We Suck at Dating in 2021: Perhaps We Simply Fail to Communicate

Jay Hall
5 min readMay 23, 2021
Photo by Josue Michel on Unsplash

It’s a tale as old as homo sapiens; boy meet girl, boy gets interested in girl, girl says boy is too clingy, girl ghosts boy, boy gets mad, boy goes to the gym, boy starts pounding back roids, boy finds a Barbie, they treat each other terribly, and now everyone is jaded.

For those of you that haven’t dated in awhile, you might be thinking the above story is hyperbolic, but every element of that tale of woe is far too common in these days of pandemics, pandering and postmodern communication.

I’ve been there, all of my friends have been a part of one of these twisted love stories, and it’s safe to say that many of you reading this can relate.

So, why? Why are we here? I believe that a large chunk of the problem is the dating dictionary. Never heard of it? That’s because it doesn’t exist, but it should. So, in the interest of clear lines and intentions, let’s talk Dating Dictionary: Volume 1.


In an era where you constantly hear people say, “I’m not into labels,” it’s likely that we need to get on board. Without clear labels and stages, it can be challenging to gauge someone’s true intent. Do they just want to play stain the sheets or are they looking for something straight out of a Nick Sparks novel? So, let’s label the crap out of dating.

  • Crushing: The word “crush” feels a bit childish, doesn’t it? But, I think that’s why it’s an important word. It’s innocent and relays the pure intent of one or both people. A crush is someone you have fleeting interest in but no emotional attachment. Basically, you want to get in that person’s pants because you think they’re hot, they seem cool, and you relate on quite a few things. You’ll find yourself engaged in conversation and constantly taken aback by how scintillating spending time together is. Most of the attraction is still physical but you’ll find yourself excited to talk to your crush.
  • Going on a Date: This is the stage where you both recognize said crush and agree to spend a night together exploring whether your instincts are right or whether you were blinded by those hormones that have gotten many a person into bad situations.
  • Dating: This is a fun stage if you do it right. You went on your first date and committed to more. At this point, you’re both trying to fit the puzzle together. You’re probably going to have the sex to figure out if your puzzle pieces fit together, and you’ll both be trying to let the other person in so they can either accept you or you’ll discover some holy shit ideologies that destroy the house of cards you thought were built out of teflon but in reality were made out of flimsy, unreliable paper.
  • Relationship: Congratulations, you are now exclusive to one and other. This label is very important, and you should be discussing your expectations with your partner. Don’t cheat (and what does that mean), don’t disrespect (and what are those lines), don’t drive each other nuts whenever you’re together. Here is where you talk about the future and what you’d like your life to look like together. Some are white picket fence types, some are nomads. The relationships that last are the ones filled with late night naked conversations and real partnerships.
  • Engagement: If you’ve gotten to this stage it probably means you’ve spent enough time together to really understand each other and witness follow through on all those late night naked conversations about dreams and goals. Or not. If you want to look at why the divorce rate is so high in the 21st century, perhaps you can look at how many couples do the exact opposite of this. My personal feeling is that no man should get down on bended knee and ask a lady to live with his bullshit forever until said bullshit is explored … by both sides of the relationship. You should really know a person before you get engaged. I speak from experience here.
  • Marriage: I believe we all understand the fundamentals of marriage but so many don’t really keep the spark alive and that leads to divorce. In marriage, you have to be willing to take a bullet for the other person and you have to put in the work to ensure they feel trusted, respected and most of all, appreciated on each possible level. You can’t be treating your wife like a maid, because before you know it, she’ll be trading in her sweats for a french maid costume and new late night naked conversations.

What We All Want

I joke around, but here’s the sincere truth; we’re all fucked up about dating. Men think women want a roid monkey with a ton of ton of money and a huge dick. Women think men want Barbie dolls and giant lips. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Girls want the roid monkey with the dick and the money. Boys want to play with dolls and action figures, eventually getting a trophy for their shelf.

Real men and women (aka grown ups) want meaningful connections and hot sex. It really is that simple. If you gravitate towards the apple of your eye, entrench yourself in their rare essence and get that back, that’s what happiness is made of.

Timing also plays a big role in whether you’ll click with someone. If the timing is all wrong, say so. Don’t lead each other on. And if you have a crush who isn’t looking to date right now, treat them like a human being and don’t just say, “onto the next one”. That’s a definitive sign that you are a big bag of douche.

So, be honest out there and be willing to make a fool of yourself. Life is so much sweeter when you have someone to share it with. I wish you luck, my friends; I wish you love. Most of all, I wish we would all just get out of our own way.



Jay Hall

I find therapy in words. 3 types of articles I write: Life Lessons, What If (fiction meets reality) and Nonsense Listicles.