The Dating Game: Levels of Dating in a Millennial’s World

Millennials. What the fuck are you all doing? It is an ABSOLUTE shit show out there in your dating realm right now. Have you fallen victim to the dating hierarchy that has been established by your needy-impatient-instant-gratification-everyone-gets-a-trophy ecosystem? Have you come across “The Mad Swiper” who is preying on your hopes that a decent man exists within your geofenced range of tapas bars and hot yoga studios only to find he wants to split the dinner check and then finger-bang you in his 2008 Xterra? Are you a guy who is looking for a meaningful connection, but can only seem to lure wannabe Instagram models who talk shit about their unemployed –Gold’s-Gym-obsessed ex-boyfriend non-stop?

By the way, what happened to the days of dating when a man and a woman just decided to get to know each other for more than a period of three weeks without splitting that time and energy with 12 other people?

Shows like “The Bachelor/Bachelorette” have ruined the expectations of the date-seeker, thinking that they qualify to have a baker’s dozen of 20-somethings fighting over them like they are a flat screen TV at Wal-Mart during Black Friday. News Flash: YOU AIN’T SHIT.

You don’t deserve 12 people’s attention at one time. You have barely proven to society that you can handle one person’s undivided attention.

So how about you slow the fuck down and just get to know one person. Focus on them. You know what happens? They see that you can commit to something for more than five seconds. It shows restraint, loyalty, and character. But does the millennial know these words, or has instant gratification permeated through every facet of their life?

Ladies. Good job. You have 1,000 Instagram Followers, but you’re doomed to die alone while all those creepy men comment on your filtered beach picture while you watch your friends walk down the aisle year after year.

Millennials: Stop leveling each other up as you progress in the relationship. It actually creates MORE pressure to be on the same wavelength at every turn rather than letting things happen organically. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Take this video-game-like example home and reflect…

Level 1: Talking – This essentially means you have met in a one-on-one setting at least once and engage in regular texting conversations (because God forbid you people call each other on the phone). However, this also means that you consent that the other person is still able to “talk” to other dating prospects in a similar manner in which they are engaging with you. This level is impossible. Ever keep 7 texting threads going at once? You’ll need a pad and a pen otherwise you’ll start mixing people up and asking them questions that don’t pertain. Once this happens you have to start the game over.

Level 2: Dating (Not Exclusively) – Congratulations novice millennial! You have now had sexual relations with at least one your fellow millennial daters. But clear expectations about unclear morals allow you to continue to pursue other potential daters. You are unofficially in a bangfest, but society says it’s cool so keep going, right? Treat yourself to that extra Chlamydia.

Level 3: Dating (Exclusively) – The realization that one of these people in your final 12 is actually worth keeping around even after the awkward drunken sex and 45 conversations about where you’re at in your life. Don’t get too eager here or you’ll fall into the “pit of trying too hard” and your fellow exclusive dater will reset the game on you.

Level 4: Officially Labeled – If you have gotten this far, you can start calling your dater “Boyfriend or Girlfriend” but don’t do it on social media or you will find yourself back at Level 1 before your nosy aunt has already posted about the status change. Also, Millennials have made it clear that you need not get too cozy at this level, because usually around this time an ex has creeped their way back into the game and now you’re warding off incoming 2 am texts.

Level 5: Social Media Labeling – Holy exhaustion, Batman! You finally made it to the final boss: The Social Media Monster. And don’t kid yourself; this level is a bitch. You will need an instruction manual on how to approach it, and there is no one unified way. Some couples decide to make it “Facebook Official” early, but then fall victim to the many questions from their public once a break up occurs and all those pictures at the Sunflower Farm suddenly disappear of their feeds. There are some couples who end up married but have yet to take that final step in true validation, which is hitting that “Accept Relationship” button.

The game is confusing, not fun, but very entertaining for those who are outside observers. Let me remind you, this is the game YOU created. I don’t want to hear the bullshit about how there are no good guys/girls out there. You’re contributing to the culture. So stop. Grow some balls and be vulnerable and open.

Don’t let this game be the new hierarchy of dating that you now live by. And if you decide not to change……well……… I hope you like cats.

— Martin Macfly —