On today’s dating scene, it’s impossible to divorce the “get-to-know-you” process from all of the technology we use to communicate. Which is why, according to screenwriter Elizabeth Meriwether, we’ve become a culture of “sex first, bonding later.”
“There’s an ability to immediately see somebody but not have to stick around for long conversations and emotional intimacy,” says Meriwether. “People are always available, but they don’t always have the time to commit.”
Meriwether penned “No Strings Attached,” starring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman. She was initially inspired to write it because of the disconnect she saw between rom-coms and what was going on around her, where, she says, “rather than ending with a kiss, it starts with a kiss.”
In the film, the two lead characters hope to have a sex-only friendship, but it inevitably gets messy. Meriwether suggests that the ideal “no strings attached” arrangement isn’t possible.
“It sounds like a great idea, but often in real life, some person does get hurt because there is something inherently emotional about a physical relationship,” she says. “You can’t really disconnect the two, but it would be great if we could.”
Meriwether offers her guide for what each kind of communication means to your dating life:
» Phone call: “When I get a phone call, I think it’s an emergency. I don’t expect people to actually call me,” says Meriwether. “I see the phone call as ‘Oh my God, what’s wrong. He’s calling.’”
» Facebook friending: “Facebooking to me is more putting your toe in the water. I would never want to actually be asked out on Facebook,” she says. “It feels like that’s what you do to figure out if there’s a possibility of something happening.”
» Texting: “I think that’s the sexy, flirty way of talking to somebody, because you know that the phone is always near them,” says Meriwether.