Original Illustration by Stephanie DeAngelis
Equipped with smartphones and 15 different dating apps, our generation has pioneered the rise of non-dating dating—a pseudo courtship that involves zero formal dates, lots of laying in bed and watching Netflix, and minimal acknowledgment of said "relationship" until absolutely necessary. In other words, we've disintegrated the value of courtship to the point where a right swipe constitutes romantic interest.
Unfortunately, this kind of romantic limbo leaves plenty of room for what Elite Daily calls "honeymoon purgatory," where "instead of things naturally unfolding as they would have if your relationship had blossomed—revealing the real, potentially less attractive sides of that person—they remain forever preserved in your mind as the seemingly perfect match who got away." In other words, your mind is free to romanticize the relationship that could have been, and you have to "get over" someone you never formally dated. If you've found yourself in this uniquely millennial predicament, the online publication suggests moving through the following four steps:
1. Accept that things didn't work out
2. Let yourself feel sad (but only for a bit)
3. Reflect on the positive takeaways
4. And start dating again ASAP
"The hardest part about moving on from a kinda-sorta relationship is accepting the fact that things didn't work out and probably won't in the future," they write. "Although it can be tempting to cling to the hope that they might change their mind later down the line—as someone who has been there, please believe me when I say that this is one of the worst things you could possibly do to yourself." Most importantly, it's best to get back into the dating game as soon as you've finished healing, as there's no sense in wasting any more time on someone who wouldn't give their time and attention to you.
Head over to Elite Daily for more, and add your own two cents on modern-day dating in the comments.