I often say that I miss dating in the nineties. Recent experiences reminded me of why — and how murky the dating landscape has become.
After connecting with a guy online, S, 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.
I could feel my frustration mounting as I texted that. Whatever happened to a healthy dose of manly initiative in romance? Why does it feel like you have to strongarm 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.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been told to lower my expectations. 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 my encouragement. Which made me see an 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 was required to find it.