I heard someone refer to dating in Joburg as an “extreme sport” but the more I step out on these social media streets I realise that dating is dangerous all over South Africa.
And increasingly not private.
When you’re dating someone and you decide to flaunt your baeship and flood our timelines with your matching outfits, coy side-eyes, baecations and that shot of your outstretched arm leading your partner into a mysterious adventure in Bali or some such affordable Asian getaway, you guys belong to us now.
We are in this together, this is our relationship, we are your captain and we will guide and advise you on how to live your best life from the comfort of our homes in Uitenhage or Hammanskraal because from where we are sitting, you’re just not doing it right.
Enter the #dateeoneside hashtag that trended on Twitter for almost two weeks (basically a decade in millennial).
At first glance I thought it was a racially-charged statement and flinched hoping not to have to trawl through a slew of problematic statements from the fokes on Twitter (no, not folks but the “fake wokes”).
Sidebar: I hate ‘fokes’. An example of foke behaviour is to preach some social justice angle in defence of womxn’s rights and policing of womxn’s bodies, then three tweets later have some body-shaming tweet about women who bleach their skin.
Or my pet peeve. Tweeps with bios that read ‘God’s Child, Lover of Light, Good Vibes Only’ and then participate in cyber bullying by dragging someone over an ambiguous tweet or relationship status. Anyway, rant over.
#Dateoneside turned out to be a refreshingly amusing look at relationships created by the members of Black Twitter, Meme Twitter, Spice Twitter and some renegade solo tweeps and their advice on how people should be dating.
@FrankieOlivier tweeted: In 2018 Tall Guys should marry tall girls – Antenna’s one side.
@Boris_the_name tweeted: Short girls should date short guys. Down to earth one side.
NAUFM was on Facebook saying: Guys with big eyes should date girls with big eyes – witnesses one side.
@Satischabalala tweets: Side Chicks must date side *ninjas – Rentals one side.
I love that South Africans will find anything to laugh about. Still, many a true word has been said in jest and maybe we do actually need some guidance when it comes to love.
Take ‘blesser culture’, which is at its peak and the Slay Queen subculture that has emerged.
Look, I'm generally not a fan of transactional relationships but to quote the wise words of our Royal Voshorist, Zodwa Wabantu: "Ladies you have power and you must use it". I mean, do you boo boo.
I guess if you want to stay #blessed and highly favoured then #dateoneside. I'm just here trying to get finessed with some poetry and such so you'll find me on this side looking for other romantics and the Romeo to my Juliet.
A little romance, a little wooing or even something heartfelt like a mixtape goes a long way, cupcake.
In 2018, I’d like to see more heartstrings being pulled rather than purse strings but that’s just me.
Hope you find your truth!