Old School Dating Norms That Need To Make A Comeback
During Christmas break my mother caught me swiping through Tinder. With a raised eyebrow and stern tone she said, "I don't know why you people think it's cool to do that."
A lecture was about commence and all I kept thinking as she so exuberantly yapped, was how right she was.
What the hell is going on with our generation? Why is it sensible to meet people online, text for hours at a time to ultimately ghost, or become an almost couple and then let each other fade out because no one is ballsy enough to fess up to having feelings?
Then it hit me. Millennials, more than anyone, enjoy things fast and easy.
We no longer bank in person, because we have an app. We no longer call restaurants to reserve tables, because we have an app. We no longer stand in line and wait for our turn to order food, because we have an app.
Heck, we don't even connect with friends in person because we're constantly connected by apps.
I started thinking about everything my mom was telling me and felt a little sad to know that I'd never fully understand what it's like to be wooed old school. I only know one way to be courted, but the more I thought about it, I also found some hope.
Millennials like retro. Millennials are intrigued by old school.
Last year alone hundreds of things we thought we'd never see again became the norm (I'm looking at you, chokers).
I speak for myself, and I think I also speak for many women in our era, when I say I'd like to see these four things become the norm again when it comes to dating.
1. Talking on the phone.
My mom and dad used to spend hours on the telephone. I can just imagine how cheesy their conversations were... but they communicated.
They listened to each other and learned each other's voice. They learned to decipher what was said sarcastically and what was said seriously. But most of all, they learned to share thoughts and express what they felt easily and freely.
I'm not saying we want to spend time talking to a guy for hours, but let's face it, getting a text back is hard these days.
Communication is so important in relationships and the fact that we've resorted to texting only makes me feel like this generation is missing out on really listening to each other.
2. Giving her something thoughtful to make a lasting impression.
On their first date, my dad bought my mom a Michael Jackson LP, a bag of her favorite candy, favorite bread from the bakery and a rose.
Random gifts? Yes, but so adorable.
He showed an interest in her interests. She knew she wanted to be with him because of it.
I've never gotten a rose on a first date, probably because men have been misinformed into thinking that girls don't like little gifts like that. We do, though.
I have yet to meet a girl who would think that a guy did too much by buying her something small on their first date. I've also never met a girl these days who can actually say that a guy she went on a date with got her something.
That being said, guys, don't buy her a Rolex or a vacation to Maui. Little things that will make us remember you are good enough.
3. Going out on real "dates."
Every date I've gone out on this year has been called a "hang out." Can we please retire this whole "hang out" term and call it what it is? It's a date! D-A-T-E!
I don't mind having a coffee date or meeting up for a drink. If things don't go very well, enduring a full-on dinner is pure torture, but can we seriously just cut the crap?
Friends "hang out," while guys and girls go on dates. End of story.
My dad took my mom to dinner and dancing on their first date. They also took a picture together, which is still hanging somewhere at home.
If it all goes well, why not document that moment? I get that taking a picture implies posting it somewhere, but why not just take it and save it? It may just be the coolest thing you'll have to share with your children one day.
4. Admitting your feelings upfront.
My dad was upfront about his feelings towards my mom. He told her flat out, to her face, that he liked her.
I get that rejection is tough to swallow sometimes, but catching feelings seems like the worst thing one can do.
Guys want to pretend they don't like you to have the upper hand, and us girls do the same.
We don't text each other after the date and then someone breaks and finally reaches out, only to find that the other is nonchalant about the whole thing. In reality, you really liked each other and would totally want to see each other again.
Now, we all get there at some point or another, but why do that whole dance to begin with? Why not just be real?
If you like someone there's no reason to hide it, and if they don't like you back, it just means they're not a good enough match and someone better will come.