Millennials: Those born around 1982-2001, also called generation Y, following generation X (me).
With Millennial, Gabe-the-24-yr-old, in my life right now i can't help but think about when i was 24... and dating...
Now I'm not going to get all grandfatherly and wax poetic about how i was online dating before Millennials could even email (Lavalife anyone? anyone?), how guys CALLED me on my LANDLINE (yes, and it was a cherished 212 number) to chat and schedule a date because text messaging hadn't been invented, and how i used to walk uphill both ways to dates listening to my discman, while carrying a cell phone that weighed 5lbs and had an antenna. Oh, and don't even get me started on mix tapes.
But i digress. The point is, i wondered: What is dating like today for 20-somethings? Is it different than my experiences? or better? or easier? or similarly annoying?
The only way to get the truth was to go to a Millennial: my good friend and fellow blogger, Frictionally Unemployed, 10 years my junior. We sat down at our favorite cafe in the east village for a chat.
100 First Dates: How old are you?
Frictionally Unemployed: 22 going on 23 in less than a month.
100FD: What is your blog about?
FU (this abbreviation just made me laugh): Frictionally Unemployed is about my quest to finding my dream job. I'd say 75% of it is stories from the countless of odd jobs I've worked and the remaining 25% is just me bitching and moaning about the job hunt.
100FD: What is your favorite neighborhood to go out in the city?
FU: Probably the Lower East Side. Everything there is just so... gritty. No one really gives a shit about what you're wearing, which is nice because I can opt for the nike sneaks instead of heels on the nights I really want to go dancing. Everyone's just there doing their own thing. Plus my aunt, whom I visited as a child, used to live on Ludlow when the LES was a much different neighborhood, so the historic aspect is also really cool.
100FD: Are you single?
FU: I am single.
100FD: Are any of your friends in serious/long-term relationships?
FU: None of my close friends are in serious relationships, with the exception of one or two. Overall, we're all pretty single and mingling. I do have some high school friends that married but those are definitely outliers.
100FD: Do you prefer causal dating or relationships?
FU: I don't think I'm built for casual dating. I don't like to waste time and I get too invested in things. I'd love to be a casual dater but I'm definitely more a relationship girl.
100FD: How was long did your longest relationship last, and when was that?
FU: My longest relationship lasted a little under two years. He was my first boyfriend and we dated senior year of high school to the summer before sophomore year of college. We went to different colleges out of state so it was long distance half of the time.
We were both super young and I was very naive and hopeful when it came to love so needless to say, I was pretty heartbroken when it ended. This was the first and only time I've eaten an entire pint of ice cream, mainly because I don't like ice cream. I thought since this was what the girls did in the movies, it had to help a little. It did.
100FD: Ice cream does help, as does whiskey. Have you ever met a guy via facebook?
FU: No way. Do people really date people they meet through Facebook these days? I rarely accept random Facebook friend requests and the first word that normally comes to mind when I get one is "creeper."
100FD: Yes, they do, surprisingly. I can name two couples (in their mid-20's) that i know who connected through facebook, however they were friends of friends so not total creepy strangers.
FU: Interesting... Like they saw an attractive person on their friend's Facebook and friend requested them? Because I've definitely Facebook stalked a few attractive friends of friends but never knew it could be taken beyond that.
100FD: Try it! And more importantly, blog about it! How do you usually meet new guys?
FU: All of the guys I've dated I met through friends. Aside from that, it's usually through school, or now, work.
100FD: Are you any online dating sites? Are your friends?
FU: I am not. I had a brief stint with online dating towards the end of last year, but it was a short-lived affair. My mailbox started getting inundated with daily responses or nudges or whatever the match.com version of poke is, and it freaked me out too much. I unsubscribed after about a week and a half.
I have a couple of friends that do it and are wildly successful, if not in the "currently in a relationship" kind of way, then in the "casual dates with entertaining stories" kind of way, which is what pushed me to try it in the first place. But I don't think I'm ready for that world yet.
100FD: No woman is ever ready for that world. Has a guy ever called you on the phone to ask you out? And, no, texting is NOT calling.
FU: I'm really trying to think of an instance but I don't think so. I'm slightly sure at least one of my exes have called to ask me out after we'd been dating, but I'm not really sure that counts and even then, I'm not really sure that happened.
God, I hate texting and I hate how everyone's fallen victim to it, myself included and I'm probably the worst. The call to text ratio of my last relationship was probably 1:9, as opposed to my first relationship (before unlimited texting), which was more like 8:2.
100FD: I'm happy to hear that some Millennials (you) are on the same page with some of the old gen x'ers (me).
FU: That's the thing, phone conversations are risky. You can't edit what you want to say to sound wittier or smarter. The silence of a text conversation isn't nearly as deafening as the silence of a phone conversation.
I loved talking on the phone with my first boyfriend. Ask my freshman year roommate. It's downright embarrassing thinking back on our phone conversations and all the sappy shit we said, "i miss you"s, "i love you"s, "you hang up first." But now that I've experienced the other side, with texting and everything, I definitely miss the sincerity of those phone conversations.
100FD: Yeah, sappy text messages - not the same! Do you prefer a traditional date - like one on one - or a group thing?
FU: Oh, one on one, definitely.
100FD: Describe your ideal date.
FU: First thing that comes to mind is a Knicks game. Even though I'm a Magic fan to the grave, the scene from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days really makes me want to have a beer and cheer on the Knicks at the Garden with a charming guy. I think a good date would just be doing something we both enjoyed together, whether it's a basketball game or a concert or coffee and a walk around a new neighborhood. It takes some of the pressure off and if the date sucks, at least I still get to catch a good game.
100FD: Who should pay at the end of a first date?
FU: The dude. Or whoever did the asking. Though if it was a Knicks game, I'd be prepared to pay for my own ticket. I really don't have a problem going halfsies, it just makes a better impression if the guy offers.
100FD: What is the most annoying thing about dating guys your age?
FU: Girls my age. It's hard to find a 22-year-old guy who will take me seriously and not find me completely interchangeable with the millions of other girls in New York. Why spend a night trying to get a girl's number when another girl at the bar will just go home with you after a couple of bad pick-up lines and strong drinks? I mean, who can blame a 22-year-old boy? Scratch girls my age, guys my age can just be annoying.
100FD: Do you think romance and chivalry are still alive? Are these even important to you?
FU: Very important. I'd like to think romance is still alive and I'm sure it is; it just doesn't happen as often as it should. Same thing with chivalry. One of the easiest ways to seriously impress me is opening a door. I don't know if guys think that girls don't notice, but I know that I notice every time a guy opens a door for a girl or gives up his seat for a girl.
I read something the other day, possibly from your blog, about a girl who thought chivalry was dead but then went on a date with a guy who not only opened doors but he walked on the side of her that was closest to the street. You know, in case a car was to swerve onto the sidewalk and hit her. I didn't even know this was a thing! So no, I don't think romance and chivalry are completely dead but I also don't think my generation and shows like the Jersey Shore make it any more alive.
100FD: Whaddya mean? Snooki isn't the role model for women today? Ok, what qualities are you looking for in a guy to date? (if there are any dude readers, listen up!)
FU: This can easily be turned into laundry list pretty quickly but I think my number one thing right now is that he has to be passionate about something. It doesn't necessarily have to be something I understand. It could be Badminton. As long as they have a love for something and want to share it with me, that's a big turn on. Two other biggies are humor and open-mindedness.
100FD: Would you be open to blogging on 100 First Dates about your next date?
FU: Of course!!
So to answer my question, What is dating like today for 20-somethings? The damn same.