Is dating really dead? Many experts believe it is, but you don’t need a degree to figure it out. Dating and socializing has changed a lot over the past two decades. We don’t need to get to know people in person anymore. In fact, many of us feel that the more we get to know other people, the more we like being single. It is just easier to be on our own without the extra responsibility of being with another person.
Back in the day, dating was the main way people got to know other people. It involved rituals, such as preparations and the actual date. After the date, there were rules about what you should and should not do. Sitting by the phone and waiting for a guy to call you back was a common occurrence. Men paid for the dates and opened the doors. Women had to deal with the insecurities of whether they were pretty enough for the other person.
Thanks to feminism, women started earning more money. They were able to buy their own homes or rent their own apartments. They no longer had to find a man to start their adult lives. For men, this meant that they were no longer on the hook for having to provide for a woman financially. He got a break and women gained more independence.
Now, we have the Internet. It has changed the whole boy meets girl scenario and has put the final nail in the coffin of dating.
You can learn all you want to know about a person by reading their social media feeds, such as Facebook, or browsing through their Instagram posts. Little is left to the imagination anymore and you can pretty much decide on whether you want to be intimate with a person or not just by reading what they post. You don’t have to take them out on dates anymore to get to know them. For us women, we can find out right away if a guy is a player or not. If he is chatting with a bunch of women on social media and openly talking about hooking up with them, you can bet your bottom dollar that he is not going to stop if the two of you get together. Social media reveals a lot about who we are and how we interact with the opposite sex. It is killing the dating scene because many of us are not careful about what we put online.
A flat $20 bill does not even begin to cover a date. If you are planning on hitting the movies, you will need at least $100 for you and your partner to enjoy the evening at a cheap theater. Otherwise, expect to pay well over that one hundred dollars for a full service movie theater. It is the same with eating out. A date does not include fast food. It means going to a good restaurant, sitting down, and having a full meal. This can be costly, depending on where you go. Events, concerts, and museums are also costly. There is very little you and your partner can do in the dating arena on a limited or zilch budget. A walk in a park and a packed lunch might be fine on one or two dates, but it gets old real fast. Hiking trails are fun, but only if you live in an area with a lot of free trails. The fact is, it is hard to date when you don’t have the budget for it.
Oh, my time has come. Have you seen the interactive, life sized “dolls” for adults? Not only are they anatomically correct, but they are becoming more and more interactive. We don’t really need to have a living, breathing person in our lives anymore. We can just buy Mr. Perfect with the exceptional abs for a few thousand dollars. While the adult dolls were mostly made for lonely men, women are now taking an interest in them. Male dolls are becoming easier to order online and we get to choose everything about the dolls, from hair color, eye color, and the size of down below. It is a made to order man who will never cheat, leave the toilet seat up, or secretly text your best friend. In other words, he is nearly perfect. The only downside is that he won’t be able to open jars or reach into the higher cabinets for you.
First it was the computers. Many of us turned away from a social life to play games or do personal research online. Then came the smart phones and an even larger group of people tuned out and tuned in to the cyber universe. Walk down any street or step into any restaurant and you will see people glued to their smart phone screens. If the place has free wifi, expect to see tablets and laptops, too. We can do almost everything online, from setting up a blog to creating amazing photographic images, but don’t expect us to set our technology down and have a conversation with you. It doesn’t happen anymore because we have quickly lost the ability to communicate with each other in a clear, mature way. We can’t use emoji’s when we speak and saying LOL out loud sounds kind of stupid when you could just, you know, laugh. Without the basic communication skills, dating is pretty much extinct.
Turn on the television and you are instantly hit with way too much drama from the reality television programs. It is insanely intense and stupid all at once. No one can date or be a couple nicely anymore. It is all about drama, yelling, and cheating. Turn off the television and head out the door. You will see the same drama happening in the bars and clubs. It is complete rubbish. Who has time to deal with this crap? Many people associate dating with drama. They see their friends getting hurt, they see people cheating or attempting to cheat on their partner, and they get migraines from the endless yelling and emotional bickering going on. It seems as though no one can behave maturely, especially not in public, and everyone feels the need to act out for attention. That is not dating. It is acting like a toddler, and no one has the time or energy for this kind of crap.
Dating apps have opened up a totally new way to meet new people without ever having to leave the bedroom. Instead of going out on a date with someone new and getting to know them upfront, we are screening potential dates on apps, deciding within seconds whether or not we are attracted to the person on the screen in front of us. At first, it is a total rush. You see person after person and there are so many potential maybes. After a while, though, it can get a little too overwhelming. You meet new faces and if you see someone who interests you, you both agree to meet up. It is not a date, but a face to face check out where the two of you decide for sure whether or not this other person is someone you could handle sleeping with. If there is bedroom potential, the game is on. If not, the other person gets ghosted and the game continues.
