Tag Archives: Dating

Y Generation: Afraid of dating?

Artwork by Alec Fernandes/Xpress Magazine

Comments that Judah passengers left online at "We Met On the N"
Comments that Judah passengers left online at “We Met On the N”

The comments above are just some of the many posts on the new matchmaking website, “We Met on the N” , created by Alex Lee at the beginning of February. Similar to Craigslist’s “Missed Connection” page, “We Met on the N” is an online site where Judah passengers can write secret admirer notes to people on the Muni train in a passive effort to set up a date. This new online dating site is just one of the many websites and mobile apps that is used by people to find the perfect match.

Online dating has been an option for the single and ready to mingle since the birth of the notorious Match.com in 1995.  According to The Pew Research Center Online Dating & Relationships report, 38 percent of current single U.S. adults have used an online dating site or dating app. Now with a plethora of smart phone dating apps on the market, like Tinder, Hinge, The League, OK Cupid and Grindr, the dating world is an oyster for people who don’t have a relationship status listed on their Facebook.

Big Data Seeks Online Love states that one in 10 Americans have used a dating site or mobile app. The Pew report states that 22 percent of online dating sites and app users are in their mid twenties.

Dating apps and online sites are helpful for someone with a busy lifestyle who simply doesn’t have time to go out to new bars and scan the room for that special someone. But are apps like Coffee Meets Bagel simply used as a cop-out for someone who doesn’t have the confidence to go up to that cute guy at Philz and ask him on a date? Does our generation prefer to hide behind a screen and accept rejection in the privacy of our room, instead of taking the risk of being publicly denied?

Lee said watching a passenger ask a girl out on a date was his inspiration for creating the site.

“It was maybe a Thursday or Friday evening [when] I saw a guy sit down and introduce himself to a girl. Bold move,” Lee says. “And that just made me think there must be a lot of people who want to introduce themselves to someone they find interesting or attractive, but it’s just too painfully awkward.”

Do people in their 20’s now turn to using apps and online sites to find a date because we don’t want to risk a painfully awkward moment? Watch the video below to hear what SF State students have to say about their experiences on dating apps.

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

Photo by Erika Linker
Photo by Erika Linker

Written by Erika Linker

“Aren’t you going to eat the meat I put in there for you?”

The dreaded and familiar question had been lobbed at me before I could turn away and hide the remaining contents of my bowl. As I poked at the mysterious hunk of tough, grayish-brown meat with my spoon and attempted to delay the inevitable, I recalled the excitement that had been caused by this meat a few hours earlier. “Is that what I think it is? Oooo boy! That’s right, that’s right,” the excited shouts tumbled out of the kitchen and I had started to wonder exactly what was going to be served up.

With my poking getting me nowhere closer to tasting this intimidating meat chunk that had been so cleverly disguised in my favorite creamy peanut sauce, my boyfriend grabbed my bowl and deftly sliced the chunk in half.

Oh, the swells of gratitude that crashed over me — thanks honey. Drowning the meaty half in as much sauce as I could fit onto the suddenly tiny spoon, the moment of no return had finally arrived. With my mouth wide open, and boyfriend staring, my taste buds were assaulted with these salty-smoky, weird and unrecognizable flavors that I dreamed of washing down with the glass of red wine sitting within arm’s reach.

As I chewed the meat, I could feel my impending doom as it expanded in my mouth— the same way steak did when you tried it for the first time as a child and you ended up spitting it out into your parent’s napkin. With one more mental kick in the pants, the deed was done, the meat swallowed, and my mouth was being cleansed by the familiar sweet-tart taste of wine. I looked up to see not just my boyfriend watching me, but his cousin and two friends as well, all grinning widely.

