What are we supposed to do now? Part 1

Good morning!

I saw this picture on Facebook about dating back in the day versus dating in 2015. I intended to save it and include it in this post, but it slipped away from me. It did, however, inspire me to think about the dating life these days. I know my opinions won’t be popular or possibly even understood, but it’s just what I’ve observed in recent times.

It’s 2015. It’s a world where women don’t NEED men, they want men. It’s a world where women don’t need to get asked out, they do the asking. It’s a world where it’s acceptable for two people to have sex on a first date. It’s a world where there are open relationships and you can hire someone to cuddle you. It’s a world where traditional values are not strictly adhered to. There are no more guidelines, per se: the rules of courtship are much more individual. What’s acceptable is largely subjective. I get it. I don’t like it, but I get it.

I, myself, have always been guided by a more traditional set of courtship rules. I know I’m in my late 30’s and people have hundreds of ways to connect these days, but I just don’t think it’s acceptable to court me by text exclusively. I don’t expect flowers and candy, but I do expect a bit of deference when it comes to holding the door open or allowing me to order first if we have a meal of some kind together. Depending on the situation, I do not expect my date to pay for everything all the time, but I expect him to know that he should expect me to expect him to pay all the time. (Does that make sense?) What happened to gentility and respect and honour and chastity and self-worth and all of that stuff? Why has progression led to such a bastardization of our morals? These days, you don’t get asked to be a girlfriend or boyfriend, you are asked to accept a “Confirm if you’re in a relationship with” request on Facebook.

I actually still believe in romance. I actually still believe in talking on the phone for hours late at night (and it doesn’t include phone sex). I do believe in going through picture albums and sharing memories (not just adding the person to Facebook so they can look through your pictures WITHOUT context or emotion). I do believe in waiting for exclusivity to have sex (and not having a condom with you on a first date). I do believe in using the words ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend’ (and not label-less introductions). Having said all of this, I understand that we’re all doing the best we can and that most of these situations depend on the person involved, but I can’t help but wonder why we can’t dial it back – not all the way back, but to like the late 90’s or something.

Why can’t we really get to know each other? Why can’t we really connect with people? Why can’t we wait or slow down, for pete’s sake? I have a few theories:

  1. Since marriage is on the decline, people are not courting with a view to get married, but are ‘getting together’ in a much more casual way, so the need to know everything in order to determine long-term compatibility is fairly obsolete.
  2. With the perception of women changing from virginal and chaste, to a more multi-dimensional entity, it’s almost like the sentiment is “you can take it”. We are no longer the ‘fairer sex’, so there’s no need to tiptoe around us, is there?
  3. We live in a world where we can have it all, so the general feeling is that there is no need to compromise, so instead of accepting a partner as is – flaws and all – we are opting to take the good bits and throw back the rest. This leads to casual sex (if it’s good) without commitment or all these other ‘situationships’ that blossom out of thin air.
  4. What about self-worth and self-esteem being on the decline? Maybe with all the noise out there making people feel they’re not good enough, maybe people think they’re not worth waiting for?

I don’t know, this is what I came up with. Maybe it’s none of this, maybe it’s all of this. All I know is that I’d be hard-pressed to let some random person borrow my favourite shoes without asking 100 questions first, let alone said person having their way with my body. I mean, seriously? As I said, maybe I just don’t get it.

So what do we do now?

V

What are we supposed to do now – Part 2 to be published on Thursday April 9.

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