From time to time, friends will send me articles that relate to my blog. I love when this happens! Makes my job a whole lot easier:) My friend Bree sent me this one she found through her friend Lesley. (Lesley has a wonderful blog called barefooton45th.com that you should check out!)
The article is from the NY Times and is called “The End of Courtship?” Click Here to read the whole thing. The basic message is that times have changed and dating as we know it is a thing of the past. Hanging out, hooking up, and ambiguous texts have replaced phone calls, dinners, and grown-up conversations about being exclusive.
In one interview, the article quotes a 30 something woman who says, “The word ‘date’ should almost be stricken from the dictionary. Dating culture has evolved to a cycle of text messages, each one requiring the code-breaking skills of a cold war spy to interpret. It’s one step below a date, and one step above a high-five,” she added. “Dinner at a romantic new bistro? Forget it.”
The article goes on to interview The Gaggle, a dating advice business founded by two women living in New York. I recommend reading this article on them. Thy advise women to start looking at little things like texts, Facebook messages, and group hangouts as real romance gestures and opportunities, not blow offs. Every era has its rules and culture, and ours has changed. Adjust your standards and then you won’t be disappointed.
I’d love to hear what you think about this idea. I have my opinions, as usual, but I thought it would be interesting to discuss. Is it time to change what we expect in dating? Is a male initiated dinner date a thing of the past?
My initial response while reading was “This is absolutely ridiculous! I go on real dates!” But, wanting to keep an open mind, I sat on it for a few days. I could be wrong. Times have changed, especially when it comes to how we communicate with each other. Here is where I’m at with it:
We Get What We Expect
Women will get what they put up with. If we expect tons of confusing texts, endless group hangouts, and the run around, that’s what we’ll get. I don’t think it’s too much to expect a guy to initiate a proper first date in a reasonable window of time if he’s interested. If he doesn’t, I assume he’s not in to me, or I lose interest in him in the meantime. Post college, I’ve never found myself in the middle of some lengthy ambiguous mess of hang outs. I can’t remember ever audibly communicating my expectations, I only know my experience has been that they were met. I say hold out for the real deal…or die alone…which may still be preferable.
Men Don’t Like to Fail
Logically, the idea that men want to disappoint and frustrate a girl they are interested in, as a way to woo her, makes no sense. If he truly likes her, why would he want to go about it the wrong way? Unless it’s a long distance thing, he must a) not like the girl enough b) not want to date someone at the moment, or c) not have the courage to make it happen. Either way, as the girl, don’t you kind of know all you need to know at this point? If he’s dragging you around, …he’s dragging you around.
Men Haven’t Changed
I think the article sold men short. The underlying assumption is that guys can’t or wont initiate dating, mentioning book “The End of Men.” I’ll admit, I had my unpleasant phase of thinking there were no real men on the planet. I’d worry guys were growing up babies and doing anything and everything they could to avoid responsibility and all that. Yes, some are this way, but I don’t think they represent the majority. I’m happy to admit I was wrong. My blog has led to honest conversations with males I wouldn’t otherwise have had, and what I’m learning is that good guys do want to be men, they just don’t always know how to go about it.
When it comes to dating specifically, I can see how it would be hard to know what we want from them. One male friend recently admitted he worries about coming on too strong, seeming creepy, or sending the wrong message. He and his friends worry a girl will think a real date = marriage. Which is when I kindly encouraged him to get over himself, that’s not how we think. (at least those of us who are moderately sane.)
My impression is men want to play by the rules, they just don’t know what they are anymore. As women, we set the rules based on what we’ll entertain.
This is the point where I get to tell you how Steve Harvey confirmed my opinions on the matter.
Yes, Steve Harvey. His talk show to be more embarrassingly exact.
To be fair, I was in a waiting room and that’s the ONLY reason I was watching it. Promise.
Anywhooo… a woman from the audience asked how to become exclusive with a guy given our culture of friends with benefits, hook ups, etc. Tyler Perry looked at her with a dumbfounded face, put his hands on his head and shouted, “Why do you women not get this? Why do you still not understand that you have all the power? Men can only hook up with you, hang out with you, text you IF YOU LET THEM. Men are the same everywhere all over the world…we all want the cookie jar…and you hold the cookie jar!”
What do you think? Ladies, do you think texts and facebook is enough? Guys, do you still ask girls out? You can tell me I’m wrong…happens all the time;)