A note from the editor.
Allen Katherman is a guest writer to mantanium.com this summer. He is a Poker personality, fashion enthusiast, nuclear engineer and a great friend. Be sure to follow him on instagram and check back for more.
Swiping Right and Living the Vegas Life…. What I’ve seen our generation become
By Allen Katherman
When Tinder, the location-based dating app, first appeared in September of 2012, it provided an alternative method to dating. The app allowed users to set up a profile with a basic description, photos and dating preferences which would be added to an interfacing database. Then, based on the user’s preference in location, age and gender, the database would allow other users the option of liking other users by swiping right if they found them attractive and left if they didn’t. If two users swiped right to each other, the app would then allow them to message each other and from there they would carry as far as conversation can. The app was originally designed to expedite the initial butterflies of meeting new people but instead, it has left an impression of social endeavors that has now become the new standard to how our generation behaves and treats others.
What used to be a union of two people, relationships are now viewed with the approach of “what can they do for me?” vice “what can I do for us?” Just like Tinder, our behavior has become so compulsive to find ways on how others aren’t able to add immediate substance to our lives that we quickly “swipe left” to those who make even the slightest mistake. With this mentality intact, its not unusual to see one explore their “options” of people vice looking for compromise and unity. Just think of how many times a certain relationship or situation didn’t work out and you’re immediately reminded of “all the fish in the sea” and how “they weren’t good enough anyways”. Being viewed as options and treating people only as a benefit to us has changed the standard in our dating culture but another change that has become more and more apparent is the loss to traditional gender roles and the dying breed of alpha males in society.
It wasn’t long ago when the expectation for dating was for the man to court the woman and to provide for her every need. But as social norms and professional roles have changed, it’s not unusual to see the woman paying the bill and taking the alpha role in social endeavors. What used to be a male driven society is rapidly changing to conform to the alpha personality which is indiscriminate to gender and/or race. Is this a bad thing? No, but because of the acceptance of women being able to fit the role as a man the dating standards amongst male and female roles have also changed. It used to be that a man that would sleep around a lot would be considered a “pimp” whereas when a woman slept with more than one man she would automatically be labeled as a “whore.” This has quickly changed as the dating and social expectations have changed from being monogamy based to now being enthralled around options.
You can have the most chiseled abs, solid jaw line, abundant income and be the best dressed man/woman in the world but at the end of it all, there will be something about you that keeps you from being perfect from somebody else’ eye. Maybe your personality can use some improvement, or your jokes can use better timing, depending on who it is, there will always be a flaw about you. The same could be said about what people are looking for in their partners. I don’t care what examples you can bring up about couples that seem to be “perfect” for each other, the reality is that it is impossible for two people to be 100% compatible for each other. When you see a “happy’ couple, what you see are two people who find enough good qualities in one another to overcome and find compromise in the other’s flaws. Although this “happy couple” is great in context, the reality is that this is only an exception. In a society that doesn’t seek to compromise and would rather receive instant gratification, dating has become a rotational wheel of certain people filling roles which has pushed a moral compass beyond traditional measure.
Since living in Vegas I’ve seen dating and relationships in one of two ways; either people cheat with their other side pieces periodically to fulfill these other desires, or they just stay single but constantly keep people in rotation. Maybe your girlfriend doesn’t like watching sports or maybe your boyfriend doesn’t dress up nice for nights out, what’s the best way to mitigate this problem? SOMEBODY ELSE. One can call it shallow using people to fulfill other roles but from what I’ve seen the last few years, it’s the societal norm. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen out where every weekend there’s a new person hanging off their shoulder and depending on what we’re doing, a certain person to fill that role. I have friends where if they’re at the club, Karen will be with them and if we’re at Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the game, Jessica will be there all the while his Instagram will be flooded with his main squeeze, Julie. This isn’t everybody nor am I talking about somebody specifically, all I’m saying is that more often than not I’ve seen people fill into this persona. But this is only the behavior I see from people that live in Vegas, tourists are a whole different story.
I remember being on deployments and being amazed at how people’s behavior changed the instant the ship left the pier. Something about being in the middle of the ocean and being restricted to a hundred thousand-ton ship that made people behave in a manner that can only be described as primal or even primitive. It wouldn’t be uncommon for people to be constantly hooking up with each other in fan rooms and setting up such hook ups for the next port call. Although not the same as being entrapped on a warship for a circumstantial amount of time, tourist behavior while visiting Las Vegas is as comparable as it gets to being deployed. Something about not being in their normal setting enables people to behave differently and become more promiscuous in behavior. You’ve heard the stories, people going to Las Vegas and cheating on their spouses. Not to be the bearer of bad news, but this all too often closer to the truth than it is a myth (be forewarned, don’t think everybody gets laid here, if you’re ugly and have no game in Los Angeles, than you’re still going to be ugly with no game here). The amount of bachelorette parties that visit Vegas while seeing the bride to be leaving the club with a random person for the night or even the women that I’ve taken home and seeing them text their boyfriends the next morning. Some have even given me their number to me while their boyfriend left for the bathroom in the club. This of course applies for men as well as I have many female friends who have described their endeavors in the same manner, there just aren’t as much women who talk to me about this. The amount of times that Tinder is downloaded as soon as they land in McCarran airport is astounding and it’s just as easy to delete it with zero evidence to hold them to guilt. After seeing this behavior amongst men and women in San Diego and now in Las Vegas, I’ve concluded that people are only loyal to their circumstance and their needs, whether it be long term or immediate, and not to people as we once used to expect.
A lot of this may sound shallow to you but the fact is that its not uncommon anymore. Ten years ago, I would’ve been mind blown to learn of such behavior, but the reality is that dating, as it pertains to traditional monogamy, is a lost entity and the only way to “succeed” in it is to capitalize on how you approach the “game”. Not all people behave like this but the paradox that constantly happens is that even though the majority are consciously aware of this behavior, they are still seemingly disappointed when they get into a relationship when their spouse behaves in the option-based behavior or even divulge into it themselves. To avoid disappointment, one needs to really ask themselves what they really want in dating and if monogamy is even possible given who they are. What we really need to be honest with is what exactly is expected when in a relationship and are we the relationship-type of person. The actual catalyst to a successful relationship and dating, according to recent studies, is a rather shocking one. But as always, to be continued …..