By Victoria Giardina
As social media-obsessed millennials, we have changed how romantic relationships are initiated and maintained. We have traded face-to-face dating interaction for direct messages on social media and “taking it steady” methods for hookup culture.
There has even been a trend in significant others being posted online but neglecting in-person intimacy and relationship development. We have unfortunately lost the true meaning of love.
In high school, an innumerable amount of breakups occur. From the prom drama to going on different routes for college, high school students are primarily interested in themselves and their future goals — their next calculus exam, the application to their dream school, their last moments walking through their bustling halls.
But even when the chance of experiencing heartbreak made me hesitant to date in high school, it was during that time when I met my boyfriend.
Although we met via email through our school’s newspaper club, we approached dating in a traditional way by going on picnic dates, ice cream night-outs and walks in the park. It was the culmination of these memories that made me appreciative of how we approached dating, and made us realize how different it is for those who’ve opted for a digital method.
According to a 2017 New York Times article, Instagram has over 800 million users worldwide who engage with the app at least once a month. An Instagram spokesperson said that out of all the users, 300 million use Instagram Stories every day. While some people use Instagram for business and others use it for sharing photos of their kids, there are also people who use the app as a tool for match-making. The term “sliding into the DMs” is now a primary means of meeting a romantic interest online.
My boyfriend and I established a friendship before beginning a romantic relationship, which worked out well for us.
Rather than relying solely on online communication during the relationship, we truly enjoyed going out on dates in the early stages and still cherish those face-to-face moments now.
There is something so lovely about experiencing new adventures and learning about your partner in the process which highlight a traditional approach to dating that most people often disregard.
Prioritizing traditional dating speaks volumes of how one may treat others. I grew up watching tons of shows and movies featuring guys opening the car door for their special someone, walking them to their door after a date, meeting their parents and making time for a phone call after a busy day. How you treat someone is how they will treat you in return, and while all of these descriptions may seem old-fashioned, I would not ask for anything less as a girlfriend.
A relationship is called a partnership for a reason — both people are working together, growing together and building their present and future lives together. My boyfriend invites me to be there with him for big family moments, and he is there to share these times with my family as well. There is a sense of comfort that both individuals are wholeheartedly loving a slow and meaningful dating experience.
Reciprocating both time and commitment is essential in a strong relationship, and I could not imagine sacrificing these time-honored beliefs and values for modern-day, casual dating. Unplugging from electronic devices and appreciating the person you are with truly plants the seed for a flourishing relationship.
“Is technology changing the dating scene?”