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The Internet, Rappers & Romantic Fantasy Killed Dating…But No One Noticed

The Internet, Rappers & Romantic Fantasy Killed Dating...But No One Noticed
Dating is dead now and there are a couple of broadly held premises about who carried out this cultural homicide.

JOIN me in RIPing this phenomenon we call Dating. Unfortunately, it is dead. The body was charred and they dredged the ashes spread in the alley behind a local club and all the coolest joints in town. It is sustained by three offspring: Booty Call, Friends With Benefits and Just A Friend. It leaves five grandchildren behind: Boo’d Up, Entanglement, Holla Atchoo, Cuffing Season and Netflix & Chill.

Widely known by many names, including Courting, Getting To Know, the notion of Dating has been all over the place of yore. No soul, DOA, knows when it was born, even though some Biblically-disposed folks speculate that it was birthed when the “first man” Adam took Eve on a stroll through the park and let a speaking serpent convince them to feed on that “one forbidden tree”. Yet, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why a wholeass human being would attend to a talking snake instead of running like hell or assume a talking snake had reasonable dating advice.

Since that illustrious day, dudes have sought to curry favour with the hearts of women with a period of getting to know them–whether it was for marriage, sincere passion or to take part in the primaeval mating ritual called the nookie.

Alas, Dating is dead now. The powers that be have been conducting a postmortem to see what exactly killed Dating and there are a couple of broadly held premises about who carried out this cultural homicide.

For one, the damn Internet did it.

The worldwide web killed dating. I recall when I would sit on the phone all night with some RnB jams playing in the background getting to know a girl. Bruh, in 2020 why would anyone get to know one person, their likes and dislikes, their flaws and attributes when you could literally just swipe left or right and get someone else? The instant gratification that envelops us has also robbed us of our capacity to organically build a relationship.

A 2021 research study that I will prognosticate this weekend over a bottle of Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka to substantiate this point asserts that over a 90 percent of us would never have been born if old dears met on Tinder.

The internet gives us the ability to meet, check out and filter through an infinite number of possible dating subjects, but it probably brings to fewer actual long-term connections because you don’t get to truly know someone. It’s why buffets suck. When you are pressed to look at a menu, choose one dish, have it prepared and brought to your table, you will savour it more than you do the pile of chicken wings and cornbread on a buffet joint. Dating is the same way. Perhaps it died because too many choices force you to wolf them all down without getting to enjoy the flavour.

For another, rappers killed Dating.

Look, there are many stans, social anthropologists, cultural authorities who observe hip hop who point to the viral popularity of the expression “We don’t love them hoes” as a watershed moment in dating history. When it became trendy to believe that “Bitches ain’t shit,” and that you couldn’t “turn a ho into a housewife,” poor Dating first retired into protracted indisposition.

Before then, even hard-edged folks believed that the key to a woman’s heart was through kindness and romance. They made countless songs on that.

Deplorably, it is now an antithesis. We now dwell in a realm that believes that “these hoes ain’t loyal” is a plausible dating philosophy. Nowadays canzones entreating for the first kisses have changed into berceuses asking what else a mouth can do and if he can “eat the booty like groceries”. Phew!

While one would have thought of all these as unadorned conjectures based merely on opinion, we cannot turn an unconscious eye to the fact that art does not modestly reflect the culture: it drives it. The collapse of every civilization can first be nailed down in the art it generates. By the time we detect it, it is usually too late.

When women/ladies became bitches/hoes and men’s hearts and heads became simple decorations, vital only for animating manhood, Dating started decaying but no one noticed.

Although sometimes distantly implicated, there is a group of complainants who says it was romantic fantasy who did Dating dirty.

The idea of love poems, novels and paintings have been around since antediluvian fellas used beet juice to draw on the walls of grottoes. But back then, you had to walk to the cave to see the drawings. You had to sit down and read a Mills & Boon novel. You had to go to the library to find a love poem. Since then, the idea of romance and love has become an arcane, unidentifiable standard that only survives in the pages of Irene Sabatini novels and Tomas Brickhill movies. Women are deluged with so much false imagery of love, that those fictional images have grown into a real quest. It’s like going to the gym to workout because you want to be Nigel “Spartan” Maphosa. Whew Chile!

New Millenium men are supposed to strew rose petals across thresholds and take women for midnight dances in the rain and gallery tours and exhibitions when the truth is that they have to get up in the morning. These unrealistic lists of “must-haves” – a devilishly handsome guy with two college degrees, his own crib, own gig, making at least five digits numbers every year and no kids – they conspired against Dating.

The gentlemen who can change your oil, take care of his bills and make you feel safe when kombi touts hassle you or when you think you hear a trespasser at the door is probably not the same guy who fulfils the unrealistic fantasy in your head about going to Cookout in a meadow while swirling bubbles. Those are two contrasting guys. One wears ripped jeans and Timberlands and doesn’t give a hoot about picnic baskets. The other guy is fine, wears skinny jeans, but he’s afraid there might be spiders in the prairie.

Women have this facile view of courtship and what they want in a man fashioned from Bryan K, Fungai Nengare, Prayersoul songs, Zimbuzz columns and the light-skinned dudes at Ginimbi’s All-White Parties who takes Stocko Girls on hot-air balloon rides.

I’m sure someone will write a song about that.

ImChris Charamba

Head Storyteller at Enthuse Afrika. A Storyteller & Creator who balances nuanced & witty literary writing with a pop culture experience. Captivates raw, authentic sights, moments, feelings and conversations. Follow him on Twitter @ImChrisCharamba 

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