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Is our Generation Romance Intolerant?

Published on
Feb 12, 2021
Written by
Jessica Augurusa
Published by
Edited by
Lannii Layke

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and that got me thinking about our generation’s relationship with romance and dating in the 21st century.

Everything has gone virtual, including dating. The chaos that was 2020 made us experience online dating in a new way. Forget about the awkwardness of a first date, we were physically restricted from going out and meeting new people.

So, I started asking people: What is your take on online dating in 2020/2021?


Are we looking to feed our ego? Or do we think we can find our soulmate by swiping right? I think it might be a bit of both!

Take it from someone (me) who has tried most of the popular dating apps; finding the right one is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Slim pickings. I’m sure many can relate when I say that online dating feels exhausting. It’s a slow conversation – sometimes waiting days until you get a response back and ridiculous tête-à-tête for weeks until you get to the good stuff. Either, you’re looking for a quick hook-up or you have enough time to invest into getting to know someone who might turn out to be an anti-masker. From my point of view, online dating is more work than play, and who needs that when we already live in a 24/7 society.


So, in a generation of socially awkward young adults, how do we make meaningful connections that have romantic potential?

We are so used to meeting people over apps. What happened to real romance? The kind we see in French films. The, “I can’t live without you in my life” or, “you give me everything just by breathing” (yes, this is a Twilight reference), or even the, “I’ll move overseas to be with you” type of love. Have we become so romance-intolerant that we settle for FaceTime calls and painless texts? What exactly is “romance” anyway? Is it an extravagant night out to a swanky restaurant with roses and a bottle of champagne, or merely Netflix and chill?


When you go up to someone at a bar and ask to buy them a drink there’s a feeling of thrill and excitement. When you’re sitting at the library and the person across the room that you’ve been eyeing comes up to you, there’s instant butterflies. That’s what we’re missing. Instead, it’s the notification “you’ve got a new match!”: an ode to instant gratification and loss of intimacy. When did it become more awkward to meet IRL than meeting each other through a screen? Online dating used to be so clandestine; now it’s the new normal. Meeting your partner at a bookstore is a fairytale found in fiction books. The fun in getting to know someone is completely lost in the straight-faced text reading “LOL”.


In less than 24 hours you can swipe and easily have 20 matches at your fingertips. Everything in life is streamlined, even dating. We carefully curate our profiles to attract a specific ‘type’ and often lose our true selves in the midst of it all. It’s a modern-day tragedy; you liked them but they only liked your Instagram personality.

That’s not to say that you can’t meet an amazing person and fall in love through an app, I know many people that have! But I will say one thing: the start of a relationship dictates it's progression. Begging the question: Do dating apps set us up to become complacent in our relationships?


So, spend this Valentine’s Day expressing your love for the people around you. Put in the effort. That can be as simple as drawing a bath and lighting some candles – romance doesn't have to come with a $100 price tag.

Even better, let’s forget the fact that we might not have a significant other and instead appreciate the people we do have. Our friends. Our family. Most importantly, ourselves. Yes, it’s cliche but, so is Valentine’s Day. We often forget this day is about love. Love for life, love for the opportunities we have, love for sunny days in the middle of winter. Whatever it might be, let’s spread love. The world can use some right now.