The New York Times published an article last month titled “The End of Courtship” explaining that our generation – Generation Y – is rejecting the idea of old fashioned dating. The sad part is that it is true.
Now, I for one, am not a girl who thinks along feminist lines. As I have stated, I am a bit of a weirdo. I believe that women can be smart and independent but I have high expectations that men can treat me like a lady.
That being said: I have never been taken on a real 1st date. One. my family came with us and my mother not only drove, but paid. The next was simply to “hang out” at the mall. The only first date that felt real was accidental because each of us were unaware that we were going on a date until our close friends informed us differently.
I have been on every side of the dating scope. I have had long-term relationships, short-term ones, flings, almost happened, crushes, and any of the like. I have had relationships exist in only text messages, internet, and attempted sexting on their end. For the past couple of years, I have said the same thing: what does a girl have to do to get a damn flower?
I always laugh when a boy says that chivalry is not dead. They hold the door open for a woman and they expect to be praised. In a society where responding to a text is seen as a big deal, we can all officially say a night of french cuisine is out of the question. The article said it perfectly when it reads “A lot of men in their 20s are reluctant to take the girl to the French restaurant, or buy them jewelry, because those steps tend to lead to ‘eventually, we’re going to get married.”
Instead of trying to woo a woman, woman decide to make happily ever happen themselves. They “put themselves out there,” they hint, they send flirty texts, and they are forced to see nothing wrong with sex on the first date. YOLO was probably the worst thing to hit our generation.
Girls, nowadays, watch the “Notebook” like it is a science fiction movie. A true, passionate romance today is seen as obsolete. Times are changing. In a technology driven universe, people use the resources they have. The newest phone allows you to text, skype, and watch TV at the same time, then we will substitute it for dating.
A person told me that maybe courtship isn’t going to shit. They explained that maybe the definition is in the process of being redefined. I personally think that it is being redefined as “Convenient Dating.”
People will text instead of call because its more convenient. The Times calls it the “rise of the “hookup culture” among young people, characterized by spontaneous, commitment-free (and often, alcohol-fueled) romantic flings.” They offer to hang out rather than plan a full date because its more convenient. They keep other dating options available because if it ends, its more convenient. If you jump head first into the waters, people today just assume they’ll drown.
So he was technically right. Its not bad but redefined; but that doesn’t mean I have to be ok with it. I fell that it is bad because back then, dating actually meant something. You would take time to plan dates, spend a little more money, get a little more dressed up because it was important to you. Dating used to be filled with moments. It was about the other person’s look in their eyes, their cunning conversation, building inside jokes or even completely failed. People used to be able to have their eyes and ears open to every detail, every gesture and every word. Now its filled with awkward silences and checking phones for the time.
It was so much easier and simply beautiful to fall in love back then. Back when words meant more when they were spoken and not texted, when gestures were noticed and appreciated, when people fell hard into each other- love was a possibility. Now love is defined as if you’re a good texter and good in bed.
People lived in moments; not by appointments. It wasn’t a casual tagalong, it was dedicating your time to one person. Now, that is too much to ask for. People are scared. If you always act like you have your guard up, its easier to pretend you don’t get hurt. But people hurt still. You can change dating all you want – when it ends, you get the same result. People break up. They’ll break your heart. They’ll leave you without saying good-bye or ever considering your feelings. That will never change. I think that’s why they changed it in the first place- fear.
So I vote to change it back. Get back to a society where you can dance in the middle of restaurants, serenade, woo and be wooed without scowling glances. Let’s go back to living in every moment.
“I mean you can never really tell what’s good until later anyway.
Until you look back and think about things,
and you have time to grow into your mind.
But sometimes you make a choice in that moment,
and you know in your heart it’s going to change everything.
People will tell you nothing matters the whole world
will about end soon anyway,
but those people look the life in wrong way.
I mean, things don’t need to last forever to be perfect.” – Daydream Nation
The quote above is about the moments. I think that’s what we lost. Moments aren’t convenient.
Back to my swimming analogy, people are scared and stubborn about jumping in the water. Today, they don’t even stick a toe in to test it. They can’t get pushed in because their phone, iPod, iPad, GPS, and whatever else they have will get ruined. Dating, Love, and life aren’t about jumping in and drowning. Its about learning how to swim.
NY Times Article Link