We all know that technology is reshaping how young people date, but the degree of the transformation is astounding.
One of the latest rules to Millennial Dating 101 is keeping your surname under raps for as long as possible.
Meeting that special person has become less of an impromptu face-to-face encounter and more of an online inspection of a potential partner, and strict rules are being implemented.
A Wall Street Journal article titled, “The New Dating No-No: Asking for a Last Name” claimed it might be months before a budding new couple learns each other’s last names. “Many Millennials say asking directly for a last name on a first date feels awkward, and signals too obviously they intend to scour the internet for biographical information,” Nicole Hong of WSJ wrote.
In other words, the impulse to research a potential partner is too great to ignore and many run the risk of nipping a relationship in the bud too soon.
“The less I know the better,” one man told WSJ, admitting that if he discovered a woman didn’t like his kind of music he’d be inclined to pull the plug on the relationship.
Sounds romantic, right?
Not only does withholding a last name protect against premature judgement and scrutiny, but it’s a valid safety concern to have your full name advertised on the web as an “available,” single person.
Online dating apps like Tinder and Bumble have fueled the trend by only requiring a first name for participation. And wherever it’s optional, Millennials are keeping surnames top-secret for many reasons, including romance.
“Many Millennials say asking directly for a last name on a first date feels awkward, and signals too obviously they intend to scour the internet for biographical information,” according to WSJ.
On the flip side, WSJ noted that Millennials also believe that the evolution of learning someone’s last name is a “modern social cue” that trust is building in the relationship.
The new name rules don’t come without controversy or confusion. A recent post to the “Ask Men” online forum inquired if the same rules apply to men and women when it comes to sharing last names.
The woman wrote:
“I met a guy online and when he finally agreed to meet in person I asked him to text me the location and his full name. Of course I wanted to run a check to make sure he wasnt a psycho.”
She said she sent him another message just before the date was supposed to happen to ask why he never replied back. She was taken aback when he told her that he didn’t feel safe sharing his last name.
“I explained that guys never have to worry about their safety like women do. I was concerned about why he didn’t want to share this with me, and cancelled our date,” she wrote.
The woman claims the man did end up sending her his full name, but it was too late, she was offended. She took her beef to ask forum users if she was justified in her reaction.
She was offered a ton of different perspectives, including the following:
I think you’re wrong that men have nothing to fear.
It’s a first date. Next time, meet in a public place, don’t go home with him. Ask for a last name on the date.
Understand, men who want to hide from you are going to provide a fake name. Men who want to actually do you harm will provide a fake name that appears real when searching. Point being, you need to find additional ways to keep yourself safe.
It’s all very complicated.
Try as they might to be remain as anonymous as they can all while sharing every moment of their lives on social media, Millennials are figuring out how to break their own rules too.
“There are … tactics, such as taking a peek at a Uber account name or credit card after a date, or asking to exchange social media handles,” WSJ reported.
Or they can still try venturing out into the real world, chatting face-to-face with someone, grabbing a drink and exchanging numbers…names intact. Imagine the possibilities.
A skit from Saturday Night Live poked fun at online dating — even for older folks:
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