In the age of Tinder swipes and Bumble matches, it’s no surprise a few well-mannered dating traditions have slipped through the cracks. We send snaps instead of flowers and we get likes instead of genuine compliments. I say these things not to shame us, but to just point out some very clear generational shifts in the dating world.
I didn’t realize how generational it really was until I started working at a flower shop. Call after call comes in each day. A dozen red garden roses for a 30th wedding anniversary, an arrangement of carnations for a retirement or maybe some lilies for a sick friend. These orders may be made up of different sizes, textures and shapes but they all share something in common- they are a message. While the lilies say “I hope you get well soon,” the red garden roses are reminding a woman somewhere out there of the love she feels for her partner.
Out of the 10 calls I get, maybe one is from someone under the age of 30. Again, I say this not to shame us, but to pose a few questions. Why don’t we send flowers anymore? Have you ever thought about it? Is it something as simple as not wanting to or is because somewhere in the midst of all of our screens, keypads and platforms we lost the sincerity and recognition of gestures? We send flowers at the birth of a child and we send them at the end of a life, so clearly their presence is important. When a realtor hosts an open house for a home she is trying to get off the market, she has a vase of fresh cut chrysanthemums sitting on the kitchen table. Flowers translate emotions.
I’m personally a sucker for flowers. I find flowers timeless, so it’s hard for me to understand why the flower shop phone isn’t ringing off the hook from young men sending their girlfriends beautiful little love notes in the form of petals and stems. But I also understand why it’s not. We don’t send flowers anymore, because why do we need to when we are no longer in touch with proper dating etiquette? I’m not saying you’re dating incorrectly if you aren’t sending your significant other flowers every week. Trust me, that would be expensive! What I am saying is we don’t think it’s important because we don’t think other gestures are important anymore either.
We forget that car doors were once never to be touched by a woman. We seem to like messenger apps better than face to face contact, and “Netflix and chill” has taken the place of going out to dinner. And we are okay with it.
Most young adults you talk to now would call a dinner date stuffy, and wanting to talk in person and not on the internet first would make the person seem pushy. So, we have clearly shifted, and that’s okay. Our shift isn’t a bad shift, it’s just a change. Our screens will continue to facilitate our romance and the world will continue to turn. All that I ask is that flowers, whether for yourself or someone you love, deserve to be given and received.
Don’t forget that not every gesture has to be a big one, but they are important- and a bouquet is a great answer.