“I’ve seen men put more effort into finding a movie to watch on Netflix Instant than composing a coherent message to ask a woman out,” said Anna Goldfarb, 34, an author and blogger in Moorestown, N.J.
A typical, annoying query is the last-minute: “Is anything fun going on tonight?” More annoying still are the men who simply ping, “Hey” or “sup.”
That’s from a recent article published in the New York Times about the changing landscape of dating in the modern world. Sound familiar?
Facebook, Twitter, text messages and online dating sites have certainly shaken things up. A couple of decades ago, if a guy wanted to ask you out he had to do it in person or over the phone. You know, using his actual voice. Today, he can message you and he doesn’t even have to use complete sentences.
And it’s not just the way we arrange dates that’s gotten a make-over. The dates themselves are often less formal. Instead of dinner and a movie, the new standard is the hang-out date. You’re lucky if he buys you a drink or a cup of coffee. What’s more, that date may even include a group of his friends.
The technology, for one. We didn’t have SMS messages or Facebook in the 90’s. But there’s more to it than that. Actually hearing someone say “no” sucks, even if the news is delivered with tact and grace. For a lot of guys, relying on text to ask someone out is simply a way to lessen the sting of rejection.
As for the dates themselves, dinner and a movie is expensive. Really. In many cases, it’s as simple as that. Single guys often can’t afford the full wine and dine experience on a regular basis. Starbucks is a much cheaper option.
Oh, and there’s also the development of the hook-up culture.
Dating post-college now looks a lot like dating during college. Plenty of guys and gals have no intention of getting serious any time soon. So, opting to hang-out instead of go out has become the new trend.
But what if you want romance?
Okay, so he’s not going to bring you a dozen long-stem roses on the first date. There won’t be a limo involved. Fair enough. But, it’s not aiming too high to expect an actual one-on-one conversation over a meal.
You don’t have to be prudish or old fashioned to want a guy to ask you out via something more personal than a text message. And insisting on real dates doesn’t mean you’re hunting for a husband. It could just mean that you enjoy actually getting to know a guy you’re interested in, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
But how do you get those kinds of dates?
I have two pieces of advice for you. First, make it a point to set your own standard. If you want more than an evening hanging out at a sports bar with his buddies, decline those invitations. And be honest about it. Let him know you’re more interested in having a good conversation with him than watching the game.
Second, give the guys a break. No guy is likely to admit that money is tight up front. If he’s willing to take you out for a cup of coffee and a scone, that’s okay. No, it’s not as romantic as a seven course meal, but first dates are all about a connection, not the cuisine.
Of course, there is a potential flaw in this plan. If you raise your standards, you may land fewer dates.
That’s okay, too.
You may not go out every night of the week, but when you do, those dates will almost certainly be of higher quality. You’re sending the clear message that you’re different. Special, even. You expect to be swooned, not merely invited to tag along. The guys who are worth your time will put in that little bit of extra effort!
Always on your side,