Why have One lover when you could have Five? Why Talk to One girl when You could have Nine?


Naomi Kyei-Asare, Co-Editor In-Cheif

Why have one lover when you could have five? Why talk to one girl when you could have nine, right?  

This is the way it is for today’s teens and teen “dating/talking” culture, a social practice where the amount of toxicity, trauma, narcissism, and performativity that it promotes in our youth is very harmful to the character development of the individuals themselves as those around them. 

Dating, or what is often called “talking” to someone, in this day and age of high school consists of constantly feeling that you are in competition with other potential partners for attention from said individual. This results in detaching yourself emotionally from others by switching partners so often that you never get a chance to feel attached. This results in “spinning” – rotating through multiple people – in order to appear desired and feel validated by not only social media’s standards, but also by those close to you.  This results in lying and manipulative behavior toward those you are talking to so that they feel special enough that they won’t want to leave. All of this occurs as you realize that you are not treating them at the standard you know you should be.

The bottom line on this issue is that dating today simply means that many people do not consider the feelings of those they are with and are, in fact, most likely hurting them in an attempt to fuel their own ego. This behavior, though, is not something that teens created; it is a long-time practice that has trickled down from adults.  The behaviors that teens see on Instagram, Tik Tok, Youtube, in movies, and even in their own homes with adulterous parents become the behaviors that they emulate. Ultimately, this means that teens are left to make a choice of whether they participate in these behaviors or not – and many have chosen to indulge.

One of the main reasons that they indulge is because of the ego boost being gained from everyone around them knowing that they are hard to get; knowing that you’re a “player” and trying to change that.

So where does this come from? What is it about having multiple partners that appeals to teens? 

The easiest thing to blame is toxic masculinity that is gas pedaled by social media, the place that seems to get the credit and blame for many things today. Another place to look is at male rappers whose work includes them rapping about how they’re “that guy” and how having multiple women who they don’t really care about makes them even more “that guy.”

Teens are jumping into this adult set up earlier and earlier because they are exposed to social media and the practice itself earlier, and this makes them want to feel higher than everyone else earlier. It is a superiority complex. It’s all about what it looks like and never about how it feels-even if that means hurting others and in the long run yourself by depriving you of true connection and intimacy. This behavior has become a virus influencing majority of our teens regardless of gender. Its connection to toxic masculinity comes from how men want to feel validated and so they use multiple partners to gain this feeling which is a tale as old as time. For example, take a look back at European or Egyptian kings who had multiple wives as a sign of status. These royals reduced women to nothing more than “a trophy” or an object for personal gain, which is what men who do this today are essentially doing.

Even if they eventually do end up developing feelings for one person, this hardly ever stops them from still continuing to “talk” to or be sexually active with multiple people because they get “bored” or they have trained themselves that they need this and it is detrimental to their confidence and ego if they do not. 

These narcissistic tendencies of using multiple partners for personal gain also fuels the “they will always come back” mindset because there’s no way they could ever really “be done” with you even if you hurt and betrayed them multiple times.  Honestly, with the influence of social media becoming stronger and stronger and this issue being so deeply rooted in our culture, it becomes a question of whether it is too late to save teens from this soul-sucking whirlpool that is teen romance.