I had an online dating experience recently that was pretty typical. Lots of cute daily messages, followed by a date, eventuating in a kiss, proceeded by silence, and eventually a curt “what’s going on?” some time later. A time during which a message from me had been ignored.
There’s nothing special about this scenario, it’s a dance that’s repeated day in and out by those seeking connection with others. But why is there nothing special? When did this become the norm? It seems that it’s written in Tinder’s Golden Rule Book that we must act aloof and careless to those we hook up with, treating them worse then we may a complete stranger. In my experience, women want to have casual sexual encounters just as much as men do, but it’s made difficult by this apparent necessity to be inconsiderate to one another afterwards, and it’s entirely unnecessary.
We need to raise the bar on what is acceptable in online dating culture.
It’s easy to blame the individual, however, there is a culture around online hook ups that makes this behaviour acceptable and in some circumstances, even promotes it. But it starts with defining how we wish to be treated, not by what is currently permissible by societal dating standards but by how we feel, as human beings with intrinsic value, should be treated by others.
If you’ve ever been on the dating scene, you’ve probably been stashed. Jessie Stephens explains the trend, on Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues after audio.
I wrote back to this guy’s message:
Dear Boy from the Internet,
Thank you for finally getting in touch with me after our date a week ago and ignoring the message I sent.
I’m sorry but I don’t think we should contact each other again. I feel you haven’t showed me a whole lot of respect or kindness since our date. Either you’re playing it cool or you just don’t care enough. Either way, they’re not things I wish to seek out in the people I surround myself with. I especially don’t want to invite these people into my bed.
It’s a bit of a shame because I really enjoyed our date, and I really wanted to f*ck you. However I just can’t continue, knowing how differently you treat a woman after only one kiss. I’m nearly 30, and I don’t need this shit.
I’m not asking you to shower me with affection, love and around the clock contact. Nor is this a letter demanding more attention. It is not being clingy, nor needy, bossy, demanding, naggy, bitchy, overly emotional, or any other gendered word that is popping into your head right now to excuse your behaviour.
It is simply asking for kindness and respect in all relationships, whether they are loving and long, or for just one night with a stranger from the internet.
That girl from Tinder.
Girl From Tinder is a medical student in Melbourne. With a background in law, commerce and consulting, she loves giving her two cents, especially on issues that impact the treatment of her fellow women.