Why Guys Are Getting Sloppy

finding men who are worth dating“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.

What changed?

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.

finding men who are worth datingYou 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,


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10 thoughts on “Why Guys Are Getting Sloppy

  1. Emae said:

    Yes James, there is much that has changed with men dating woman & vice versa now-a-days
    I like a little old school and at the same time, Im up with the times in how dating and communication via technology is also the go now… It’s good to be flexible with a little old school and updated schooling, always keen to learn new things and being flexible means less expectations on self and your date
    I met a guy who was old school in some ways but lacked that old school etiquette in other ways. This person was more focused on the type of woman they wanted in their life and how she had to suit his needs. 1 of those needs was that she had to be ok with him still having a friendship with the ex-wife (which I felt he was still in love with the ex) the saying “3’s a crowd” comes to mind and he also didn’t like texting/messaging much, which we both clashed in this area as I’m used to communication this way due to the type of work I do.
    So I suppose I learnt to be flexible with both ways, thee old school guy verses new aged guy (still to meet the in between guy lol)

  2. Holly Proctor said:

    That’s true about all those things after college. It gets worse as you get older. A lot of us are in our 50s trying again after divorce. What you ALLOW from a man or vice versa, is what you can expect! Raise the standard bar and have respect for yourself!

  3. Hope Little said:

    I am dating a married guy who is presently separated from his spouse. He has small children and doesn’t want to risk his relationship with them but we love each other and want to be together l. Not sure what to do, he says he is slowly going through the necessary process to end it the right way and I believe him but I’m not sure what I should be doing. I want him to be able to get through this without any additional stress from me because I know he is really trying to do this the right way and make sure her and the kids are ok. Sometimes I want to give my input because I hear a little manipulation on her part by telling him he doesn’t love the kids because he wants to move on in his life without her. But I try to stay out of it and let him work through it.

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Hope. It sounds like he’s doing things the right way, which is a good thing even if it’s slow. It suggests an important kind of respect for the well-being of people he has been in a relationship with. Someone who treats others well is likely to treat you well.

      I think you are wise to allow the drama and conflict to unfold without becoming a part of that frustration and conflict. Let your relationship be an island of peace and positive emotions. He’ll want to return to that island again and again. Trust him to sort out the rest.


      • Emae said:

        Hi Hope, I applaud your patience, and his respect for ending his marriage respectfully as their are children involved
        James is right, he will navigate towards you as you show positive patience and support him by just being there.

        A person who has left their marriage, goes through a marital detachment stage from their ex-partner, where their separating themselves slowly from memories that they had with that partner & of habits they had with them, incl other things…be patient Hope, watch and learn how he transitions from her to you and see the positive in the negatives so that it can uplift his spirit and yours
        All the best for your future with this man

  4. telesia said:

    This is excellent advice and very true. But I think there may be yet another reason guys are getting sloppy… and it has to do with a culture of narcissism which is permeating society. Some men are raised to think they hung the moon, and act accordingly. They don’t want to bother putting someone else first, because (in their mind) they come first.
    (Thankfully, there are still good men out there who are considerate and kind, without the uber-selfish tendencies of the narcissist.)

    • Emae said:

      totally agree Telesia, the men I have known, think only about themselves!
      So many men think only about what they want in a partner expecting the woman to prove herself to him! What about what she wants in a partner?
      And hopefully there are still some good single men left that aren’t so stuck on themselves (boring)
      I had a guy chasing me and I did like him quite a lot, but he definitely only thinks about what he wants, he has a lot to learn if he doesn’t want to remain single all his life.

  5. Dee said:


    Total agreement. Plus, I don’t think you necessarily get fewer dates. Your online profile should read classy but not prudish or unreasonable. Screening techniques for both safety; commonalities; fun, etc. should be built-in your profile narrative and you will receive more replies that encompass your style. Example, if you don’t like “TEXTING” mention your preferences. Once conversing one can exchange and/or make compromises without lowering standards. Maybe trading the “STARBUCKS” for a “DENNY’S/CELIA’S/ELEPHANT BAR/LOUNGE” that all offer coffee; cocktails-“HAPPY HOUR” and low cost food options if both wish to continue the date to the next level. HINT 1-If merely coffee or cocktails all the alternates are cheaper than “STARBUCKS” if money might be an issue!!!!!!!!!!! HINT2- Ladies, a personal meeting with most men a decision is made on the spot to continue or attempt to continue to the next level. This happens in a total of twenty minutes of less if he wants to know more. So, if a “NEGATIVE” for him he’ll stop at coffee/cocktails and has only lost a few dollars. If a go for both you move to cuisine. The original venue or elsewhere all the time respecting his monetary limits but insisting on class. The point(s), let him be creative and that isn’t directly tied to finances. Example, I’ve dated guys whom have taken me to a play “FREE”. Later topping the evening off with a single rose/flower at Baker’s Square. Great date with fun for both parties. Total costs around $20.00!!!!!!!!!! The flower was from his yard where he grew foliage, free. A great play costing nothing as he won free tickets and saved them until he chose an activity. Transportation was a leisurely walk a few blocks to the restaurant with food around fifteen dollars plus tax. We dated successfully for years with him doing numerous things demonstrating my worth to him with reciprocation from me. Yes, we had lots of fun over the years after that initial date and many activities included upscale restaurants, wines and travel but we still continued to do simple things too. I could say much more but will stop here with “DATING POINTS”.


  6. Jo said:

    I am not one to comment on many articles but this brought to my attention it once again how technology has eroded the basics in dating ediquette that’s profucing negative effects in developing meaningful relationships for both men and woman..
    To be fair there are still men out there that are doing THIER best to attempt THIER idea of what a date involves but lack the knowledge in dating. It’s up to the parents teach our children as some of us were taught . Having said that “let’s change the way we are doing that is not working and learn and share the positive results of engaging in dating protocols that will get the mate we all secretly desire.”
    Thank you James for your down to earth editorials .
    Cheers Jo

    • James Bauer said:

      Glad to have your comments, Jo.

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