Sex & Relationships
In Loving Memory of: Dating

By Michael Harriot

Yesterday, police found the bloated, dismembered corpse of the concept of dating yesterday in an abandoned house on the edge of town. Although authorities initially logged the body as “unknown,” and many speculated that it might have been the remains of other missing, long-discarded theories (initial guesses included Mutual Respect, Work Ethic and Jeans That Didn’t Asphyxiate The Make Genitalia) further investigations proved that the departed remains belonged to Dating.

Known by many names, including Courting, Getting To Know… and even “GoTogether,” the concept of dating has been around since time immemorial. Although no one knows when it was born, some Christians speculate that it was birthed when Adam took Eve on a walk through the park and let a talking serpent convince him that Eve would be impressed if he brought her a fruit basket from that one forbidden tree. At least that was Adam’s story, although, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why anyone would:

a. listen to a talking snake instead of running like hell, or
b. Assume a talking snake had reasonable dating advice.

Anyway, since that mythical day, men have tried to woo the hearts of women with a period of getting to know them–whether it was for marriage, genuine interest or to participate in the prehistoric mating ritual called the “nookie.”

But dating is dead now.

Authorities will now conduct an autopsy to see what exactly killed Dating. There are 3 generally accepted theories about who murdered Dating.

  1. Snoop Dogg – Not literally  Snoop, but  there are many social anthropologists, cultural experts and niggas who listen to rap music who point to the viral popularity of the phrase “We don’t love them hoes” as a watershed moment in Dating history. When it became popular to believe that “Bitches ain’t shit,” that it wasn’t “no fun if my homies can’t have none” or that you could’t “turn a ho into a housewife,” Dating first went into a prolonged illness. Before then, even hard-edged rock and rollers and hip hop aficionados believed that the key to a woman’s heart was through kindness and romance. It is now the opposite. Now the world believes “these hoes ain’t loyal” is a legitimate dating philosophy and an apt pickup line is “wait til you see my dick.” Nowadays ballads begging for a first kiss have transformed into lullabies asking “what dat mouth do.” Teddy Pendergrass’s bold invitation to “come on over to my place” seems quaint when compared to offers to “Netflix and Chill” while allowing someone to “Eat the booty like groceries.”You might think these are simple conjectures based simply on opinion, but art does not simply reflect culture, it drives it. The fall of every civilization can first be pinpointed in the art it creates. By the time we notice it. It’s usually too late. When women became bitches and men’s hearts and brains became simple accessories, necessary only for animating penises, Dating started dying. But no one noticed because, you know…

    It ain’t nothing to cut that bitch off.

  2. The Internet – Not the rap group. Or the singing group. Truthfully I don’t know if the music group sings or raps. I just saw them nominated on the B.E.T. Awards and thought “that’s ingenious.” Naming your group “The Internet” is a smart idea, but I couldn’t tell you how they sounded if they came to my church every Sunday and sang before the pastor’s sermon. Anyway, the world wide web killed dating. I remember when I would sit on the phone all night with slow jams playing in the background getting to know a girl. Well, in truth, I’ve never done this, because I was a nerd who got his first phone number from a woman when I was around 28 years old, but I’ve heard stories from  people who did this.But in 2016 why would anyone get to know one person, their likes and dislikes, their flaws and attribuets–when you could just swipe left (or is it right) and get someone else? The instant gratification that surrounds us has also robbed us of our ability to organically build a relationship.  A 2009 Pew Research study that I just made up to prove this point says that 94% of us would never have been born if our parents met on Tinder.

    The internet gives us the ability to meet, check out and sift through an infinite number of potential dating subjects, but it probably leads to fewer actual long-term connections because you don’t get to truly know someone. It’s why buffets suck.

    When you are forced to look at a menu, choose one dish, have it prepared and brought to your table, you will savor it more than you do the pile of chicken wings and white-people cornbread on the bar at Golden Corral. Dating is the same way. Perhaps it died because too many choices forces you to wolf  them all down without getting to enjoy the flavor.

    The internet killed Dating.

  3. Romantic Fantasy – The idea of love poems, novels and paintings have been around since prehistoric men used beet juice to draw on the walls of caves. But back then, you had to walk to the cave to see the drawings. You had to sit down and read a romance book. You had to go to the library to find a love poem. Since then, the idea of romance and love has become an esoteric, unidentifiable standard that only exists in the pages of Harlequin novels and Meg Ryan movies. Women are inundated with so much false imagery of love, that those fictional images have become a real pursuit. It’s like going to the gym to workout because you want to be Superman one day.

    New millenium men are expected to sprinkle rose petals across thresholds and take women for midnight dances in the rain, when the truth is–that dude has to get up in the morning. These unrealistic  lists of “must-haves”–a 6’3″ guy with two college degrees, his own, house, own job, making at least $135,000 and no kids–they killed datingThe guys who can change your oil, take care of his bills and make you feel safe when you think you hear an intruder at the door is probably not the same guy who fulfills the unrealistic fantasy in your head about having a picnic in a meadow while blowing bubbles. Those are two different guys. One wears basketball shorts and timberlands, and doesn’t give a fuck about picnic baskets. The other guy is fine, wears skinny jeans, but he’s afraid there might be spiders in the meadow.

    I knew Dating was missing and presumed dead when a woman I had taken to the movies, to dinners, to events with friends, to parties said she “deserved someone who will date her.” It took every corpuscle in my body to ask her “well what the fuck have we been doing?” But I know, now. They have this facile idea of a courtship and what they want in a man fashioned from Beyonce songs, Cosmopolitan articles and the light-skinned dudes in Madea movies who takes their girlfriends on hot air balloon rides.

    I’m sure someone will write a song about that. Maybe “The Internet” will.

Whatever the case may be, Dating is dead.

It is survived by three children: Boot E. Call, Friends W. Benefits and Just A. Friend. It leaves four grandchildren behind: Boo’d Up, Holla N. Atchoo, Cuffing C. Son and Netflix N. Chill.

The body was cremated and the ashes spread were sprinkled in the alley behind a local strip club along with a Newport and half a Black & Mild.

In lieu of flowers, we ask that you make it rain at the local booty shake joint to the new song by The Internet–Bitches love Balloons.

Rest in Peace, Dating.

We hardly knew ye.

About the author

Michael Harriot is a renowned spoken word poet, the host of The Black One podcast and the editor-in-chief of NegusWhoRead. He is perpetually just getting warmed up because he has no chill. He is on Instagram and twitter as @michaelharriot

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