Life
by Steve Coulter on June 13, 2013

Religious documents aside, relations between men and women have stood the test of time and, over the many centuries of human existence, have constantly evolved to the point where they are today — bound and defined by how we elect to operate our respective cell phones.

In today’s dating world, the element of human interaction has taken a backseat to the rapid advancement of technology, signaling perhaps the greatest challenge to relationships since Adam and Eve fell out of the Garden of Eden (I swear that’s my last reference to ancient history).

Now, I am not trying to say that face-to-face communication is outdated, obsolete or even extinct; however, there is a thick layer of texting, snap-chatting and Instagramming —or as I like to call it: bullshit  —a bro has to drill through before anything “real” starts to rise to the surface. And don’t even get me started on Facebook and Twitter.

If only we lived in simpler times…

Most bros tend to forget that less than a generation ago — let’s ballpark it at the turn of the century, circa 1999 — time wasn’t wasted so fervently on technology.

If a bro liked a chick, he would just say so and if she liked him back, things would progress accordingly: First date → make out (maybe more) → second date → more hooking up → third date (if even necessary) → status: dating.

Back then, I was only a toddler tso I don’t actually have much of a fame of reference, but I could imagine before the cell phone boom things went a lot quicker and there was certainly less over-thinking, hypocrisy, jealousy, second-guessing and tormenting that went in to trying to date someone.

Nowadays, I feel like every one of those factors is a natural and accepted outcome of being in a relationship. 

Yes, men and women struggled prior to the 21st century, but the burden our generation is faces is lifting the impossibly heavy weight of technology off our chests so we can actually breathe; so we can live comfortably enough that we can attempt to forget the barrage of neuroticism associated with trying to date someone.

Instead of the simple timeline presented above, we get 21 questions with 21 open-ended answers based on your own individual circumstances:

When do I send the first text? What should it say? Should I call instead of text? Should I leave a voicemail if she doesn’t answer? Should I just use Twitter, Facebook or SnapChat, instead? Why can’t I just wait to talk to her in person?

If you escape the pre-contact social media blender and get manage to get a response, the technology blitz only gets faster and hits harder as you move your way down the field:

How do I respond and keep the conversation going? Why hasn’t she responded back yet? Should I dare send a double text? When’s the appropriate time to ask her on a date? How should I ask her — text or call? What should I say if she answers the phone? Where should I take her if she says yes?

That’s a lot of questions and a lot of harmful mental work that could pirate a bro’s sense of stability. And the worse part is that you haven’t even gotten to the red zone yet. When you finally go on the first date, the questions remain and you are in four-down territory without your phone to hide inside. Rather, you have to react in the moment and be on your toes constantly, which isn’t easy for a phone junkie.

What should I say? What shouldn’t I say? What do I order? When, at all, is it appropriate to check my phone? How about the bathroom? How does she think the date is going? Should I ask her bluntly? Why can’t we just skip all this and start hooking up already?

As I alluded to earlier, every case and every relationship is different so advice on the subject a complete crapshoot because this brave new world, which has been created for us without our input, is unfamiliar terrain for all of us.

And this fact — all of us, both men and women, are lost here in the unknown world of dating in the 21st century — is the only life-vest bros cling onto in these perilous, technology-ridden waters.

[Woman on laptop image via ShutterStock]