Swipe right: Five dating norms we need to ditch in 2020

An image displays popular apps for dating, such as Bumble, Tinder, Hinge, and Grindr.
(Greta Long • The Student Life)

A few weeks ago, I was asking a friend for dating app advice. I was talking to a guy on Bumble, and he hadn’t responded in over a day. There was no reason for him to ghost me, and I was starting to feel a little impatient. 

I asked her: “Do I double-text? Or is that weird?”

She responded and rolled her eyes.

“Dude, double-text if you want. It shouldn’t be weird to double-text. You make the rules. Do what you want.”

After she said this, I realized that although her advice was really simple, she was so right. I subsequently went down a deep thought spiral about all of the weird, unspoken dating rules I was upholding.

So, I present to you a list of dating norms that we need to ditch in 2020. Although they may seem like arbitrary rules, these norms are something we abide by daily, without a second thought. Let’s dare to go against the grain — it will be so much more refreshing for everyone involved when we do. 

1) Not double-texting

Speaking of double-texting, it’s time to be OK with doing it. It’s 2020. How many times has a potential partner or date double-texted you, and you thought it was weird? Literally never. Ninety-nine out of 100 times, it isn’t weird to double-text — if anything, it shows that you’re interested in the conversation.

I’m an advocate for the double-text. Besides, what do you have to lose? If that “special” someone doesn’t value you investing more time to get to know them, they probably aren’t worth it anyway.

2) Ghosting

As someone who has ghosted and been ghosted, it isn’t fun to be on either end. Being ghosted makes me question how I acted and it becomes too easy to overanalyze my actions. I don’t think anyone actually enjoys ghosting, but it can often be an easy way out if you’re not ready to be honest with someone.

However, I’ve made a vow to myself to never ghost again. It takes less than a minute to be upfront with someone, and chances are, the person will respect you more if you’re honest about how you’re feeling. Instead of ghosting, send this text: “I enjoyed our time together last night. I’m not looking for anything serious right now, but I think you’re super cool!”

Tailor the message to whatever suits your relationship status and/or thoughts about the person, and remember that it costs you nothing to be respectful. Being upfront also prevents a lot of potential problems such as miscommunication, unnecessary waiting or even heartbreak on behalf of the other person.

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3) Playing the waiting game

How frustrating is it playing the “I have to wait at least 10 minutes to respond to this text” game? Even though I find myself doing it, I find this behavior to be super irritating and also pointless. We are all on our phones constantly (whether we like it or not), and pretending we’re busy or unavailable simply wastes valuable time for interesting conversation. How are you supposed to have an engaging conversation with someone if they take an hour to respond to each message? 

4) Randomly liking old Instagram pictures

I cannot even unpack this logic. I’ll set the scene for you:

You receive an Instagram notification on your phone that someone has liked your photo. You think, “Hmm … that’s weird. I haven’t posted in a few weeks.” You check the like and see that a random guy has liked your high school graduation picture from two years ago, and so your love story begins.

This tactic has literally never worked out. I understand that liking someone’s old picture expresses that you’re interested, but to me, this just seems creepy and suggests that someone is stalking my account. If you’re interested, please don’t like a photo from two years ago. It’s weird. Instead, shoot your shot and send a non-slimy DM. 

5) The pleasure gap

With women exerting more power now than ever, the fact that the pleasure gap still exists is baffling. The pleasure gap, a term coined in Katherine Rowland’s book, “The Pleasure Gap: American Women and the Unfinished Sexual Revolution,” explains that the pleasure gap is the fact that, in male-female sexual encounters, men “get off” more frequently than women.

If you’re a woman who sleeps with men, I’m sure this reality isn’t shocking to you. I won’t get into the specifics here, but I recommend that you educate yourself on this topic because the statistics about female orgasms in heterosexual encounters are appalling but unfortunately not surprising. 

My final message to straight men: Please do better.

Meghan Condas SC ’22 is one of TSL’s relationship columnists. She’s an English major who can be found making Spotify playlists, consulting Co-Star for dating advice and searching for the best vegan cookie in Claremont in her free time.

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