The meet cute. It’s the adorable how we met story that all girls (and let’s face it, most guys) dream of having once they come across the right person to settle down with. The story that you can tell your friends, family, and children over and over again until they’re tired of hearing it. The insufferable, “No you tell it, you tell it better” line that you’ve heard countless times in romantic comedies? That’s the meet cute. Your grandparents and parents probably have one. But you? Me? And a big part of our generation? We’re totally fucked.
It’s not that couples aren’t still getting together in capital ‘A’ Adorable ways. It’s the fact that those scenarios are becoming the anomaly. The new normal, which is destroying the meet cute for many of us, comes from the rise of technology and online dating.
Picture the following scenario for a blind date twenty years ago (1997):
A man and women who are complete strangers meet in a restaurant. Going into the night, the only thing they know for sure is that they have a mutual friend. Both of them are nervous, but as soon as they lock eyes in the restaurant, sparks begin to fly, emotions run wild, and it ends up being love at first sight. They go from dinner, to watching Titanic in theaters, to a walk in a park, where they share a kiss at midnight. He ignores the three days rule and calls her from his landline phone the next day, much to her delight. They set another date for that weekend. Nine months later they’re getting happily married surrounded by friends and family and they have a story to tell forever.
Sounds pretty nice right? A blind date turned into love and they lived happily ever after. They’ll tell their kids and grandkids about how they were set up by a friend and it blossomed into a beautiful romance. A little bit cookie-cutter, but easy and sweet enough to make anyone smile.
Now picture the modern blind date scenario:
A bleary-eyed, violently hungover man pounds his morning coffee down and makes his move to the office bathroom. He sits down on the toilet ready to rain hot lava on the seat beneath him. Once situated, he opens up Tinder and starts swiping right with reckless abandon, his body shooting out the poison he’d ingested from the Thursday night before. A fiery, unforgiving whirlwind of fecal matter, despair, and shame is expelled from his body at breakneck speeds. Ten or fifteen minutes later, he returns to his desk and sends an identical message to the six girls he matched with during his near-death bathroom experience, “Hey, plans for tonight?”
One of them responds, and they set up a time to grab drinks after work. Love, however, is not what they notice when they lock eyes for the first time. Rather, it’s the ten-to-fifteen plus pounds of holiday weight that was conveniently left out of their photos on the app. In a last ditch effort to bypass this unexpected weight increase, their initial order of beer and a glass of white wine is switched to shots of tequila.
A staggering amount of money later, both members of this blind date are sloshed enough to make a move. They engage in a far from tasteful bar makeout, and agree to Uber back to one of their respective homes. A night of forgettable and passionless lovemaking ensues, ending with the man in our story promising to text her that week… but he never does.
Nine months later, the woman hops in an UberPool after a fantastically unsuccessful Bumble date. She looks to her left and sees none other than the guy who never messaged her all those months ago. They exchange a polite hello, he apologizes for not texting her and asks if she’d like to get dinner sometime. Flustered from being asked out in person and not via text for the first time in what feels like years, she agrees without hesitation.
One to two years later, the heroes of this love story are still together. The pressure of turning 30 bears down on them relentlessly until they crack and decide to settle down for real, reluctantly getting married… not quite the story you want to tell your grandchildren.
So, is that it? Is our generation doomed to a lifetime of awkwardly avoiding the how you met story? Or do we lie and make something up to tell our friends and family? Personally, I think you tell the truth about meeting online, but maybe leave out some of the more controversial details, if there are any. Perhaps there is still hope for our generation, but only time will tell.
In the meantime, get out there and try to meet someone while you’re not on the toilet. You never know what might happen. .
Image via YouTube