According to the recent dating doomsday piece in Vanity Fair, the rise of Tinder has caused an apocalyptic sea change in the ways we date and mate. The author of the piece argues that online dating is to blame for the decline in romance and intimate connections, which have been replaced by no-strings-attached hookups that favor men and turn women into expendable objects.
While there are arguably some kernels of truth in this proclamation, such a small sample of individual stories doesn't necessarily add up to a trend. Plus, not everyone is interested in "short-term mating," and wouldn't deign to use a hookup app to begin with. For those who know what they're getting into, though, apps like Tinder can open up a treasure trove of possibilities that didn't exist in the past (except maybe at like Studio 54 or something).
Dating apps may make dating rough, but based upon stories from Gen. X'ers, Baby Boomers, and a bunch of reruns of Sex and The City's first season, pre-digital dating was way rough already. Here are 7 reasons that dating before the internet was infinitely harder (at least, in the eyes of us native digitals out there):
1. Having To Talk On The Phone To Make Plans
Can you imagine having to talk to some random person on the phone just to figure out where to meet for your date? How long would you have to talk for? What if their voice was weird, could you cancel before you even made the plan? How did you know when it was time to hang up? Just thinking about it makes me nauseous.
2. Having To Be Home To Get The Phone In The First Place
So get this: before answering machines, you'd have to physically be at your house to pick up the phone to even have that awkward plan-making conversation. Talk about inconvenient.
3. Not Being Able To Google Stalk Someone
So you had a decent time with your date, but didn't quite get the whole scoop. Imagine actually having to ASK them for information about themselves, instead of just looking it up like a creep online?!
4. Trying To Get A Restaurant Reservation Last Minute
Suppose the restaurant you're going to meet your date at isn't quite your speed — or maybe you spot your ex and want to find a new place quick, what do you do? There's no OpenTable to save you, and definitely no Seamless so you can order in. O.G. daters would probably be stuck grabbing a slice around the corner or something, which, come to think of it, might have been the best idea in the first place...
5. Trying To Find Mutual Interests Without Social Media
Do you realize how long it would take to find out about someone by just ASKING THEM?! Did people sit around and talk for 24 hours straight to figure out if they liked each other?
6. Being Late Or Having To Cancel With No Way To Notify Someone
The subway got stuck underground, your cat got sick, traffic was terrible — any reasonable last minute excuse to postpone a date wasn't an option before cellphones. How sick would you feel waiting for an hour alone at your meeting spot, with no way to know if you'd been ditched or somebody died? Like all aspects of dating pre-internet, the suspense must have been intense AF, 24/7.
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