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In Defense of Old School Dating Rules

The absence of dating rules today creates a lot of needless finger pointing about who should do what
The absence of dating rules today creates a lot of needless finger pointing about who should do whatFreeDigitalPhotos.net/David Castillo Dominici

Today’s dating landscape has become a pretty murky one – one that could use an infusion of more old school etiquette. A recent online connection became a powerful reminder of this.

After connecting with online bachelor S through HowAboutWe.com, we met up for drinks. As the evening progressed, our solicitous waiter repeatedly asked if we wanted to order food. S cut him off each time without even asking if I might want to share something.

When it came time to plan date number two, S asked me to suggest a venue. Applauding his excellent first date choice, I insisted he choose. He did. Drinks or dinner? I wondered.

"Up to you," he texted back.

"Your call," I replied.

Whatever happened to a healthy dose of manly initiative in romance? Why does it feel like you have to strong arm a guy into courting you these days? The answer, of course, is that the old fashioned rules which once defined dating seem to have gone by the wayside – making it more difficult than ever to truly connect.

In this era where your next flirtation is only a click away, it’s no surprise that today’s dating culture is a decidedly lazy one. Popular wisdom encourages this, repeatedly telling us women that our expectations are too high, that we are naïve and unreasonable to want the wooing of pre-texting days.

We are often made to feel that we should lower our expectations of the opposite sex. But at what point does accommodating post-modern dating rules (or lack thereof) begin to cross over into compromising what you believe in?
S did eventually take the lead with some encouragement. Which revealed one upside to these role reversals in dating – being free to speak your mind about what you want.

If only it didn’t feel like a time machine is required to find it.