I don’t think that anyone would really argue with me if I said, “oh yeah dating is different.”
It’s a pretty vague statement. Like something you’d say in passing, “oh yeah, Stacey, dating is sooo different. Enjoy your latte”.
But different from what? From when? The specifics are really worth thinking about.
Dating is different, for sure, from when our parents dated or our grandparents but honestly, it’s different from when I dated….and I’m not really old. I’m considered a Millennial…I’m in my early-ish 30s.
And, for the record, it’s not like I got married when I was in high school. I dated a long time but when I dated there were some norms. Some things I could expect from the dating experience that, in just a short amount time, have pretty much vanished.
So I’m going to suggest 3 dating practices that really do deserve a second look. I’m not saying to invite your folks to ride along with you on your dates, even though that may take a lot of the guesswork out of dating…but I am asking you to read this with an open mind because a little bit of norms may do you some good.
So here it is, my friends, 3 dating practices that deserve a come back.
1. CALL TO SET UP A DATE
Texting is super convenient. I will be the first to admit that I sometimes…. Ok, almost always, prefer to text over calling, but this should NEVER be the way anyone sets up a date.
You hear me?! PICK UP THE PHONE!
In a recent study of 5,500 individuals called Singles in America by Match.com, it was found that among Millennials, 29% admitted that real phone calls are a turn-on. Is that enough of an incentive?
It’s like something that was so standard previously vanished and is now slowly making a comeback but as something a bit more impressive.
So be impressive, heck turn your prospective date on, and make a phone call.
2. DON’T KISS ON THE FIRST DATE OR LIKE SLEEP TOGETHER EITHER
In this same study, it was found that Millennials are 48% more likely to have sex before the first date to test out whether or not there’s a connection.
Having sex to test out the “worthiness” of a partner is like test-driving a car while you’re drunk. There’s no way you’ll actually have a clear perspective and there’s a good chance you’ll end up hurt.
Ok, so here’s the thing having sex to test out a connection is building a relationship backwards.
Sex is emotionally and physiologically blinding and binding. We are designed to feel connected when we have sex, our bodies make sure of it.
Serotonin and dopamine are released which create feelings of closeness, but when this is done on a first date it clouds our perspective; creating a sense of closeness that doesn’t really exist beyond the bedroom.
This false sense of closeness can lead to us moving too fast too soon into a bad relationship or just not getting beyond the sexual experience which can, by itself, cause a lot of heartache.
The study also found that men were 3x more likely to use a one-night-stand as a way to start a relationship. These findings just seem to support the idea that there isn’t a lot of know-how when it comes to building a relationship the healthy way.
So singles, try something edgy and don’t kiss on the first date, heck don’t have sex on the first date.
You’re not a prude, you’re mysterious and aloof…re-write what it means to have some boundaries and standards in a new relationship and change how relationships are built.
Imagine if you could enter a new relationship with a clear perspective and an open heart.
If you hold off for a bit on the physical it will help you and your partner to really take some time to get to know one another. I promise you can figure out whether or not you have a connection this way too!
3. DEFINE THE RELATIONSHIP
Defining the relationship used to be a stage of dating. This was basically an indication of how serious it was, “so have you defined the relationship yet?”
Today, lack of definition seems to characterize dating.
The thing is is that when there are no definitions of where you are in a relationship, it’s really hard to know how to act and hard to know what’s expected.
What ends up happening is a whole lot of ambiguity and confusion. Almost every show on tv where people are dating has the theme of confusion as to how to act. Do I text twice in a row? She didn’t call, what does that mean? He posted a pic with another girl, what should I do?
See?! Mass confusion.
So I say, let’s start a new trend of directness and assertiveness and define the relationship.
Talk about what level of commitment you each have in the relationship.
Sound frightening?! Ahh new things are always a bit scary, but knowing where you stand is not just liberating it’s empowering. Because when you know where you stand you can set your expectations, know how much to invest and limit feelings of confusion, ambiguity and ultimately heartache.
BE A TRENDSETTER
I challenge all of you singles to get out there and change the way dating is done. You are in an era of “anything goes” when it comes to dating. There are NO rules anymore so YOU get to pick and choose what to keep and I believe the three practices above are keepers.
So bring them back in style. Listen, if 80s trends like high-waisted jeans (which I may or may not be wearing right now;) can make a come back then these should be an easy sell! Get out there my friends and do dating better!
Thank you for reading and here is a link to the study that was mentioned http://www.singlesinamerica.com/2017/#millennial.