Sappy lifestyle websites get tons of web traffic anytime they publish an article on millennial “dating culture,” because apparently we eat that shit up. They explore the questions that haunt our deepest inner psyche, like why good girls like bad boys, what ever happened to chivalry, and why you should go after a man who reminds you of your father, and why that’s not creepy in the slightest. All are equally vomit-inducing and bullshit. “Dating culture” doesn’t exist, because dating doesn’t exist, at least not in college.
Dating doesn’t exist mostly because first dates are fucking weird. They’re awkward and filled with silences that are too long and that stuttering dance for the check at the end of the night. Nothing about first dates is appealing to me in the slightest. Going on a first date with someone I barely knew, but hoped to “get to know better,” is basically my nightmare. Don’t even get me started on blind dates. Five minutes into the meal, I’m already counting down the seconds until we get the check. I don’t go on first dates because I hate first dates, and so does every normal college girl.
Let me describe how normal dating in college works. Girl drunkenly stumbles into a bar/party. Girl spots hot guy across the room and whispers about him to her friends for the next 30 minutes, occasionally staring at him for prolonged periods of time to get his attention. It doesn’t work, because the guy is too drunk to notice. Girl finally works up enough courage/drunk confidence to accidentally run into him. Guy sees hot girl. A few minutes of witty banter and pointless conversation later, they decide they’re both equally intoxicated enough to go home together. They bump uglies for a somewhat satisfying seven and a half minutes, and promptly pass out naked.
This is where the magic happens, or doesn’t happen, depending on the chemistry. If two people wake up the next morning after a drunken hookup and don’t awkwardly try to get out of the situation as fast as humanly possible, but instead spend a few minutes in bed laughing about how drunk they were last night, and bringing up the stupid things they said to get the other one in bed, it’s a good sign. A wise woman once told me that guys fall in love in the morning, and I think that’s so true. It’s the silly mornings, not the awkward dinners, that make him realize he wants to spend more time with you.
If you’re a cool girl in the morning after a hookup, you’re probably a cool girl in real life, too. Guys will assume you’re easy-going, chill, and at this point they know you like to have fun and are good in bed. You go out to brunch, talk about all the stupid shit that happened last night, and it’s better than a first date because you’ve already been inside each other so there’s way less pressure. You sleep together a few more times, and if you like each other enough at that point, you keep going out. Thus, a relationship is born.
It’s becoming more and more common that people are dating their one-night stands. The stigma attached to one-night stands, especially in college, is disappearing, and it turns out if you give the milk away for free, he might buy the cow a nice stack of pancakes in the morning. This is what modern day “dating” is like, and it’s not a bad thing. I’d rather be with a guy that I really connect with than go out on a bunch of weird, awkward first dates that just end up making me even more cynical about the male species than I already am.
Full disclosure: I’m not advocating for wild sexual romps with every guy that glances in your direction, and not every guy you sleep with will magically want to be your boyfriend. Do what you want. I’m just saying that if you happen to sleep with a guy and really hit it off later on, no need to thank me.
So this is where we’re at. First dates are out, casual dating is in. It’s practical. There’s no surprises. If you enjoy each other’s company, you go out a couple times and see what happens. That’s just normal. It’s how Chrissy Teigen ended up marrying John Legend, how my own friends ended up with their boyfriends, and if it worked on John Legend, it’ll work on that hot guy with a good personality I spotted at my favorite bar..