What is Dating in 2014?
Have you ever seen the movie Goonies? I watched as a young youth, in fact I watched it so much that I internalized it. It became part of me and affected how I see the world, how I value my experiences, and what I want to do with my life. I never wanted to ride Troy's bucket back to safety to go and wear varsity jackets with the cool kids. All I've ever wanted to do was save the boondocks. My boondocks. And that has been my motivation throughout life, I need to protect and empower the things I hold dear. To never succumb to the willful distractions that send us riding up someone else's bucket away from our path, and towards the banality of perceived cool. To never succumb to the dead weight of convention convincing us to turn back where even experts like Chester Copperpot met doom before us. Goonies taught me to always live by my ideals, and never live by someone else's standards.
I know I'm not at all alone in my ideals and values. I know the razor thin edge of a cliff I sleep on is the same one that many of yall sleep on. But we are living, entirely and thoroughly living. And so, in the context of all of this living I think we've found ourselves somewhere different than where we started. And it's different enough to merit talking about it at the least, and overhauling every single thing we do wouldn't be out of the question as talking about it at the most.
Millenials split into two halves: the older half and the younger half. And while age aint nothing but circles in space, it makes a difference here because there is a threshold that was crossed somewhere in the late 80's or early 90's. People born before that threshold experienced life before the internet and the limits of our reality were defined by that world for half our lives. People born after the threshold--whenever it was--don't know what it's like to know about a musician or band, and wait years to finally be exposed to this rarified art. And of course it goes much deeper, it's a diffuse thing that leaves no part of life untouched.
Our way of life before the internet is not in keeping with our current reality. There is a break in the course of humanity, and after that break is right now. We have to determine how to be human in this new reality where we are all connected to everything and everyone at all times. Much of what we consider "being human" and "existing in our society" from the banality of shopping, to the extremities of identity and love, and everything in between from race, to labor, to money, to accountability is being thrown into consideration.
Lately I've been thinking about dating, and the ways that we share and accept (or withhold and reject) love. What does it mean to date? What does it mean to tell someone you love them? I think a lot of what is implied--to varying degrees for the various people who do so--is that love leads to monogamy, and shared purpose in life. Dating is about filtering towards monogamy, and thus a shared purpose in life. But, is that stuff even relevant anymore? Well, yes, it is definitely relevant when it's a natural evolution of two people's experiences sharing love. However, is this formidable partnership an appropriate default for all dating? Should all dating be about finding someone to help you ford the river, fight off robbers, survive on rabbits and squirrels for months, live through dysentery with no medicine, and eventually make it to the end of the Oregon Trail? Only if you're on the fucking Oregon Trail.
Most of us are not on the Oregon Trail, and for those of us who are, it's unlikely that we're doing it with a partner. That's because the Oregon Trail has been 10,000,000% abstracted into something else. The smoke and mirrors of eons of society, technology, and change have made our nature in this world something separate from the things we see as nature. We are living in the numbers, the ether, the internet. There's nothing inherently bad about our previous way of living, or this one. They are both merely fields in which we play ball. So, in this new field do we need a partner for a lifelong game? Or do we need many partners for the many games we play?
Are we suited by the products of a life based on coming out of school and getting a job with a growing corporation and working your way up over the course of your life, shopping at specialty shops in the shopping district downtown? Or are we suited by the products of a life based on learning everything you need from the internet, buying everything you need from the internet, and working via the internet? Those are just two extremes, and obviously we find our lives somewhere between those two poles. However, I think we could get a lot closer to the internet side of things, and we'd likely be a lot more comfortable.
There is no big conclusion for what we need. For me, I am just trying to find people to share experiences with, who take care of their bodies and their lives, and are moving forward. We will likely have different paths, but they will overlap or run parallel long enough to have a positive affect on one another. The world is wide open, and we are all going different places, all from different places, and all at different places in our lives. But there is a secret harmony to all of that from, going, and at. And you can feel it around certain people. And when you feel it you should live it. How? That's up to you, but it probably isn't gonna be like Oregon Trail.
Stay hungry, never scared.