Netflix have given us the best year-ender gift for 2017 as the highly anticipated fourth season of the techno-paranoia-inducing series Black Mirror dropped last December 29. And if you're like us who devoured the whole season in one sitting, you may have stumbled upon this precious little gem of an episode enittled “Hang The DJ" directed by Tim Van Patten—the clear standout of the season and a favorite among the show’s loyal audience.
“Hang The DJ” is a story about two strangers named Amy and Frank who were matched by The System (Black Mirror’s take on our generation's dating apps) fell in love the first time they met and was separated by The System after 12 hours (their relationship’s expiration) while being matched with other people left and right. Wanting to get the love they know they deserve, they rebelled against The System and fought for their love for one another, proving that they are each other's “The One.”
And because watching this dystopic episode seemed like an actual episode in our real-life dating scenarios, here are seven truths that "Hang The DJ" spills about modern dating.
1. People come and go. In "Hang The DJ," the "Coaches" always tell the characters that "everything happens for a reason," and so it does. In real life, modern dating makes you realize that not everyone in your life will stay forever—some people come just to teach you lessons that you need to learn from. Everything will make sense in the end, and if it doesn't, perhaps it's not yet the end.
2. When you know, you know. Just like the characters in this episode, there's that certain someone who will make you feel like you've known each other forever. Amy and Frank have realized this fact early on and have thought about each other even when they were in a relationship with other people. In real life, we can all agree that there will always be someone sticking out like a sore thumb—and that's how you'll know that they're “The One”.
3. Sexual compatibility matters in a relationship. We saw Amy being sexually compatible with her second boyfriend, while Frank struggles with his new girlfriend who seemed to be a little too uptight and bossy for him. We all know that feelings are required in a relationship, but sex is also considered a necessity to have an enjoyable and lasting relationship. This is why sexual compatibility would eventually matter in the long run. Hoever, we also saw the demise of Amy's second relationship after realizing that she isn't as emotionally connected to him as she was with Frank.
4. The cycle of dating is exhausting. In the episode, there was a montage of Amy going through a series of 36-hour relationships. After engaging in purely physical connections, you could see her growing tired of it all as she couldn't onvest any sort of emotion or even have enough time to get to know them. IRL, the cycle of exerting effort to start a conversation, find a common ground, try to get to know them in an intimate level, etc. can be tiresome. It can dry you out to the point that you’ll lose interest in finding “The One” or you'll doubt if such person exists at all.
5. Solitude is better than being in a dysfunctional relationship. What The System failed to give Frank and Amy was time to heal and refresh. Both their relationships after each other are gruelling long-term ones. We saw them both struggle—just waiting for that clock to tick its last second. What people nowadays are finding hard to accept is that it is okay to stay single, be alone for a while, and rebuild oneself again before they're genuinely ready to start anew. Being alone doesn’t automatically mean being lonely. After all, it is always better to be happy alone than to be dissatisfied with someone.
6. Seeing your ex with someone else can cause certain feelings to resurface. When Frank saw Amy with her new partner and vice versa, it was obvious that they still longed for each other no matter how hard they try to be content with their current relationships. Seeing someone you’ve had a crazy connection with with someone else will always sting. Sometimes, you’ll even realize that you are unhappy with your own relationship when you see your ex happier in their own.
7. People tend to settle for less than what they really deserve. It happened to both Frank and Amy when they just went with the flow and followed what The System told them to do. It is a sad truth that people would rather settle for what is comfortable and what is dictated to them rather than try harder to find the person who would actually make them utterly happy. But that's not how it's supposed to be. It's not that you're being ungrateful or uncontended; it is knowing that you deserve better and that you owe it to yourself to find the love of your life and nothing less.
Surely, this episode of Black Mirror pierced you and your fragile dating life. But despite all the hard truths that "Hang The DJ" slapped us with, the ultimate takeaway is to never stop believing that your true love still exists somewhere—be it in an alternate dystopic universe or, perhaps, just around the corner. You just have to hold it out a little longer.
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Banner Photography from Netflix, GIFs from Tumblr
GIFs from Tumblr