A Valentine’s Day Retrospective

 

 

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Photo by jdunham @ Morguefile.com

EDIT: My girlfriend came down with something and we have shifted our date to either this weekend or later next week. Nonetheless, we are both very enthusiastic!

 

Valentine’s Day holds special significance for me, even if the turn of events that brought my good fortune had not occurred. These are for reasons that I am not yet quite comfortable sharing, though perhaps that may change over time.

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Where Do They All Belong?

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Photo by Routine @ Morguefile.com

Many days ago, I remember praising SunkenThought’s article in which she described the relationship she had with her husband. That was for a very specific reason, because I was at the end of a long string of lousy dates that never seemed to go anywhere. I was consumed by the cynicism that modern dating, online dating especially, engendered.

My peers have become worn out, and many of them remain single. But not just single, they’re lonely too. Many of them yearn for affection and love, but things just don’t seem to be working out for them. It is not just my male friends who feel this way, as my female friends also feel this crushing sense of loneliness. If there was a theme to the 21st century millennial dating experience, it would be the Beatles’ classic “Eleanor Rigby”.

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The Problem With Synthetic Relationships

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Photo by marinapriest @ Morguefile.com

Well, if there were anything better to come back from hiatus for, I can’t think of it. It is a topic that I have wanted to write about for some time but never felt the impetus to write an article. But, after exploring the topic further and hearing some things floating about the cultural ether, I believe this needs to be addressed.

Let’s talk about virtual girlfriends, or perhaps more appropriately “synthetic relationships”.  It’s a phenomenon most associated with Japanese culture, but has global implications, given that we now have more access to Japanese culture than ever before thanks to the internet.

Due to my status as outside of that culture, I can only speculate on the cultural factors that resulted in this rising trend. But what we can discuss is their impact.

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The Curse of the Lonely Heart

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Photo by pef at Morguefile.com

I had originally wanted to describe this story after I came back from my speed dating outing not too long ago. Yet, I found it was far more productive to let it sit for a while so that the emotional tinge would fade and cooler heads would prevail.

It was a good move, as the draft contained a load of things that I am glad I didn’t act upon. But as I have given it further thought I believe it is time to put this on the table. It is a story that reveals a little bit of my vulnerability, one that exposes a bit of my own humanity.

One of the aspects that I find surprising is that my Best Blogging Buddies are more often than not women. Since my initial outings in Eyes Through the Glass, it has been women that have been the biggest contributors to the conversations I was having. So perhaps it’s a bit of an oddity that my biggest struggle is dealing with relationships with the opposite sex. Or maybe it’s completely expected, I can’t tell. Yet, there it is, and what exactly does this mean?

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Love in the Age of the Internet

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Photo by markemark at Morguefile.com

I was not intent on producing a second post, primarily because I wanted to make sure that all of my schoolwork was done and that I didn’t push myself too hard.

 

However, my previous article was hastily written due to the fact that I had a packed schedule. All of my homework is currently finished, though. Not that the article turned out particularly poorly, but it wasn’t up to my personal standards.

Additionally, sharing it on social media didn’t give me an influx of readers that I expected. Somewhere along the line, my article got clogged in the proverbial series of tubes. When I attempted to post it to Flipboard, it did not show up in the relevant topic section. At first I believed it was due to the original headline, but even after changing it I had no luck. I am left to believe it was technical, rather than an act of censorship on Flipboard’s part. If this process repeats, I’ll be in touch with their support staff.

But the final reason is because something happened, and perhaps it’s time I began discussing it. As I have previously implied, I am in the online dating scene, and I want to share my most recent experience.

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