“We’ll make you into an African yet, girl,” they gleefully jeered at me. I’d just had my first taste of goat meat.
In cosmopolitan San Francisco, the concept of interracial relationships is often taken for granted. It is a metropolis of mixed races, ethnicities, genders, and sexualities, the concept of interracial relationships seems rather tame to the modern city dweller. As an insider of the interracial relationship club, I can tell you that the joys and pains of dating a person of another race are as real now as they were forty years ago— they’ve simply evolved and look different.

The novelty and hesitation that interracial relationships are met with are unsurprising when one examines the low numbers of them in the country. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, interracial marriages make up only ten percent of marriages in the country. The number rises when looking at unmarried couples, though not by much: eighteen percent of opposite-sex unmarried couples are interracial, and twenty-one percent of same-sex unmarried couples are.
For Ayuchi Haga, thirty-four, the reality that her relationship as a Japanese woman with a Jewish-American man was still a novelty, came when her nephews first met her husband.

“I’ve always been really close with my nephews— from the time they were born to this day, they look up to me, and I’m always helping take care of them,” says Haga. “So I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry on the day they met my husband. He kneeled down in front of them to say hi, and they started crying because his face and his features were not familiar to them.”

It’s true— the modern day interracial couple is still faced with judgment and disapproval by family and friends. One of my closest friends once shocked me by saying that she wished I would “just date white guys” because it would be easier for her to understand and relate to. This remark came after I had told her the story of my first trip to a barbershop for black men.

I sat waiting while the barber asked my boyfriend how he wanted his hair styled. He suddenly turned to me for my opinion. Should he line his hair? How far should the barber take it down? All I could do was stutter— what was lining? Take what down? I had never heard of these terms. Was there a menu of choices I could look at and point to?
Bridgette Marshall, a twenty-two-year-old white woman who has been dating a Filipino man for two years, says that for her, these humorous moments make up for the harder ones. She recalls the hardest moment in her relationship: when her boyfriend’s mother asked them to pretend they weren’t dating for the day so a close family friend wouldn’t be offended during her visit.

“I was speechless,” said Marshall. “I couldn’t believe that after all our time together, his family wasn’t willing to proudly stand beside us. How could we offend someone with our love? What about love is offensive?”

The funny moments that happen when new foods are tasted, new languages are learned, and new customs are introduced— these help interracial couples get through the snarky comment here, a raised eyebrow there, when people do just enough to remind them that they’re still discriminated against.

“We, as a couple, still get weird looks when we’re out in public. No verbal comments, just facial expressions,” says Marshall. “I believe that diversity has played a large role in the workplace, educational systems, and society is more knowledgeable of other cultures. But those little looks that people give us, they start to add up and make you wonder sometimes if we’ve really come that far from Loving v. Virginia.”

Loving v. Virginia is the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision that put an end to a Virginia statute that barred whites from marrying non-whites, while simultaneously overturning similar bans in fifteen other states. However, anti-miscegenation laws were still on the books as of 2000, when Alabama became the last state in the country to remove the anti-mixed marriage law from its constitution. The change almost didn’t happen, as the revision only passed by a narrow twenty percent.

In the end, people are going to love whomever they are going to love, no matter what color their skin is or what language they speak. While racism still exists and there is still some discomfort about interracial dating, we have to remember that not everything is about race— unless we continue to make it so. Love, after all, is a universal language.

Confessions of a Serial Dater

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By Sarah Todd
Photos illustration by Virginia Tieman and Kate Oneal
 

A year ago if someone had told me that I would be single, online and app dating, and writing about it, I would have seriously considered having that person committed to some sort of mental institution.

Hi, my name is Sarah, and I’m a serial dater.

Last year I was dumped by my boyfriend of more than three years and after a couple months of pity partying and throwing myself into work and school, I decided it was time to dust myself off and test out my game.

I had just returned to the college scene to attempt a second degree, and had a few years on a lot of my peers (I’m just not into younger guys). I’m not interested in mixing work and dating, and after a few failed attempts at the good ol’ fashioned bar hook up game, I just assumed I’d lost my touch and dating wasn’t for me.

