Personally, when I’m about to have sex with a new partner I want to be able to unwrap the present, not already knowing what the gift inside looks like.
My mom and dad have been married for 32 years. Theirs is a relationship out of a fairytale. They actually remind me of Allie Hamilton and Noah Calhoun from The Notebook. It’s not that my folks have ever been engaged to other people or that they’ve lived in the Southern States of America. My dad has never built a house for my mom and as far as I know my mother isn’t an heiress. As a matter of fact, my parents and these characters have nothing in common except their undying love for each other. I have never seen two people who are as much in love, apart from the movies, quite like my parents. Their story truly ends happily ever after which is problematic for a person like myself who doesn’t believe in Hollywood endings.
One evening, while I was chatting to my dad about another one of my failed relationships, I asked “Dad, what’s the secret to meeting your soulmate?”.
“There is no secret” he responded, “everyone is just so overexposed these days that there is no magic or mystery in relationships”.
His words instantly struck a chord me with me. I’ve always felt nostalgic for the bygone days when men would court their love interests and couples would create relationships founded on newly learnt knowledge of each other. Perhaps this is why The Notebook is a favourite amongst gays and single women. We’re all hoping that one day our Noah or Ryan Gosling will appear out of anonymity and save us from singledom. But nowadays, with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Grindr, Manhunt, Scruff, Dudesnude etc it seems that nobody remains anonymous for long.
There are no surprises anymore, no intrigue or mystery surrounding people. Not only do I know what you look like without your clothes on but I know what you ate for breakfast. I’ve witnessed all the holidays you took with your ex-boyfriend, your intimate moments in bed together, the walks along the beach, what he bought you for Valentine’s Day. Hell, I’ve even seen the collages of pictures from each week you were together (and I noticed when they stopped too!). I know what you look like in your underpants, I’ve seen your entire wardrobe, I know all your friends and I even know which is your favourite movie. I’ve witnessed all the songs you listen to on Spotify, read all your funny jokes, followed your check-ins at your favourite cafes and know who else was there with you. I’ve virtually met your mother, grandmother and siblings. I’ve seen the inside of your bedroom, know what car you drive, where you have you hair cut, how you take your coffee and what your desk at work looks like. I’ve seen pictures of you when your were a kid and to be honest your were #cuter when you weren’t so vain and wore a shirt more often. Which makes me think, who takes those “selfie” shirtless pictures for you anyway?
Now before you accuse me of hypocrisy, I openly admit that I am responsible for partaking in many of the previously listed activities although I draw the line at soft-core porn. Quite frankly I find it all rather attention seeking but before I digress too far let me bring it back to the purpose of this post. In a time when we are all encouraged to be more linked-in, wouldn’t you prefer it if people kept their face out of your book? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if new love interests had the opportunity to discover all your subtle character traits for themselves? Personally, when I’m about to have sex with a new partner I want to be able to unwrap the present, not already knowing what the gift inside looks like. If everyone’s already seen the package on Instagram, where’s the excitement?
So before you complain about never meeting your Prince Charming or that your relationships never last, step away from the gym mirror, lay down your phone, put your pants back on and ask yourself “what would Noah do?”.
Image: River Viiperi (Paris Hilton’s boyfriend) for Interview Magazine. Here are some more pictures from the September 2012 underwear editorial featuring other male models.
I couldn’t agree more, Josh!
I was JUST having this conversation last night and it dawned on me that in our modern world of rapidly advancing technology and social network systems we are so deeply connected online that we are neglecting our offline realities. Gone are the days were lovers meet as a result of an unexpected conversation on the bus, the days where strangers greet each other or people in waiting rooms share stories. Instead people are face down, fingers tapping as they absorb themselves in a world far from their seated position traversing their own profile page. The ‘igeneration’ as I like to call it (although I don’t claim to be the first) is becoming increasingly self-absorbed and what’s most concerning is the acceptableness of this. For example, the term ‘selfie’ has originated from a narcissistic culture and the fact that we have this neologism is a result of the common practice of photographing yourself. I think as a young person in this contemporary social climate it is hard to strike a balance but an awareness of the dangers of revealing or investing too much online (as you suggest) might in fact be at the detriment of your success in the offline.
Thanks for your eloquent post Nats. You raise a great point about neglecting our offline personalities. How much are we actually missing while we’re face down? How many missed opportunities for random rendezvouses and exciting encounters have there been?
Expanding on your point too, even when we are offline we worry about how our actions will look online e.g. taking photos for Instagram of checking-in on Facebook. How “offline” are we really?
Perfect! Finish him!
Recently I had a girlfriend ask another friend to accompany her on a double date…before agreeing to it the girl asked for the boys name so she could look him on facebook. Only after this would she decide if he was worth her time.
Upon hearing this majority of my friends and I were shocked. We didn’t understand how she could be so vain and completely disregard the fact that she was doing her friend a favour. In her defence I think social media has groomed her into this way of thinking. To her its perfectly acceptable to be able to research a person to figure out whether or not they could be prospective partner as opposed to a real blind date.
Thanks for commenting Chiara. It’s hard to resist looking people up on online, especially when it’s so easy. I personally think it takes away half the charm and excitement of blind dates. Then again, if the option is there to do a little research beforehand, you may be saving yourself some trouble…