What is Dating in the 21st Century?
(As adapted from recent books I’ve read, as well as observing my age group- 40-60 yr olds- dating after divorce).
If you’re texting, are you dating? If you meet and talk at a bar, are you dating? If you “hang out” are you dating? If your Facebook status claims “It’s complicated” are you dating? If you hook up and have sex, are you dating? The answer to all of these is NO. The lines have been blurred with cell phones, social media and technology. The expectations seem to have changed, too. It might FEEL like you’re dating if you’re talking to someone but that’s now known as pre-dating. One sizing up the other to see if he/she is “datable.” What’s datable? To some, it’s, “Will he/she have sex with me?” To others it’s, “Does he/she fit into my little box of what I’m looking for?” OR “How does this person interact with others?”
The truth is, one never knows until you actually go on a DATE. What’s a date, you ask? It’s when the man asks out the woman (to dinner, walk in the park, coffee, etc) for the purpose of TALKING and seeing what kind of connection there is. I’m not just talking physical attraction (but not saying that part is not important AND needed) but intellectual attraction, spiritual connection, emotional connection. I said when the MAN asks out the WOMAN. The man should still pursue! If the woman pursues, it almost always does not work out. Women, if you chase the men… there is no challenge. He already has you. Let the man do the texting or calling. If you hear from him, he’s interested. If not, he’s not. He’s just NOT that in to you (Great movie if you haven’t seen it). AND a text at 10:00 p.m. saying, “Hey why don’t you meet us out? We are dancing at _____.” That’s NOT a date. Don’t go. You know how the night may end. It’s NOT a good way to begin a relationship that has a future attached. Wait for him to ask you on a date!
There are too many incoming and outgoing men/women. People are dodging commitment because men and women are distracted by the high supply of sex available at a low cost. Ladies—don’t lessen who you are and men, respect a woman. Just because there is a strong attraction does NOT mean you have to act on every urge! (I know this is not always initiated by men. It goes both ways. MANY ladies push for sex and guess what—it just DOESN’T work out. So why go there??) Wendy Walsh said, “Have we become a culture with a severe case of Love Attention Deficit Disorder? Are we addicted to dating? In a word, yes.”
MOST relationships/ meets do NOT work out. (This is not a pessimistic statement—it’s just reality). Only ONE special one makes it in the end so when you DO go on a date, just say to yourself…. It’s JUST a date! It’s not marriage. It’s not a commitment to go out again…… it’s just a date to “get to know” the other. Have fun. Learn. The whole 1st 1-2 months should just be getting to know the other. Do NOT have sex in those 1st few months. Almost ALWAYS will NOT work out. It’s SO important to build that strong foundation (emotional, spiritual, intellectual, psychological, etc) The physical is always good. If you have a great physical attraction now, you’ll still have it in a few months. And if you don’t, then you’ve saved yourself from adding another emotional connection/ hurt/ heart ache to someone you’re not going to have a future with. Do people (the 2nd or 3rd time around) still wait until marriage to have sex? YES! They are out there, too. Talk about a firm foundation!! Any relationship with God at the center has a good chance of winning in the end.
So stay out there. Remain available. Keep your values intact. Smile and talk to everyone when you are around town. Make sure positive thoughts are coming out of your mouth and not negative statements. Raise the expectation of what “everyone else” is doing (everyone else is ending in dead end relationships/hookups). Go on dates to date—not to mate. You’ll learn SO much about yourself and what you’re looking for. Be honest with where you are. Keep all lines of communication open.
*** If you’re interested in hiring a life coach and/or dating consultant, check out my website to see how I can be of service. www.loveandlaughterlifecoaching.com ****