What Are You Looking For: Dating in 2018 as a 20-Something

You know the feeling when you sign into Tinder, or Grindr, or whatever your dating app preference is (sadly, it’s becoming our only option at this point…) and you get the black screen that says it’s a match or the tri-tone noise of a message incoming from a stranger.

They have a profile picture with a dog; Check. They like to go to the movies; Check. Intellectual; Check. Picture holding a fish? Sure… so you give them a try. You chit chat back and forth and share a few laughs. Doesn’t this sound like it would be much better in person? I’m just picturing a present-day When Harry Met Sally and the entire movie is just them sitting in their rooms sending nudes and chatting while chip crumbs cover the bed and Grey’s plays in the background…


The next question is one that can be all too familiar to many: “What are you looking for?”

Oh. I’m sorry, did I make it look like I have lost something? I get asked that question so frequently, it has gotten to the point where, if I’m feeling sassy enough, in return I send this:

Realistically, dating in 2018 has come to the point where we feel the need to clarify right away what we are looking for. It has become such a grey spectrum of what we are looking for and with whom we can find it. Hookups, a relationship, a date, chats, a gym buddy… You name it, there’s a good chance someone has said they’re looking for it.

So what am I looking for? Blame me for looking too much into the dating app scene, but a recent article on Huffington Post’s Highline on the epidemic of gay loneliness has me more aware than ever that what I’m looking for is only becoming further and further away from me.

I am looking for a genuine soul. Someone who can have a conversation and get to know you in person as much as they can behind a screen. Someone who can watch any movie or TV show with me. Someone who can make me laugh and enjoy a good stand up special. I want someone who can put the phone down and put effort into me like I do with them.

I can’t say I’m looking for much, I’m very open in terms of looks and personality, but one thing I can say is that what all these people are looking for on these apps is so far from what we really need. This is in no way a millennial bashing shit post like “we ruin everything, blah!” everyone knows I am very much a “the boomers ruined us” person, but as a millennial looking for something genuine I find it hard to believe I’m the only one looking for something outside of the digital world, but why can’t I find any luck?

We crave instant response and attention. We have the world at our fingertips; a car ride, food delivery, dog walkers, etc. and it’s no different with human interaction. Whether it be Snapchat or Instagram, or tinder, we can get an instant connection. However, if it’s not tonight, people push you aside and go for the better, more accessible option. It’s a temporary connection.
So it seems that looking for more than a double-tap is becoming too much. It takes time. I am looking for patience. I am looking for more in a generation that is becoming comfortable with the minimal.

I can’t put them completely down, one of my latest close friends I actually met on a dating app, and that relationship is all I wanted; a connection that took time and patience to grow and will continue to grow. I know his Starbucks drink, he knows my dogs and that I like to cook.
A genuine connection.

So what am I looking for? Connection. Connection in a world that is so connected, yet completely disconnected at the same time.


K. Mc.


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