In Defense of Old School Dating Rules

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.

Category: dating, dating dos and don'ts, dating rules 2 comments »

2 Responses to “In Defense of Old School Dating Rules”

  1. Emily

    Agreed! I can’t stand it when men don’t
    take the lead though in men’s defense
    They have been burned a lot in the dating
    game so maybe their laziness is due
    in part to their own frustrations
    and fear of being rejected ? I think
    helping men along to pursue and giving
    then the hint hopefully will help an otherwise
    good guy to pursue a bit!
    well .. I hope you at least enjoyed date #2!!
    How did it go??

  2. Melissa

    Hi Emily — Completely agree that, once we’ve been in the dating game for awhile, previous bad experiences can impact how we show up around new people. It makes it even harder to forge a new connection, though, when someone doesn’t seem to even be trying to make a good impression. This wasn’t the case here, but laziness was definitely an issue–and I think a large part of that is also because of how upside down, left and sideways dating has become. I understand it’s a new world out there–I just can’t help wishing we had more old world romance too. :)

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