Viral Restaurant List Cracks the Code of Gen Z Dating

If I had a quarter for every time a 20-something-year-old complained about the difficulty of dating in 2023. If you’re playing along with me, that would be over 300 quarters.

Pew Research Center reports that not only are single Americans less interested in dating but also those who do aren’t necessarily looking for a long-term relationship. Casual dating, which can be described as “friends-with-benefits” or “hookups”, is a worrying trend among men younger than 30.

Are all the “good” men already taken? Are American men younger than 30 less attractive? Single women of the same age group are playing the game in a feminist role reversal in modern times. Perhaps.

The goal of dating is to eventually lead to marriage. This can be a frightening word for many young adults, who know the hard truths about marriage. It takes commitment, patience, and work. It’s not surprising that a generation raised on instant gratification and participation trophies is averse to the idea of staying with someone for the rest of their lives.

It’s also scary to know that women like these exist. After all, who would want to live in this hellish corner of the earth for eternity?

Could we have a moment to talk about this image? Why? Second, how many photos did she take until she was satisfied with her bum? I’m going with 12 pictures and 10 more minutes of editing. Is it me or does the public ladies’ bathroom where she took this ridiculous photo look exactly like any of the 28 locations on her list? Industrial tile doesn’t lie, honey.

The list makes perfect sense when compared to our culture. This blacklist of date venues is like the Rosetta Stone – a key that helps you decipher a language that seems impossible. It connects so many dots, both for those who aren’t Gen Z, and also for those who are.

Let’s start by finding common ground and eliminating the locations that I can get behind (no pun intended) as not first-date appropriate:

  • Your house (too personal and isolated)
  • The gym (unless both parties really love working out, save it for another time)
  • Church (y’all should be focusing on God, not each other, but good for y’all for going!)
  • Family functions (too much pressure)
  • Movie night (no talking allowed and, if it’s Hulu or whatever, that’s just lazy)
  • A nightclub (too noisy)
  • A hookah bar (smoking isn’t for most people).

What is the purpose of a first date? Get to know each other. What is the purpose? To determine if the degree of compatibility is high enough to warrant further investigations of potential spouses. Why? Marriage is good. It offers security, companionship, and a solid base on which to build wealth for generations and a family. Tax breaks are also available (again, another soapbox for another time). And it fulfills our need for love. It’s not possible for two people to explore all of these things in the places listed above. It’s also important to note the radical notion that dating and sexual activity are two different things.

Let’s take a third lemon drop and then we will discuss our life goals while we are dancing.

No one ever

This list has some really great options for first dates.

  • Coffee shops
  • Ice cream shops
  • Bowling

The conversation can be started with coffee, tea, frozen yogurt, or ice cream. These are all inexpensive and casual. There’s an easy way out if a date is a failure. There are familiar public places and neighborhoods that have a lot of activity. Everyone can feel safe. What’s the problem? Conversation.

It is a generation that prefers to communicate with emojis, slang, and acronyms like GYPO (Get your pants off), ASL (Age/Sex/Location), and Body Count. It is the 7th circle of Hell for them to sit at a table and talk about their dreams with someone while eating a swirl of frozen yogurt. Bowling, mini golf, or a carnival are all great places to talk, but they’re also structured so that you can interrupt and do things with your hands.

Do I look old? Good. Onward!

The problem is not that Gen Z doesn’t understand dating or is unwilling to date, but rather the fact that women think they deserve luxury for being with her for just two hours.

It doesn’t matter that her business is mostly cosmetics and her phone. A young man in Atlanta “pursued” a woman for “weeks,” and she agreed to be with him when she “was bored and had the time.” The language used in the TikTok clip is crude (because she recorded herself eating four dozen oysters, before ordering crabcakes and potatoes), but it proves the point. She offered him the back of her phone, while taking advantage of his generosity, and wondered why he left.

@pushabi1991 48 oysters is actually OUTRAGEOUS 😭 #fontainesoysterhouse #oysters #fyp #viral #foodtiktok ♬ original sound – EquanaB

Some women will not be as bold as Equanaaa. They prefer to justify their expense by citing “the cost of [their] using beauty products to come with you.”

Where could this princess-like mentality have come from? Parents who have never told their children no or allowed them to fail could be at fault. Schools are to blame for the lowering of standards and self-confidence in achievement. Social media can provide superficial validation to insecure teens, who rely on filters or dream of becoming influencers. Family vacations at Disney, Destin, or Dubai are expensive. I don’t want to shame you for your wealth, but the credit card debt situation could be improved. It’s a matter of lack of discipline.

We have failed the next generation of Americans. Parents are punishing their children for blaming teachers. We were slapped with a wooden spoon when we talked back to our teacher. We were teased all our lives for having crooked, twisted teeth. They had braces on before they could even shave. Big noses or flatches? Plastic surgeons offer financing to their clients, and they are also available for discreet consultations.

What’s the surprise that these spawn crave attention? Not only do their parents need years of therapy to meet their emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs, but now their children compete against them for attention. We have a dysfunctional group of parents who use their children as emotional support animals and props.

What are our options? If you’re still reading, it is likely that you are not the issue. It’s likely that your children are not the problem. We can only do our best to be a good role model at this time.

Instead of discussing how difficult marriages are, focus on how great they are because both partners work hard to make the other happy. Instead of lamenting how expensive it is to raise a child in America help your children understand their own value and what they can bring to their family.

No to unreasonable and constant indulgences. (No, I’m so sorry, my sweetheart, your wedding can’t cost more than the annual salary of my spouse). Accept failures with your grandchildren. Let your children make mistakes in parenting. Encourage your children to volunteer and set reasonable standards.

Friends, that’s all I can do for now. Until boys stop agreeing that girls should behave in this way, we will be swimming against the culture. It’s sad but I am open to suggestions. Let’s discuss it. Drop your ideas in the comments. This issue is too important to ignore.

There’s also a good chance that the good ones eventually will outnumber the bad ones, but don’t hold your breath.