Mourning the death of traditional courtship

This Feb.14 enjoy the anti-valentine manifesto

The wind howls uncontrollably as my hands go numb from wandering the dark and desolate streets of the Old Port. There’s not a single soul in sight, for this arctic climate cannot support any life.

Graphics by Florence Yee.

The bitter frost finally gets to me, so I make my weekly pilgrimage to a small café in order to warm up and gather my thoughts. Sitting inside the cozy establishment, I drink my black coffee and observe a young couple across the room on a date.

Like a scientist observing a new species, I analyze their behavior with fervor. They barely speak to one another and seem concentrated on their mobile phones, glancing at each other every so often to show an Instagram picture.

The only minute sign of a connection seems to be the occasional arm rub or leg glance from underneath the table.

I finish my coffee quickly and want to puke.

Existential thoughts flood my mind and I soon come to the realization that, in 2016, romance is truly dead.

We’re living in a modern world where our deities have become Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, and have lost the ability to profess our genuine affection for one another if it’s not on social media.

I leave the café and begin to trace the death of modern romance, with all signs first pointing to the advent of dating apps.

Graphics by Florence Yee.

Yes I’m referring to mainly Tinder and the other nefarious apps in the same vein. They’ve turned the dating world into a child’s game with humans being disposable and infinite.

The app was launched in 2012 and has grown in popularity in the past few years, and almost instantly became a cultural sensation. It has amassed almost 50 million active users and is available in 26 languages, according

With users swiping left or right on each profile, the main focus of the app is geared towards general esthetics rather than personality or interests. If someone doesn’t like your photo, it’s on to the next one.

To make matters worse, a new report by revealed that Tinder has created several algorithms that essentially rate your desirability. That means all users have been placed on a hierarchical list that scores mainly their level of physical attractiveness.

Graphics by Florence Yee.

No wonder romance is dead; we all are just rating each other while an algorithm is doing the same to us—how ironic. There’s little investment needed and a plethora of matches that will always pop up onscreen.

I should also mention that I have tried these apps. At first, I enjoyed the attention from complete strangers paying me compliments, but ultimately I felt judged like a piece of meat simply on the basis of my photos.

Many users as well were simply looking for casual sex, something that Tinder has easily facilitated. It’s so stress-free nowadays to find someone to have a one-night stand with.

The traditional methods of doing this before the apps would require going out into the real world and searching out an individual at a bar or club, yet nowadays you can do it from home in your bed.

There’s nothing wrong with casual sex as long as it’s consensual and protected, but this virtual dating world definitely takes out the romantic aspect of sex and intimacy.

We cannot forget Valentine’s Day either, the only day of the year when it’s socially acceptable to vomit our suppressed romantic emotions onto our partners while having to buy tons of materialistic goods.

A recent report by the National Retail Federation revealed that Americans are estimated to spend more than US$19.7 billion on Valentine’s Day related items. Most of these purchases made in the days leading up to the corporate holiday will be chocolate, flowers and jewelry.

The same report revealed that six million people are planning to propose this year, with an estimated US$4.4 billion being spent on diamonds alone.  

We peasants are clearly suckling the teat of the She-wolf—and are buying into this bogus capitalist propaganda.

Bitter I may be, but it’s really hard to see any genuine examples of modern day romance, and with Valentine’s Day coming up, it’s just a reminder how society has taken such a dark turn towards a dark and hollow reality.

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