Traditional dating is dead. The proliferation of dating apps is part of a wider trend: we’re rejecting monogamous, committed relationships for short-term casual encounters. We’re told we no longer start dating to find the one, but to find the next one to spend the night with. But is this true? Has sex really replaced love?
The world of dating is changing faster now than at any time in history, and hookup culture has become pretty much the norm. This isn’t likely to slow down or stop, but we need to pause and think about the consequences.
The primary way we understand someone to be trustworthy is not by what they say, but how they live. We’ve all met people who might claim to be whiter than white, but when you dig beneath the surface and see into the nooks and crannies of their life, they’re just as imperfect as the rest of us. So simply claiming to be trustworthy isn’t enough — we need to see it in someone’s behaviour.
It was a very difficult afternoon for both of us. I had to explain to Jen (my then girlfriend, now my wife) about how I had been looking at pornography. That day, as we went for a walk, Jen could sense that something was up. She could see I was angry with myself and holding something back. I was nervous about confessing, as I expected it would hurt her, but felt I had to be honest. So, we sat on a park bench and I began to explain what I’d done.
There’s almost nothing that can taint the acquisition of our romantic or erotic desires. But, whether we’re reading the latest erotic novel or entering the meat market of the Tinder-swiping generation, we know there must be something better and that this is not real love. We need to reclaim romance apart from our flippant desires and redefine our notion of love, which can and should remain our highest value.