By Robin "Red Hot" Kaye
I have three teenagers, and have adopted most of their friends. I’m surrounded by kids. When it came to the whole dating thing, my kids were kind of late starting and I’m glad because I’ve found out that kids don’t date anymore.
What? Everything screeches to a halt (insert sound effect here).
We’ve all seen it… yes, and most of us have done it a time or two. Granted, for me, it was twenty-four years ago, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. You’d see someone you liked the looks of, you’d look away when he caught you looking at him. There was a lot of peeking over the rim of your beer, martini, or soda (depending upon your age and taste) and then you’d either spent a lot of time praying he’d make the first move or you would. He’d approach you… or in my case, I usually went to talk to him. You would chat and see if you have anything in common other than attraction. The bad ones were glaringly obvious. A donkey laugh, the guy who only talks about himself, BO—the list of strike out scenarios is endless. But, if you got along and no one else attracted you as much as he did and vice versa, before the end of the night he’d have your phone number. This led to waiting and praying for him to call.
Okay, so let’s say he called and asked you out. Are you free on Saturday night? Probably not because you dated more than one guy at a time.
After dating for a few weeks or months, you have the talk about exclusivity. Then if you both agree not to see other people, you have to turn down all other requests for dates.
One day I was talking to my sixteen-year-old daughter, Twinkle Toes, reminiscing about my dating life and told her this scenario.
She was appalled. “You were a slut?”
“Of course not.” I was shocked my own daughter would even think such a thing. “I never told them I’d date them exclusively and I certainly wasn’t sleeping with any of them. I was playing the field.”
Twinkle Toes gave me that you’re-older-than-dirt-and-can’t-possibly-relate-to-anything look. “Now you’d be considered a slut.”
I tried not to take this personally and probably rolled my eyes. “Why?” I was truly curious. How could dating more than one guy at a time make you a slut? Is the word slut suddenly synonymous with popular?
“Because that’s not how it’s done. If you go out with someone, you’re going out. If you see anyone else, it makes you a cheater and a slut.”
“You don’t date?”
“Sure, but only one person at a time. You see a guy you like and he likes you, and you exchange numbers. You text, he asks you out, and then you change your facebook status.”
“In this scenario, have you seen each other?”
“Well, how do you even know you like him?”
“So you’re not even talking? Why text when you can talk on the phone?”
This is where Twinkle Toes rolls her eyes and leaves the discussion—at least in mind if not in body.
“I just don’t get it. How do you know you even like him until after you’ve had a few dates?”
“You chat on Facebook, you text, sometimes you Skype.”
“Do you hold hands and hang out and talk?”
“If you’re going out, yeah.”
“But not until then?”
Which explains why my daughter has had three boyfriends in less than a year with quite a few months in between each break-up. She didn’t get to know they guy before they were exclusive and after a half dozen “dates” she figured out they weren’t for her or vice versa—then they’d break-up.
What occurred to me was in the modern-day scenario, there isn’t much there to break-up. Yet it’s considered a break-up and the one who got dumped takes it very personally.
It was much easier when you just didn’t call the guy any more. If I went on a handful of dates and didn’t really, really like the guy, I’d tell him I just wanted to be friends and move on or he’d simply fall off my radar—no break-up, no long texting session, no awkwardness, no heartbreak—disappointment maybe, but not heartbreak.
Now there’s relationship drama before there’s even a true relationship. I don’t get it. Why the rush to change your Facebook status?
Can anyone explain this to me?
What is this going to do with the Contemporary Single Titles Romances? Am I going to have to start adding Facebook Status Change ceremonies in all my books? Is there such a thing as a love triangle anymore?
Is this the way it is in adult dating too? My thirty-something single friend says it is. What do you think?