Due to a poor economy, some areas absolutely suck for dating. There may be no decent restaurants to visit, the local movie theater might be in shambles, and there are no special events happening for the next few months. That leaves couples with very few dating options. First, they can just hang out at each other’s homes. If that gets too boring, they will have to do a road trip and that can take hours. For people in bad locations, dating is not an option. Instead, people just start hanging out together in their backyards or living rooms. Bedroom intimacy just happens and it is no big deal: just two people taking care of a need. If the two people feel that they are working out together pretty well, they simply fall into the relationship without any of the traditional formalities of dating. About the most they will do is change their Facebook status to being in a relationship.
If you are an avid news reader, you know that the world can be a dangerous place. There are shootings, bombings, hate crimes, and jackasses running amok. You never know when the next idiot will strike or where. It could be at a bar, a movie theater, a sporting event, or any place that is associated with dating and mingling. For this reason, many people are backing out of the traditional dating spots and turning to finding partners through work or through a friend. They don’t want to meet up with a stranger they messaged online. Instead, they want to stick with potentially safe partners who are known to them or to their family. They will hang out with their potential partner around friends and family, usually in other people’s homes, where they feel the safest. Casual home hangouts are also a part of the deal, especially when there is intimacy involved. Going out on a date is just not something these people want to do.
Traditional dating is a long, boring process that takes more planning and pre-thought than most of us have time for. Finding just the right guy, also, can take years of dating the duds. It is a huge waste of time and energy. Instead, people seem to be sliding into relationships these days and getting the goodies out of a relationship up front, before the actual bonding has begun. We are having sex with people far sooner than we used to on the dating scene. We try out the goods before we even consider buying them, and we might do it again and again, just to make sure our minds are made up. We don’t want to wait for sex or kissing or even sleepovers. Give it to us right away. If we like it, we will come back for more. If not, we move onto the next potential partner and start again.
You mean I have to get up and get dressed to go on a traditional date? No thanks. I would much rather hang out at my place, instead. Many people feel this way. They feel far more comfortable at home than they do going out to someplace new or someplace they have already visited a zillion times before. Instead of asking a person out on a date, they invite that person over to hang out. It could be channel surfing, Netflix binging, or even involve picking up a DVD rental. Everything is cheaper and easier to do when you and a possible life partner are just doing a casual hangout. It is a great way to get to know someone when just hanging out in a comfortable setting with no prying eyes to impress. What’s more, you can always invite friends over, too, to keep the hanging out platonic until you feel like he is the right guy.
One of the first intrusions into the dating world that happened online were the online personals. Websites, such as Match.com and PlentyOfFish, came onto the scene and sure enough, none of us needed to head out of the house to meet someone new. In fact, we started learning about other people from the inside out, instead of from the outside in. Everything got switched around and we started talking to different people online, getting to know them through emails and messages before actually seeing them. For some people this worked out great. Others became disillusioned after meeting prince charming in person. People lied over the internet or were extremely polygamous online. Others simply wanted to find a soul mate without having to go out on numerous dinner dates with people, so they kept things real. The online personals killed the traditional process of dating for people in Generation X and older.
Have you ever been on a formal date? It is a lot of work to prepare for a proper date. First, either you or the person you are going out on a date with need to make reservations. Then, clothing needs to be decided on. You must dress appropriately and if you don’t have the right outfit, you will need to buy it. There are the preparations: hair, makeup, and nails. Who is going to pick up who? The list goes on and on. My mother even told me that back in her youth a teacher had taught her and the other students how to properly get into the car on a date. The dating rules were insane, but some people still practice them. My two oldest kids, both millennials, like casual dates and don’t practice any of the formal stuff. It is just too much for them and for their lifestyle.
Just twenty years ago, the subject of self pleasuring was taboo. If you admitted to doing it, something was really wrong with you. It is great news that this attitude has changed, although it has also changed the dating scene quite a bit. It used to be that if you wanted to get it on, you had to go find someone to date, get to know them for a few dates, and then start making out. There was a whole rule system of what you could do on the first, second, and third date. After the two of you decided to go steady, then you could get your jollies with each other. Any sooner and you were a social pariah. These days, you just have to give your hands a wash and go at it. If your friends find out, so what, because we all admit to doing it. Isn’t social progress great?
What are you doing with your time? No doubt you are probably just as busy as the rest of us and don’t have the extra time to go out on a full fledged date, let alone shave your legs. That is probably one of the biggest problems with formal dates. They take a lot of time to prepare for and then there is the time needed for the actual date. By the time the date is over, it is late at night and bedtime. In other words, a single date can use up one or more days of your personal time. That’s rough, especially if you have to work, manage kids or even pets, have a side business that you are building up, and the need to do all those extra things that come along with your lifestyle, such as exercising, studying for adult classes, and keeping up with friends and family online.
Once upon a time, not so long ago, women were expected to reach young adulthood, start dating, and eventually get married. The reason for this was because women usually didn’t have jobs outside of the home and when they did, they made nowhere near the same amount as men did. Thank goodness things have changed! Women no longer have to rely on a man to buy a house or to be successful in this world. As a double bonus, men no longer have to cope with the pressure of being the only person bringing home the bacon. Because of this, many people, both men and women, no longer feel the urgency to get married. Since dating was part of the marriage process, there is no need for that, either. Women and men are now free to see who they want, whenever they want, and however they want. The family structure has broken down and become more casual.