90’s Kid, Tinder & Faux Adulting

Being a 90’s kid is a difficult gig but we are all winging it somehow. This generation is a pot-luck lunch of pre-90’s and post-millennium break parenting. Some of us were potty trained without nothing but soap water and while some of us with the “cutting edge” mobile phones with “snakes” & “Pac-man” on them in monochrome. We are the generation that accepted public humiliation by teachers with a pinch of salt and brought apples for them the next day. We weren’t raised by the parents who sat comfortably while talking about period or puberty. We are the generation of self-proclaimed change seekers who a trip on coffee and share/accept life altering suggestions while chugging down artisanal beer in a dingy pub. Being raised in a generation driven by social norms and parental nagging to constantly do better, the 90’s kid wants to seize the day and do something for itself but not without a back-up.

Right-Swiped a Sapiosexual & a “Not here for hook-ups”.

Date Night – An Italian Restaurant, because – Adulting. Both kids are now seated opposite each other and are equally awkward. They talk about the weather, commute to date, hints of a make-out sesh later, occasionally checking their inbox for new matches. They laugh at each other’s jokes, contradict their political views and part ways ready for a next date-night – with the same person or the new match – who knows. After dissecting the date night’s conversation next day morning while staring into the excel sheet (because – boss) somehow the kids decide its better to be “just friends”. Another day, another date and so on, being trapped into this circle of feigned mutual appreciation, occasional subtle horny signals & tweezing the details from the previous night.

Before being with my current partner, I indulged in this rite of passage when in college. Like every other approval hungry 90’s kid out there, I was right-swiping like nobody’s business. It was fun, my dorm filled with coffee store paraphernalia from each date & approval hungry inner me still vying for more. Dates were fun, conversations deep & occasional long drives (note: stranger danger still very real though), but these were just that – Dates, all firsts and no seconds. So eventually, the adventure aspect of dating started to fizzle out – general conversations over coffee tables or bar stools started seeming forced. At this point, I was thinking, when I had decided to “seize the day & date more”, I could’ve just lit some candles and taken a bubble bath.

If anything, this exercise just lowered my self-esteem because nothing went to the second date thus making me think, “what’s wrong with me”. No re-runs of He’s Not Into You made me feel better. My need to be validated seemed like a joke I brought upon myself for the world to laugh at. Many Chicken Soup for Souls later, I realized, Tinder wasn’t the key to reach the top of the totem pole nor I needed to be appreciated to feel validated. While dating online through apps like Tinder are a really fun way of meeting new people and keeping things casual, but doing it just because you don’t feel good enough already isn’t helping anyone. 

If there’s a “second date” or a call back it’s a good thing but it isn’t a rule.

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