A Template for Modern Romance

A Template for Modern Romance

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

Dating paradigms before and after Tinder

Way back in the olden days, before Tinder, online dating, the Internet, texting, cell phones, and even Myspace, courtship was somewhat uncomplicated.

Late-20th-century dating paradigm

A. On any given Saturday night, Gal would go out with friends, spot Dude, bat eyelashes, meet said dude.

B. Gal and Dude would go on date . . . then several more.

C. Dude would give Gal a piece of jewelry. Girl would flash jewelry at seething single friends, explaining she and Dude were exclusive (aka going steady).

D. Weekly date nights and daily phone calls ensue.

E. Three months later, there would be sex.

Note: Gal would share sex info only with closest friends, not wanting to be viewed as a “slut.” Meanwhile, Dude secretly sleeps with sluts, as Gal would do only missionary.

F. Four months later, there would be an engagement.

G. Six torturous months later (after blabbering about bridal showers, bachelorette parties, gift registration, honeymoon planning, and nonstop talk about the fucking wedding), there would be an actual fucking wedding.

H. Kids.

I. Fifteen years later, half of couples divorce. Gal goes on ESME.

Easy! Nine steps to matrimony and a 50% chance of happily ever after.

In the 21st century, however, with the advent of online dating and the morning-after pill, romance is a whole new ball of lint. No longer must a girl needlessly attend boring sporting events, hang out at bars sucking down calories and throwing down cash. Gone are the days of going to the gym, libraries, or jazz concerts at the art museum. Jogging, hiking, trying to learn golf—all have become a thing of the past!

Now all a girl has to do to meet the man of her dreams is sit on her lazy ass in front of a Law & Order repeat episode with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and a cell phone. Thanks to Tinder and its online cousins, there is a whole new template for modern romance.

Twenty-first-century dating paradigm

A. On any given Saturday night, Gal flops on couch in sweats and stained Hello Kitty T-shirt, mindlessly swipes Tinder.

B. Gal aimlessly “likes” every dude within realm of possibility. Considers getting drunk and/or not wearing glasses as viable option to being picky.

C. Gal gets a “Match”!

D. Gal and Dude proceed with standard Tinder text protocol: “Hi.” “What’s up?” “How’s your night?” etc.

Note: Gal lies about her night.

E. Anywhere from two days to two weeks, Gal and Dude play Tinder text ping-pong. (The duration is dependent on number of Tinder chicks Dude is juggling at the time.)

F. Gal and Dude graduate to real texting on real cell phones.

Note: Insert possible dick pic—possible sexting—he climaxes—relationship ends—Gal eats Skinny Cow.

G. Three days later, Gal and Dude talk on phone, hear actual voices.

Note: At no time does anyone acknowledge dick pic or sexting.

H. Two nights later, first in-person date: drinks, hug, peck goodnight.

Note: Insert possible dick pic—possible sexting—he climaxes—relationship ends—Gal eats Skinny Cow.

I. Subsequent texting, every-other-day contact.

J. Gal obsessively tracks Dude via Tinder location feature: e.g., “Two miles away.” Shit! He said he was visiting his mom in Barstow. Asshole!!!

K. Gal proceeds to “manic text” girlfriends.

L. Gal and Dude have second date: make out in car, on sand, or on golf course, depending on city and public ordinances.

Note: Insert possible dick pic—possible sexting—he climaxes—relationship ends—Gal eats Skinny Cow.

M. Gal and Dude engage in one week of daily texting, replete with sexual innuendo, “Good morning” and “Good night” messages, including lip, tongue, and heart emoticons.

N. Date number three! Couple engages in sexual relations.

Note: Possible Dude climax—relationship ends—Gal eats Skinny Cow.

O. Gal continues to Tinder stalk, dismayed by Dude’s continued Tinder lying—even after getting balls deep with her. Gal’s imagination runs wild.

P. Gal gets tested for sexually transmitted disease.

Note: If you are 23% of the population and the end of the relationship does not occur, the following will transpire:

Q. Gal and Dude mutually decide to “go off Tinder” and engage in the “going-off-Tinder (GOT) ritual”:

going-off-Tinder ritual (gōiNG | ôf | tindər | riCHo͞oəl)


  1. modern Homo sapiens mating custom, generally performed in romantic setting, accompanied by alcoholic beverage, wherein male and female exchange cellular devices and simultaneously “delete” the other’s Tinder account. Ritual is generally followed by a kiss and stupendous sex.
  2. modern equivalent of “getting a piece of jewelry” once practiced among Homo sapiens in pre-21st-century era.

R. Gal calls mother and all known friends; changes relationship status on Facebook; tweets, Instagrams, and uses all existing forms of technology to publicize her completion of the GOT ritual. Experiences 24 hours of fanatical joy.

S. Dude goes home, freaks out.

T. Dude breaks up with Gal, goes back on Tinder. Gal eats Skinny Cow, goes back on Tinder.

Note: If you are 11.5% of the population, and scenario T does not occur, the following will transpire:

U. Six months later, there’s an engagement.

V. Six tortuous months follow: bridal showers, bachelorette parties, honeymoon planning, and nonstop talking about the fucking wedding.

W. Dude observes friends Tindering. Dude remembers single-life freedom. Dude experiences onset of “Jessica Alba syndrome.”

X. Dude ends relationship. Gal eats Skinny Cow.

Note: If you are 2% of the population, and scenario X does not occur, the following will transpire:

Y. There is an actual fucking wedding.

Z. Kids.

Note: Fifteen years later, half of couples will divorce. Gal goes on ESME.

Swipe on!

Kathleen Laccinole, ESME’s Dating Resource Guide, has penned numerous films and parenting books but is best known for producing the highly lauded Greta, age 20, and William, age 16.

Please feel free to contact us with any comments or questions.

Send to friend

Download our ESME app for a smoother experience.

Get the app Get the app