a status that she didn’t even know.
“He likes pictures of other girls, too, he’s a player. I’m glad I caught this before I actually talked to him.” BITCH, PLEASE.
For goodness sake, please stop doing this. If you want to look at someone’s profile to get a feel for who they are, then yeah, go for it. But have mercy, let that person tell you who they are. Don’t go through their whole “Facebook life” and come to an invalid and unfair conclusion. Honestly, who you think you see and who they actually are, are probably two completely different people.
3. All On Display
Listen, I know you are so in love with your BF of 5 months. You have true love and you want to tell the world about it. The cute pic collage with a 3 paragraph caption that you spent a total of 35 minutes working on while your sweetheart was sitting right next to you was just so adorable. Seriously, it made my tender little heart shed a tear.
I meant all of that with the utmost sarcasm. I don’t really give a shit. You post them once a week and it’s annoying.
Here’s an idea: Stop. It.
We get it, you have a GREAT relationship. You’re going to spend your lives together watching sunsets and taking selfies. You mesh. Soulmates. But, and this is a big but, the only people that care are you and your honey. And honey, I doubt Jimmy really cares how many likes you get on that 4 minute PicFlow featuring the latest Luke Bryan single.
I’m JUST SAYIN.
There is no reason to let everybody know every single date you’re on. What restaurant you’re eating at. All the gifts he got you for Valentine’s Day. The argument you’re having about that girl you saw him talking to in the mall. We do not need to know those things. And you shouldn’t want us to.
Relationships will ruin because of social media. Every like, comment, and direct message is like a sledgehammer to a wall. Girls become insecure and compare themselves to every woman she sees on her man’s page. And guys get jealous every time they see another man liking or commenting on his girl’s picture. It always happens. That is what occurs when you let social media rule over your relationship.
The snide, hurtful tweets.. Yeah, everyone knows who they’re about.
This is a big one. This is the one that hurts me the most.
Please, put your phone down. Stop scrolling, stop tweeting, stop posting, stop liking, stop texting. Take your eyes off of the screen and onto the face of the person you love most. See them there in front of you. Memorize every freckle and laugh line. Trust me, you don’t see those things on a filtered picture.
As a photographer, pictures are important to me. I want to capture every moment that I can with the people I care about. But when you let your obsession with Twitter compromise your time, that’s when it gets to be too much. How many sweet looks and moments are you missing with your head down?
One of my best friends, Anna, has a long distance relationship. She’s here in southwest Virginia while her long time bf, Joey, is a good 13 hour drive to Boston, give or take. She and I talk regularly in a group message with our other best friend Rachel. We don’t talk every day, but almost. We stay updated in each others’ lives. We all three post pretty regularly on Instagram and Facebook. As of this past Saturday, she’s in Boston visiting her beau. When this happens, she kind of falls off the face of the planet. If I need her, I know she’ll answer. But Anna doesn’t feel the need to put her Boston adventures with Joey all over Facebook. Why? Because she’s cherishing her time with him. Every second of it. There’s a picture on Insta here and there.
FaceTime has been a saving grace for them. This is her person. But when they are together, it is him and her. It’s all about their short time with one other another. They are present.
Be present. Don’t miss the little things. They mean so much.
I’m not bashing any social media. I love it. But keep your relationship off of it. Put your phone down. Turn off your computer. Go out. Meet real people in real life. Get drinks or coffee. Keep your cell phone in your pocket and mingle. Live in the here and the now. People watch.
Look at the world and all the people. Take it in. Because there is no filter in real life.