The Nostalgia of Dating

Author: Michelle Ioannou, The Dating Game

Millennials have revamped dating. We’ve already discussed this. We’re not meeting our significant others in the traditional ways. We use dating apps. We talk to people before meeting them. We go out for drinks or coffee rather than dinner and a movie.

I miss how dating used to be, though. I miss it…and I never even experienced it.

I grew up watching Saved By The Bell and saw Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski’s relationship. And watching Boy Meets World and saw Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence having one of the truest forms of love we’ll ever see.

I grew up hearing stories from my parents about how they met and the dates they used to go out on. I grew up thinking that going out clubbing or going out to a bar would be how I too would meet someone, assuming I didn’t already meet them at school or church.

But that’s not how the world is anymore. By the time I became old enough to date, social media was already a thing. No, there wasn’t Tinder yet, but people were meeting each other online. People were spending time online rather than going out. By the time I entered into the dating scene, I missed my opportunity for the sweet olden times — the times I had heard about from those older than me, and the times I had seen portrayed on my favorite television series.


I may be a millennial, but I long to be back in the dating world that my mother was in. I’ve tried the dating apps, and I’m starting to think they’re just not for me. I want to meet someone the “traditional” way. Maybe I’m too much of a traditionalist — that could most definitely be it — but I have this nostalgia for something I’ve never experienced, but wish I could have.

Does every millennial need to have this opinion? Absolutely not. This is solely mine, and maybe some of yours as well. I don’t want to sit here swiping left. I don’t want to sit here seeing (inappropriate) photos of you that I don’t want to be seeing. And I don’t want to sit here and be part of some game you’re trying to play.

I long for the days before “talking to” was a thing. When people didn’t want to keep their options open — when another option wasn’t at your fingertips. I long for the days I didn’t have to worry about who’s being Snapchattedis he messaging someone on Snapchat without me knowing? Is he sliding into some other girl’s DMs? What if he actually didn’t delete his Tinder? It’s so sad to me that these are just a couple of the many questions that need to be asked, and the many possibilities that could happen — and have happened.

Maybe it was because I was a child and I wasn’t out there experiencing it, but dating used to seem so blissful. I’m sure it still had its difficulties, and its frustrations, and its hard times. But to me, it just seemed more pure and more real. Take me back to those days.

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