Read any article online and the story is the same: men are playing games, and women are the victims. Yet, a role reversal is upon us. Gone are the days of traditional accounts of Tinder-ization owned solely by women. From across the pond, Hannah Rogers explores. These are the Confessions of a Twenty-Something.
Much has been written about what the Tinder phenomenon has done for men. The ability to find casual sex as easily as a bagel has paved the way for the development of the commitment-phobic, dick pic-sending, ghosting and bread-crumbing* males that millennial women find themselves up against in the game of love. Read any article online and the story is the same: men are playing games, and women are the victims.
What is not written about enough, is how narrow minded that side of the story is. Because single millennial women are not victims: they are fully fledged man eaters. We know what we want, and a picket fence, it ‘ain’t. Instead, try sex. And plenty of it, at times that are convenient to us, around everything else that we value as more important: our jobs, friends and bank accounts.
So commitment-phobia, dirty texting, ghosting and breadcrumbing is as much in our repertoire as any boy. In fact, it seems that we women are guiltier of that kind of behavior more and more. It’s the boys who are now being left out in the cold, wondering where we ran off to so soon after they paid for dinner, and following our Instagram stories to find out.
Maybe this attitude hasn’t reached stateside yet. Or maybe it has, the boys won’t fess up to it. But in the UK, and London especially, they have, and in fact were just branded ‘broody and desperate’ by The Times this past weekend, after an early preview of results from The Harry’s Masculinity Report, out October 30th.
The report is the largest British survey ever conducted into the well-being, core values and priorities of men. And what did it find? That single men are sick of being single. That they want the picket fence – and that they can’t find girls to stand behind it with them. There have even been articles about how difficult men find dating women now, and that it is them who are the victims of our Tinder-ization.
Now, obviously this argument is contained in a rather misogynistic corner of the population, that doesn’t represent the whole. Still, you need only look at the WhatsApp group of any twenty-something girlfriends in London (and I’d hazard New York, too) to see why any perfectly nice young man might feel put out.
Modern girls refuse to settle. “He was too nice,” says one of my friends after what sounded like a great date. “He didn’t have the right kind of banter in bed,” reports another. “He didn’t pay for drinks,” bemoans a third. Translation: it doesn’t take much now for us to write a guy off – and that’s after we’ve already vetted their looks by agreeing to the date in the first place.
That is because boyfriends, to us, aren’t a must-have accessory anymore. We’d rather have the Céline handbag. It’s less time-consuming and we know we’ll love it forever. But, despite what most of the men in these articles might think, we do like them. And we do want to find, ‘the one.’ It would be ridiculous to say otherwise; everyone, despite appearances, wants to find someone to split Chinese take-out with on a Sunday night.
The difference now is what boys need to do to get us to split that take-out with them. In times gone by, we (the girls) may have accepted the fact that a man even wanted to – and in turn wanted the commitment, the romance, the happy-ever-after fantasy – as a phenomenon. A unicorn of the dating world, if you will. Now, we know better – and expect better, too. The paradigm shift between the sexes on the dating scene is very real and, sure, Tinder might have made us women more picky. But saying that emasculates you as a man isn’t going to gain our sympathy vote – and it definitely won’t bag you a date.
*the art of leaving bread-crumbs of attention across a former fling’s social media (liking, poking, story watching and following/unfollowing to the point of madness.) Spoiler alert: the trail leads nowhere.