Writer’s Notebook: Thoughts on meeting people and dating in the new millenium for fiction

I’m not a millenial.  Not even close.  I have cousins and friends who are.  And I get that meeting people for dating or casual social interactions is different than when I was their age.  I get that millienials tend to meet each other via apps.  Swipe left if not interested.  Swipe right if interested.    

When I’ve asked my millenial cousins or friends: oh how did you meet your boyfriend?  (Or whoever).  I’ve gotten a “nothing too exciting”  because they used a dating app, so one would suppose that this is so common to be boring.  Although this is a perfectly acceptable and perhaps even clever use of technology for meeting people, I had trouble using this in my short read: I Think I Met Someone.  One because I wasn’t sure how intersting I could make swiping left or right, and two, my main character wasn’t inclined to use apps to meet anyone.  (Because self image issues.)  So what did people do before dating apps?  In my day, bars or dating services that would have mixers.  But would a mixer fly for a millenial character?  Well.  Maybe.

I love watching documentary type content on YouTube.  Some of it comes from more mainstream sources like internationally known and respected news journals, like The Economist, and some it’s from YouTube Vloggers.  I’m not sure how the YouTube alogorithm decided that I would enjoy watching content on housing alternatives, like co-housing, but it did and so I watched.  One video led me to another and then down the rabbit hole, where I arrived in the land of nontraditional housing.  One was co-housing in an urban setting; one was urban communes; and finally one was shared space, like you would find in shared offices but for living quaters.  One video featured a community that had themed social mixers  for the residents.  A-ha!  Social mixwers.  Okay.  It’s a possibility.

This is the point of inspiration and confirmation for my story premise.  I have no idea how prevalent this these living situations are or having social mixers is within the millenial community.  I do know that some lofts that my husband and I were looking at had a microtheater and social mixers, so I’m guessing it’s not completely unheard of.  I have two examples of the possibility in any case.  Since I’m not writing a social science ethnographic thesis, two examples that this is within the realm of possibility is good enough for me as inspiration for a fictional setting.  What I needed for my story was a way for the main character to meet someone.  I didn’t want to do in via an app, because as I mentioned — I wouldn’t be able to make that particularly interesting.  Someone else might.  But definitely not me.  I didn’t want to have a premise that didn’t ring true,.  With these videos and my real-life experience, I decided that having a mixer was a go.  Yay!

In the story that I am (as of this post) in the process of editing I Think I Met Someone, Oliver is convinced that with his swipe-left face and awkward personality that even going to a mixer filled with singles who want to date won’t even help versus walking into a bar where the interest in meaningful relationships would be varied.  After much badgering from his very bossy but sweet twin sister, Oliver decided to just go to this mixer thing, because not going would mean continued badgering from his sister instead of one wasted if completely unbearably uncomforatable evening.  And that’s how the story starts.

What do you think about the premise?

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2 thoughts on “Writer’s Notebook: Thoughts on meeting people and dating in the new millenium for fiction

  1. Oooh. Thank you for reading my post and giving me this feedback. I very much appreciate it. It’s been a source of concern for me. If the premise doesn’t fly …. the story won’t work. lol. Thank you!

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