The #MeToo Movement Is Great But It’s Made Dating Really Complicated

Dating is already confusing enough as it is, but add in our current overly-PC, #metoo culture and it really over-complicates things. As if millennials need another barrier to finding a decent date, now we have to constantly worry about political correctness. Greaaaat.

  1. The social rules are changing at lightning speed. For example, it was only a few years ago that it was in vogue to sleep with anyone who swiped right on you, but now the social rules around dating and hooking up have drastically changed pretty much overnight. Ever since the sexual harassment allegations in Hollywood hit the news, hooking up is actually a big deal now. Don’t get me wrong—that’s generally a good thing. Still, things are just changing so fast, it’s hard to know whether what you’re doing is acceptable or not anymore. Not that we should care what other people think of our actions, but it does matter from a social perspective.
  2. You have no idea just how you could offend your date. People are very easily triggered these days and for good reason. I mean, if you watch the news for even a few minutes, you’ll likely hear about something that saddens, disgusts, and even scares you. Whether it’s about race, gender, or sexuality, it’s hard to escape the huge letdown that is our society right now. Everyone is on edge because of this so there’s no telling what words could offend whom. It’s a lot.
  3. One little mistake could ruin your chance with someone. I mean, if what you say is truly distasteful then hey, you deserve to be alone. But I’m telling you, I’ve accidentally said things that are no longer appropriate but were fine to say even six months ago and it’s just getting hard to keep up with what is and isn’t PC and also make sure you don’t hurt anyone’s feelings. Ugh.
  4. If you don’t see eye to eye on politics, it’s definitely over. Politics couldn’t be more black and white these days. If you’re a Democrat and your date’s a Republican, it’s not like a quirk that you’ll learn to love someday, it’s grounds for ending things immediately and indefinitely. Super harsh, but kinda necessary considering that being a Republican at this point is directly related to world-renowned racist organizations. Crazy.
  5. The conversations are really shallow. It’s like we’re too scared to just let loose and let the words flow so we’re making our conversations simple and safe. If you ask me, it makes for a really boring and awkward date—not because we’re not talking about risqué stuff but because we’re scared of saying anything outside of perfectly polite and appropriate conversation. We don’t need Big Brother anymore, we’ve done it ourselves.
  6. People are way more guarded than they used to be. Do you find that people aren’t as open as they used to be? Maybe it’s because everyone’s looking at their phones all day or because they’re scared of getting offended or offending someone. Either way, no one seems to want to open up anymore, which makes forming a real connection even harder than it already was.
  7. Women are way more wary of flirty advances than we were before. A guy making a move on you isn’t so simple anymore. You suddenly have to consider whether you actually want this guy and how to get out of the situation if you’re not. Is he going to take no for an answer? Are you in danger? Ugh, sometimes it sucks being a woman.
  8. You’re stuck between sticking up for yourself and being a nice, agreeable date. You would go on a crazy long rant if you could about whatever issues you stand for but you don’t want to seem like “that girl” so you just kinda… shut up and make sure you don’t say anything that could cause any kind of uncomfortable discussions. That’s no way to date but that’s what we’re doing.
  9. Every guy you date will give you his full manifesto on sexual harassment before you even sit down for dinner. We get it, dudes—you’ve never sexually harassed a girl in your life. Though super doubtful, it IS kinda nice to have a guy prove himself to you. On the other hand, you’re kind of thinking, “Dude, just don’t even talk about it—show me how respectful you are.”
  10. Calling someone your boyfriend just doesn’t seem right anymore. Boyfriend and girlfriend are heavy words these days. They sort of evoke certain expectations and roles that no one really wants to be boxed into anymore and I feel like dating has reflected that. That’s cool and all, but it’s also making things a lot more confusing. Also, the guy doesn’t know if paying for the meal will offend you or not paying will offend you. Not everyone is OK with playing the classic gender roles that have historically come with the whole “boyfriend and girlfriend” thing and that’s cool! You want to be your own person but still a girl but not a girlfriend. Make sense?
Jennifer is a playwright, dancer, and theatre nerd living in the big city of Toronto, Canada. She studied Creative Writing at Concordia University and works as a lifestyle writer who focuses on Health, B2B, Tech, Psychology, Science, Food Trends and Millennial Life. She's also a coreographer, playwright, and lyricist, with choreography credits for McMaster University’s “Spring Awakening,” “Roxanne” for the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, and “The Beaver Den” for The LOT, among others.

You can see more of her work on her Contently page and follow her on Instagram @jenniferenchin.