On Your “A” Game? Why Your Dating Strategy Just Isn’t Going To Cut It Anymore

There’s an article in The New York Times called “The End of Courtship?” which I find to be more than a little disappointing.

The article discusses how men generally put minimal effort into dating or women anymore and the extent of dates these days is “hey babe I’m out with some friends, wanna come meet up?”

…That’s a date? And women are accepting? Forget that nonsense. It’s impossible for a man to pursue you if he just…gets you. Simple concept.

A date is something you plan. It’s something you pay attention to. As time goes on and you have gotten to know each other a little better, I think spontaneity can be good – but you will find in the NYT article, that is not the concept in question. Here is an interesting excerpt from the article:

It’s one step below a date, and one step above a high-five,” she added. Dinner at a romantic new bistro? Forget it. Women in their 20’s these days are lucky to get a last-minute text to tag along.

What? No. Just, no. How is this acceptable? How are these conversations not being had? Is this real life? I am cringing. Literally cringing as I type this from the reverberation of that line, and many others from the article in question. I look like I’ve just been gnawing on a lemon.

The article discusses a girl who goes home from the club with a bouncer and how it “only lasts 4 months.” In other surprising news: The sky is blue and water is wet.

People are jumping into relationships with essentially no foundation or bonding process between them. They are not experiencing each other, learning about each other, absorbing each other into their lives – before deciding to make a commitment. Of course much of this happens after the commitment is made, but we still need to be aware of the person we are giving our time to.

There is no finger to point here nor is there one party who should be blamed for the gradual downfall of courtship and the systematic destruction of the monogamous 20-something. If women collectively refused to give themselves to guys who seemingly get what they want without putting in any effort, then men would be forced to step it up and do what it takes to get a quality woman, or they’d get no women at all. Are guys to blame? Sure, of course. Are women also? Yes.

I believe one of the problems our generations are facing is a lack of role models. Who is in the mainstream really addressing these issues? Who is out there helping our youth truly value themselves and therefore not growing up into adults who accept less than they know they deserve?

And, who is out there teaching our young men how to treat the women who do value themselves, and won’t accept the apathetic offer of some schmuck who is looking to get maximum reward for minimal effort?

If people are not learning these basic principles from their parents, who are they going to learn them from? Negative relationships can start at a young age and very easily begin a pattern that will continue into adulthood if it is never broken. If young men and women get a certain view of relationships in their mind, it is only natural that they will continue to gravitate towards the same type of people and the same type of scenarios, because they think that is what is ‘normal’ and it is also comfortable.

It’s a vicious cycle. If men have no idea how to treat women, women who do have higher standards will eventually get so tired of being alone that they will decide to be a little more flexible in what they accept. Then a little more flexible. Then a little more flexible, until they end up with someone who…you guessed, it has no idea how to treat them.

Then after a few months they are single again and wondering why there are no good men left out there. In the meantime, men are not pushing themselves to act any better because they know eventually they will find someone who accepts them just as they are. She is very often that woman who just got finished lowering her standards. This cycle makes nobody happy in the long run.

So for both men and women, your dating strategy just isn’t going to cut it anymore. We have seen the effects of the hookup culture and how it has chiseled away at what our parents and grandparents knew as dating and courtship. The instant gratification “give it to me now” nature of our society has overflowed into relationships and people are becoming less and less willing to put real time and effort into building something solid with another person.

We are all at fault. Anyone who just assumes they can get something for nothing, as well as anyone who is giving something for nothing to others. The hope is that many of us mature out of these patterns and understand that if we really want something real we have to work at it – but the question becomes, how long is this going to take for each of us? And who is going to be willing (and available) to give their time to the last people who figure it out?

These are concepts we have to figure out sooner rather than later if we want to have any hope at keeping the concept of happy relationships alive.

As far as The End Of Courtship, the very last sentence in the article about a girl in California really drove it home:

“For her, the old traditions are alive simply because she refuses to put up with anything less. She generally refuses to go on any date that is not set up a week in advance, involving a degree of forethought. “If he really wants you,” Ms. Yeoh, 29, said, “he has to put in some effort.”’

You tell’em, Ms. Yeoh.

Picture Credit: We Heart It

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