A sideways look at 100,000+ shared article “The End of Small Talk”. Published in the NY Times

In a new series of featured articles, the Dating Guru provides his comments on the most popular dating posts of recent times…

#2 With over 100,00 shares, The End of Small Talk published in the New York Times, written by Tim Boomer.

The End of Small Talk centres around Tim’s longing for real connections and a new rule he decided to practice, replacing chit-chat with what he termed “big talk”, focusing solely on talking about our deepest thoughts and feelings, rather than what the weather has been up to lately.

Having read the article I was immediately struck by the similarities in theme to my first post regarding Melissa Moeller’s article, which centered around how frustrating it was that people wouldn’t text back straight away and that daters didn’t feel they could tell another dater how they really feel about someone – that they liked that person. The key theme across both posts is the sense of underlying frustration with the current way in which the dating game is played.

What Tim suggests is that the perceived barriers towards getting to something real should be removed. He argues this would make the dating world a better place for the singletons who currently inhabit it. On this basis let’s have an app-race (similar to an arms race but with more tech and less bloodshed) to see who can release an app that provides this? What about a cross-between Snapchat and Tinder where people swipe to find a match and then send them a short video asking something profound, which is then deleted forever without a trace. I’ll call it Snapder. An app where chit-chat and small talk is banned. Snapder delivers instant deep connections based on physical attraction. Shall I start the bidding at 1 billion dollars? 😉

Well the problem here is that whilst I do understand why, in today’s increasingly superficial “Insta-grat” culture, people are craving something real, Tim and Melissa are missing the point. Dating is a process. If you don’t like the way the game is played and you want to change your set of rule by bringing a coconut to a date (though that guy sounds like a nutter to me…get it?), then that’s fine and I hope you manage to find someone, but you’ve got to know that having a day-long date with someone that results in deep and meaningfuls until 4am will not put the “relationship” on any surer of a footing than the same two people sharing a coffee for an hour on a rainy Sunday afternoon. If anything it only acts to weaken the possibility that that connection could over time, mature and grow into something solid and dare I say it, real. Love needs time to grow and will not be forced or circumvented.

The modern dating scene seems to be having an interesting impact on the new generation of daters (let’s call them the Facebook generation for want of a better label) although I will state for the record that Tim is not necessarily within this category given his age. This generation have been blessed with superfast internet since they were old enough to type “www.” and had a mobile phone since school. As such, they expect instant connection, instant feedback, and maybe even instant love? I feel for them as the posts I’m referencing really do convey the acute angst they’re going through. But dating is hard enough without attempts to amend the existing rule set. Ask any singleton and they’ll agree I’m sure! 

Wanting to shortcut what should be a natural set of “getting-to-know-someone-phases”, by removing the bits that are perceived to be extraneous waste is not the answer – these things are a necessary part of the process and have as much significance as the deep and meaningful stuff. If anything they could be considered more significant given their very presence enables the deep and meaningfuls to take place naturally, when the time is right. 

As for Snapder, I guess it’s rather unfortunate for me that you can’t copyright an idea!

Happy Dating everyone!

David Cohen – The Dating Guru

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The article mentioned was published on the 14/01/2016 and can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/17/fashion/dating-the-end-of-small-talk.html

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