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Are Facebook and other means of internet communications killing relationships?

Hanging out is not a date
Hanging out is not a date
antoniodiaz / 123RF Stock Photo

Dear Deborrah:
I am a 37 year old male living in San Francisco. I moved to the States about three years ago from Berlin, where I grew up.

A couple of weeks ago I was hanging out at a bar and heard a young man at the bar ask my friend and I how he could ask a young woman out, without it being an official date. His stated reason for not wanting to ask her out on an official date was that he had gone to grade school with her, but hadn't seen her for years, then reconnected on Facebook and wanted to get to know her before he asked her out. I, and a few others explained to the ignorant young twenty-something that dating and face to face interactions is how you get to know people, not chatting on Facebook.

Just a few days ago I was talking to one of my thirty-something female friends on the phone. She told me that over the weekend she met a very intelligent and handsome man in a restaurant/bar and had what she considered to be a great conversation. At the end of that conversation the man who is also thirty-something asked for her name so that he could "friend" her on Facebook.

I told her to drop this guy and not give him a second thought. I went on to say there is one of two things going on with that situation.

#1 When a man is interested and wants to get to know you, he will ask for your number so that he has a definite way of contacting you. Or,

#2 He is interested, but at 30-something years old does not have the experience and intellect to know how to woo a woman and therefore is not worthy of your time.

So Deborrah, what's your opinion of what's going on with not just these situations, but relationships in general? Are we as humans looking for ways to disconnect as opposed to connect? Have we taught younger generations that actual human interactions are less valuable and therefore unnecessary?

Signed,
Just Call me John

Dear "John":
This lack of social skills and a failure to interact responsibly and dynamically towards the opposite sex is one of the chief problems with our new generation of males. The guys in their teens to early 30s see things so differently. I too have noticed the confusion that these guys seem to have about women and how to get and keep a relationship going. They're so afraid of rejection and so lacking confidence.... they practically piss their pants when they even THINK of asking a woman out. They also frequently use feminism as an excuse not to take the bull by the horns and ask women out, pay for dates, buy her flowers, or even to open a door for a young lady.

I remember reading the results of a recently study published in USA Today about young people and dating. More than 2000 singles were polled and 69% admitted to being confused about whether they were "on a date" or "just hanging out."

Courtship has become casual, with texts, hookups and hangouts. For Millennials in particular, who view a "date" as too much of a commitment — both in time and emotional connection — the vagaries of dating can be especially confounding.

New data, provided exclusively to USA TODAY, bear out just how muddy the landscape can be. An online survey of 2,647 singles, ages 18-59, illustrates that level of ambiguity: 69% are at least somewhat confused about whether an outing with someone they're interested in is a date or not. Although 80% agree that a date is "a planned one-on-one hangout," almost one-quarter (24%) also think it is "a planned evening with a group of friends," and 22% agree that "if they ask me out, it's a date."

How sad is this? Why can't young men step up and make their intentions and interest (or lack thereof) clearly known? I mean, at some point young men and women both have to understand that the world you lived in while attending college is NOT THE REAL WORLD. There is more to being with a woman fellas than shagging her.

You cannot text women endlessly thinking that is foreplay. You cannot get an adult woman looking for a serious relationship to waste her time going out with you by suggesting that the two of you "hang out" like teenagers. She has no clue what that means for her time and energy.

As men on the rise, you need to know about wine not beer, and food besides pizza and burgers. Jeans cannot be worn everywhere, and skinny jeans should not be worn anywhere. There are other shoes in the world than sneakers, flip flops or boat shoes. Soap is your friend... women like soap smell. Her sitting there watching you play video games is not sexy or romantic.

Sigh.

I'm so happy to hear that you've been setting them straight. Great job!