Romance has never been our generation’s forte. Second dates are typically followed up with long blocks of confusion-filled silence, broken only by the brave (or bored) party’s “Hey!”-of-a-Hail-Mary text — whose recipient likely “won’t see it” until 2 am when the only appropriate response back is, “Hi, u out?”
We’re great at this.
“Netflix and Chill,” the millennial code for sex, has only further convoluted the modern dating process. Come over and hang, or come over and bang? What’s the difference and who cares if popcorn is involved?
We aren’t the first to invent sweatpanted-panting, of course. Before the Internet, one was courted via cordless with the classic pick up (land) line, “Dinner and a movie?”
Prior to that, it was drive-in theaters a la Danny Zuko.
The difference between then and now is that our parents’ “park-and-chill” didn’t replace pivotal steps in the wooing process, it merely facilitated the necessary rounding of bases. Going to the movies was still a proper date. At the very least, you were out of the house.
For those recalling high school make out sessions to the din of DVDs (and Blu-ray!) and wondering if that was the beginning of the end, give your younger selves a little more credit. Back then, your “date” had an excuse: a curfew. Watching a movie with your crush meant more literal face time than a date-date (considering that physical separation is typically required in public and for travel). It was efficient; two birds, one bone.
And yet here we are now, twenty-something adults, “20 minutes in to Netflix and Chill.” Those “relatable posts” make it look like recipients of the lazy invite are surprised at their hosts’ true intentions — and maybe we were, at first. (How are you supposed to know that Downton Abbey is an innuendo? That buffering is a cue for…buffering?) But we’re well-aware of what it means (shout out to the memes) and we’re a bit too smart to be doing this: complaining that romance is dead while calling an Uber and pulling on leggings to appear both casual and cute.
So why go?
Because Netflix and Chill is the ultimate companion test.
Do we have the same taste in television? What about movies? How is your binge-watching endurance? *Fast forward through hook up* Will you laugh at the same parts that I laughed? Are you a mid-show talker? A plot ruiner? One of those people who asks questions even though I haven’t seen this movie either? Can I have your Seamless password?
Maybe it is better to find this out at once rather over the draining course of multiple courses, fourth dates, bad stoop kisses and missed signals.
But if romance is, in fact, dead, then to hell with grandma’s rules. Be the Netflix and Chill initiator, invite him over, control the remote, and enjoy your third date from the comfort of your couch.