Then, one day while not paying attention in class a good friend was showing me the app Tinder.  Since a couple of my favorite activities include looking at hotties and judging people I quickly became enamored with it.

Riding BART flipping through countless pictures of available Bay Area dudes. No. No. Creep. Hottie.  In between classes.  Shirtless pic, douche. Mmmmm tattoos. No. No. Yes.  Waiting for Game of Thrones to start. No. no. no. Yes please.

I never thought I would actually meet up with anyone, but within a couple weeks I decided to throw caution to the wind. I had been chatting with this guy for a couple days and we exchanged numbers, texted a couple more days and then made plans to meet for a drink.

That particular story isn’t that exciting. We got tipsy, made out, and parted never to speak again.

But when I got home that night I felt like I had been given Jedi powers, the one ring to rule them all, like I had touched the magic basketball in Space Jam.

I had basically hand picked a hot guy, got multiple free drinks, an awesome make out sesh and went home thinking, “yeah, I still got it.”

Fast forward to a couple months later:  I was, and am actively using Tinder and OkCupid and going on multiple dates a week.  More of my favorite activities now at my fingertips.  Dinners, drinks, baseball games, shooting hoops, being flattered, and not having to deal with sexual frustration.

I love meeting new people and hearing what they have to say, and for the most part, my time spent online dating has been enjoyable and satisfying.  But listen up kids, this is not for the faint of heart.

At the beginning of the summer I was excited about this sexy mustachioed man I found on Tinder.  He seemed totally normal, fun, genuine and we quickly set up a time to meet the next weekend.  Then he asked for my email address.  I thought it was a little strange since I had already given him my phone number, and within a few minutes I received an email entitled “Oh god, I just can’t hold it.”

Attached to the email was a video file.  I’ve since been asked by many friends, “Why did you even open it?”  Are you kidding me!?  Risk not having this story?  Not a chance.

I didn’t ask for the video, I didn’t send nude pictures.  This was completely unsolicited.  Still, I was in possession of a video of mustachioed man masturbating over his phone, complete with a messy, moan filled ending.

Alas, I did not meet up with mustachio man.  But he has officially been included in the The Dirty storybook and provides me with a cringing laugh every once in awhile.

I’ve learned a ridiculous amount about online dating in the past year.  Without a doubt if I could give any advice to people considering meeting up with potential matches from the internet, I would tell people to be honest.  Online dating gives a massive opportunity to lie about anything and everything, but it’s my experience that the more honest you are the better the results.

If you are looking for a boyfriend or a girlfriend make that known.  If you are looking for just casual sex or maybe a friends with benefits type situation, be straightforward about it.  But, if you aren’t sure what you’re looking for and you’re just testing the water, that’s OK.  It’s totally acceptable to tell someone, “I’m not really sure what I want out of this experience.”

Be ready to reject and be rejected.  Not everyone will message you back or think you’re hot and interesting.  Believe me, you won’t want to respond to every person that likes or messages you either.  But here’s the great thing, it’s perfectly acceptable to ignore people on the internet.

Not everything is genuine, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad.  A couple of months ago, after a few dates with a local comedian, he told me that to get my attention he used a“copy and paste” on me. This is exactly what it sounds like.  People will copy and paste the same line to multiple matches as a first message icebreaker in hopes that someone will respond.  The one he used was “So, we should probably get married now.”  I saw the humor and responded with “Obviously.  Since we matched on Tinder, that’s the next step.”  That turned into some of the best sex of my life.

Don’t be easily offended, it’s difficult enough these days to find a partner, or just get laid.  Strategy is all part of it.  Put yourself out there, be the first one to make the move and message someone.  Confidence is always sexy, whether online or in person.

Bottom line, be yourself, be open to new experience and always remember the obvious:  meet in public, and if it goes further than a meet up and turns into a hook up, protect yourself, don’t take someone’s word of “I’m clean.”  Better safe than sorry.