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Thursday 23 November 2017

I'll sit this Valentine's Day out and wait for my dream boy to grow up

PATIENT: Teenager Sarah has time to find her Prince Charming
PATIENT: Teenager Sarah has time to find her Prince Charming

Sarah McGuinness

With St Valentine's Day fast approaching, I found myself pondering over the dating scene for the youth of today, and where it all went wrong. Not just for me, but teenagers all over the world.

You hear stories of how your parents and grandparents met, and they all start with one party approaching the other and striking up a conversation. This method of communication died with the birth of the internet, and now the game has changed completely.

Think of it like this, dating 20 years ago was like Britney Spears in 2003; fun, fresh and exciting. Dating now is like 2007 Britney; stressful, emotional and all in all a hot mess! And no, I am not being dramatic.

As you can imagine, much of the dating scene is online, love at first Snapchat - how romantic!!

The modern day love story begins with a cheeky like on Instagram, or a reaction to a profile picture. The next step is adding one another on Snapchat and the braver of the two parties sending "streaks" to the other, even though there is clearly not a streak there, the message is just a feeble attempt to make conversation (for all non- Snapchat users; a streak is a number that appears beside one of your contact's name, indicating how many consecutive days you have been Snapchatting. Thrilling, I know).

This same interaction is continued for three consecutive days until the magical little number appears and changes with every day the pair Snapchat.

From here, the relationship can go one of two ways; the first way being the pair maintain the precious streak, get to know each other little by little and finally decide to take the giant leap and see each other in the flesh, outside of their tiny phone screens.

The second way is the pair either find they have nothing in common or one of the two has found someone else (either way the result is the same). Fewer Snapchats are exchanged, the streak is lost and if ever confronted with face-to-face interaction, the pair pretend not to know each other.

Heartbreaking stuff isn't it, right up there with Romeo and Juliet.

It's all too shallow for my taste. Whatever happened to having a good old-fashioned chat or going on an actual date? This is where social media annoys me, it sucks the excitement out of everyday joys.

Now, don't get me wrong, not all relationships from my age group are as silly and childish as I'm making them out to be. Recently, my friend celebrated her two-year anniversary with her boyfriend - and they are truly adorable together. Alas, they are in the minority of teens who have been lucky in love, the rest of us trudge on, constantly refreshing Instagram to see if anyone new has popped up.

Personally, I think getting worked up over boys and whether or not someone fancies me is stupid, but not everyone my age shares my mindset. It upsets me the way some girls feel like they need a boyfriend in order to feel happy. Whenever I see my friends crying or moaning because their fella won't text back, or their boyfriend ignored them in front of his mates, a tiny fire of rage burns in my stomach and all I want to do is shake them and remind them that they should not give any man or woman the power to make them feel this way.

However, in that moment they do not need a feminist, they need a friend, so I stroke their hair and tell them he's a fool and they did nothing wrong. I'm hoping as they grow older they see they are beautiful women that deserve respect, and any boy that doesn't see that needs to cop on!

While I think the dating scene for my age group is an absolute disaster, I am only 16, I have loads of time to find someone.

At this moment, my Prince Charming is probably playing PS4 or at training or doing some other typical teenage boy activity, so I'm going to give him a few years for him to grow up before he comes to find me. Until then, I think I'll sit this Valentine's Day out. And hey, if all else fails, I think I'd make a pretty great cat lady.

Sunday Independent

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