Rarely do I wish to return to my youth. Only when it takes forever for an injury to heal, or when my head tells me I have the flexibility, strength and stamina of earlier days and my body proves my head wrong. (Or when I see a photo like this one where my husband and I look so young.)
There are many aspects of my younger life I never want to relive. These include high school, college, job-hunting, eating hot dogs and twenty-cents-a-box macaroni and cheese every day, and dating. As far as the latter, I wouldn’t even know how to do it now.
For many people the search for a serious relationship has become as time-consuming as job-hunting, and probably more emotionally draining. And for millennials — those born between 1980 and 1995 — “on-line dating is the norm.”*
Until I read an article on the topic in last Sunday’s “Seattle Times,” I’d never heard of dating apps and sites OKCupid, Tinder, Hinge, Siren, Coffee Meets Bagel, Double, and Plenty of Fish.* Today, these are common ways to make that first connection. And those first connections require research, decisions about whom to contact, then the anxiety involved in waiting for a response. After that, is a second meeting in the cards? In some ways, it’s the same process as young people have used for decades, but for an old-timer like me it sounds much more punishing.
“Between 2005 and 2012, more than 34 percent of married couples met on-line, outstripping work and friend introductions…”* So the system must work, but the research phase seems more like hard work and the effort more stressful.
My husband and I met in a philosophy class at the University of Washington, when we were both 19. Our degrees did not lead to jobs, but we always say that meeting each other was one good thing to come from our choice of major.
We married at 25, which then was considered late in life but now isn’t.
We’re still happily married, forty-plus years later.
Looking back, it seemed so easy. It was easy.
I’m glad that younger generations seem to be up for the modern dating game and that for many of us older folks, the game ended long ago.