Once upon a time, a boy called a girl and asked her if she'd like to go to dinner, or perhaps see a movie. If she accepted, he'd pick her up at six and ring her doorbell. He'd hold the car door open for her and she'd slide into the seat, clutching her little purse as she smiled sweetly. They'd make polite small talk as they got to know each other and if he was lucky, perhaps he'd get a kiss on the cheek as she bid him goodnight.
Fast forward to present day. Calls have been replaced by Facebook IM's, texts and tweets. Instead of hanging out at local places in hopes of meeting singles, now you can do it online, in the comfort of your own home. In comes Match.com. Never mind small talk, now you can get to know someone in a few simple sentences:
"Man seeking woman who enjoys walks on the beach, pina coladas and getting caught in the rain...if you're not into yoga, if you have half a brain." Sound familiar? Why bother with all of the trouble and expense of a real date to get to know someone? Not only that, but there are many more instant options in front of you, on dating websites. Think if it as the fast food of finding love. If you are really in a hurry, try speed dating at Tampa Bay Speed Dating Singles.
The new romantic landscape is more hanging out over dinner dates. Do the constant IM's, tweets, texts and Facebook posts leave us confused as to how to court the opposite sex? Does the idea of an alcohol fueled hangout sound better than an actual one on one date? Perhaps it depends on the age group in question. Hookups might be ok for college kids, but what about adults?
Do we blame technology? Is it easier to ask someone out via text than in person? We get to check out a person's profile on a dating website or Facebook, to see if we want to go out with them. According to MyFoxChicago.com, an article in the New York Times called the phenomenon: "non-dating," "one step below a date and one step above a high-five," and "college hookups without the dorms." More irritating are those who simply text "sup" or "hey."
To further complicate matters, there is the question of who pays for what? These days, women can make just as much money as a man, this squashes the male-dominated dating rules even further. Maybe gender roles are more blended now. However, there are still many women who love to be taken on romantic dates. Ask her out at least a week ahead of time and show a little forethought. Some of the old rules still do apply. Maybe chivalry is not dead after all.
~"A simple 'I love you' means more than money." – Frank Sinatra