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Dating Etiquette: What Men Are Missing Today

By Sarah Baker

1940s Simplicity

Back when our grandparents were dating, it was such a simple thing. There were no blurry lines. You always knew a date was a date. The man always asked the woman out by calling them or stopping by their house. In fact, it was inappropriate for a woman to ask out a man. You always gave a 2-3 day notice for a date and woman responded right away to show politeness. The man always picked the woman up on time and he brought her home afterwards. It was also customary for the man to meet the woman’s parents when he picked her up for the first date. The man always ordered for the woman, and he always paid for a date.  



21st Century Complications

Nowadays, dating isn’t as simple. Everything seems blurry and there aren’t any set “rules.” With more and more women being “just friends,” it’s hard sometimes to know whether dinner is a date or just some food with a friend. The act of asking someone out has become impersonal.  It is now socially acceptable for women to ask men out and to do it via text or email. The timing on responding to date requests is an art. Respond too early and you may seem desperate or too interested. Respond too late and you may seem uninterested and miss out on the date and the guy. Because of this, it may be a couple days before a response is given for a date. As well, it is okay to ask someone out the same day as the potential date. In the onset of internet dating, it is more common to meet in a public place for at least the first few dates. Woman order for themselves on a date. There is no need for them to tell the man what they want and have them relay it to the server.



When it comes to the check on a date, it’s a fine line. Some men still insist that they should pay. Depending on the woman, this is completely fine. However, some women might get offended citing that they can pay for themselves because they are an independent woman. Thus, “going Dutch” is becoming increasingly common. Meeting the parents is a big step and doesn’t usually happen until a relationship has been established. 

Are Romance and Chivalry Dead?

Some would argue that romance and chivalry are indeed dead. Men don’t open doors or romance a woman anymore. In the era of a strong, independent woman, men have had to back off in order to not offend women. Instead of calling a woman to talk about her day or ask her out, a simple text or email is more common. Without romance, it makes a woman feel unwanted which often times leaves them bored and moving on too quickly.



Others might argue that it is indeed not dead. There are some men out there who open car doors for their women, and sometimes their friends as well. They plan romantic evenings. They write poetry and send flowers just because. They always insist on paying for the date and picking you up. They generally initiate a date and love to talk on the phone about your day. 

For some women, chivalry is a must have. They love for someone to open the door, pick up the check and be romantic. For others, they can’t stand it. It makes the woman feel inferior. More and more women have an “I don’t need a man, I can do it by myself” attitude. This comes from having to fight hard in the work place to get out from under the shadow of men. I personally think that it has to do something with age as well. During my teenage years and into my early 20s, I was very much in the mindset that I didn’t want a man to do anything for me. I was offended when they opened to door for me and in fact rushed to the door in front of them to beat them to it and open it myself. I was embarrassed when flowers got delivered to where I was or when mysterious gifts showed up. Now that I’m a little older, I wish there were more chivalric men out there. I love having the door opened for me and miss the flowers and little gifts. I think that as you get older, you realize letting a man be romantic and sweet doesn’t make you weak. 

For Better or Worse?

The changes in the dating world are a mix of better and worse. Texting and emailing isn’t the best way to communicate with a dating interest, but it’s not the worst thing. With people working long hours, sometimes it’s just easier and gives the ability to date. Though I would prefer phone call contact, texting and emailing is something I can live with. Although, it is frustrating when you text or email someone and don’t hear back right away or at all. It’s hard to figure out if they just aren’t interested or if maybe they didn’t get said email or text.  Although I prefer to be asked out by a guy, it is nice that it is socially acceptable for a girl to ask a guy on a date. It relieves pressure for guys, but adds some for girls. For the first few dates, it is for the better that people can just meet at a public place. This allows for people to get to know each other without knowing where a person lives. This also makes it easier to bail on a date if it gets bad without an awkward ride home and uncomfortable drop off. Allowing a woman to order for herself is definitely for the better. It allow the woman feel independent and not inferior. The subject of paying is a rough line. Would I prefer for a man to pay for dinner? Of course I would. However, I feel bad making them pay all the time so I feel obligated to offer to split the check or pay every once in a while. 



What’s a Man to do?

Make the effort. Initiate and plan dates. Romance her. Buy her flowers. Pick her up. Kiss her goodnight. Be a gentleman. Pay for dinner. Hold the door. Open her car door. Meet her parents. Call her to talk about her day. Call her to ask her on a date. Show interest in her and her interests. Let her know you’re interested. Show her that you care. Learn things about her. Listen. Unblur the line. 


Buying Her Flowers...

1 comment:

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