With the advent of things like online dating, social media and smartphones that we often use to make dumb decisions, the art of dating has actually suffered. Yes, these things that I’ve mentioned are a way of life for us now, but it seems as if we don’t realize that we did just fine before they came along. As a man that owns two cell phones and barely uses either one for actual live conversation, I’m not against them. They make my life easier and they keep me from having to have unnecessary conversations with certain people. But what has this really done to dating and the choices we make?
Facebook profiles and Twitter accounts not only fail to tell the real story about a person, but more times than not, they tell outright lies. People will put up statuses or updates regularly that make themselves look good publicly, but their lives are a million miles from what they’re saying. In one status, they love God. In the next, they’re drunk at the club. I’m not saying that both can’t be true, but we have to take a person at full face value and not see just what we want to see.
It makes me wonder, how are people successfully dating in this climate? When what you’re basing your decision on is a computer generated image, how can you really assess what you’re getting involved in? My feeling is you can’t. We have enough trouble getting to know people when we are dealing with them face to face. Having to do it cyber-style has to be more difficult. While social media is cool and texting is my preferred way of contact, with dating, things need to be different. There never will be a suitable substitute for live interaction.
With that, I’ve decided to take a look at 5 Dating Traditions That Have Gone Out of Style. All of it probably for the worse.
Talking on the phone – Remember when phones were made for this? Yes, I’m guilty of having phones for texting, email and now social media purposes only. But when it comes to dating, this used to be the main tool for couples. Late night conversations, waiting for a phone call, falling asleep on the phone, etc. All of this has been replaced in 140 characters or less. Now, people only communicate in lol’s and omg’s. No one talks anymore. What’s missing in that is the emotion of the words being spoken, the inflection being used, the excitement being felt or even the disappointment. Nothing takes the place of hearing someone’s voice on the other end of the phone. Sure, it’s nice to get a text from a woman that says “I njoy spending time wit u”, but it’s even better to hear the warmth in her voice when she says it.
Men paying for dates – In this day and age of the independent woman, this one has gotten to be a little difficult. Women have decided to pay their own way because they can and because they don’t want men feeling as if they’re owed something for paying on a date. I get that. However, I was raised by a woman that taught me to never take a woman on a date early in the relationship with any expectation that she should pay. It is a man’s responsibility to pay for a date when he asks a woman out. From my perspective, even if she asks me out first (as my wife did on our first date), it’s still upon me to pay once I accept. That’s just what a man should do. Once you become a couple and finances begin to co-mingle, things are different and it’s okay for her to pay once in a while. But the idea that any real man should be trying to go Dutch with a woman he’s trying to get with is just lame.
Chivalry – This is a pet peeve of mine and I don’t quite understand why it isn’t with more women. Chivalry is dead and women helped to kill it by not demanding it. My wife and I have been together almost 4 years now and I will still get angry if she opens her own door in my presence. Women need to understand that it’s not unreasonable for them to expect a man to do things like open a door, pick up the check or speak to her with respect. The less you demand from a man, the less you’re going to get from him. Whether it’s being done by men or women, the glorification of the disrespectful male needs to stop.
No sex on the first date – This used to be a staple for women. Some wouldn’t even kiss you on the first date. These days, there’s sex without a date at all, which blows my mind. How you expect to build anything from there is beyond me. Women aren’t protecting their bodies in the same ways that they used to. In fact, social media has become a way for them to advertise. I mean, how many profile pictures can you take from your bathroom sink with your behind turned up in the camera and still expect to be respected? Women have to get the full meaning of being liberated. It doesn’t mean that you’re so free with your body that you give it up to whoever asks. It means that you simply have the right to. Philosophy moment: A wise person knows that all freedoms aren’t to be acted upon.
Actually dating – What all of this amounts to is the fact that dating itself is no longer held in high regard. People are more about a hookup than anything. Men have always been sex-driven, but now that we have women on board with that thinking, we’re off the tracks now. The process of getting to know one another needs to come back. This is where successful relationships are made. Talking on the phone, using that time at dinner to communicate rather than dividing up the bill and, most importantly, keeping sex on the back burner so that our judgment isn’t clouded. This is not only what dating is about, but what it was intended to do. It was intended to help us get to know people before we did things that we may regret.
I know a lot of this seems so old-fashioned to some that are reading this, but I’m telling you that some things that are tried and true still work. We have new ways of keeping in contact with one another, but we shouldn’t always use them to find mates. There remains no real substitute for the human touch. While Facebook, Twitter and our many phones are fun, they often cause harm to more relationships than they help because we’re too reliant on them and are often irresponsible with them. Use them for their purposes, but use your human emotions for what they’re for as well. At the end of it all, you won’t be dealing with a status or a text. You’ll be dealing with the person behind them. Are you sure you know who they are?
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