Why Nobody Knows How The HELL To Date Anymore

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Love, Self

Hint: "Netflix and chill" isn't a date!

Here we are, in the 21st century. Gen-X'ers, Millenials, Gen-Whatever'ers are having a hard enough time as it is navigating massive student loan debts, high rents, and a difficult job market. And the icing on the cake is that they're floundering through the dating world/hookup culture, quickly discovering that nobody knows what the hell they're doing.

That's probably because there's no structure. There's no methodology. There's no progressive course of events. And many times, there are no role models leading by example.

Essentially, everyone is a ship at sea without a destination. Maybe everyone is hoping to bump into someone and ask how to get to port, but the navigation seems to be broken.

A big part of this is the fact that people — particularly younger men and women — have completely lost sight of what "dating" actually means. Then again, maybe they didn't actually lose sight of it because they never knew in the first place. Many recent generations have grown up just "hanging out" with each other and calling it a relationship.

Actually going to a movie gave way to coming over to watch a movie, which was essentially just code words to make the invitation sound less forward. Calling a girl to actually ask her out on a date has become a last-minute "Hey, want to hang out?" text that implies no effort or real meaning whatsoever.

A date isn't a random, last-minute invitation. When you're getting to know someone, a date should be planned. It doesn't have to be extravagant or expensive, but it should actually bear some resemblance to a series of events that you put some conscious effort into in order to ensure both parties actually enjoy themselves.

But the notion of a real date is declining — and there's not just one thing to blame. We're losing social skills despite "social media," which makes people less willing to actually form real-life connections that don't require friend requests.

We're losing the value of commitment. We see it in the job market, with technology, and with significant others. Everything seems to be a placeholder to keep us busy until something better comes along. And this happens with "relationships" too.

What happened to the honor of keeping your word? The dignity of standing by someone when things get difficult? The integrity of upholding the promises you made long after the mood that you made them in, has passed?

And we wonder why everyone complains about the opposite sex.

Young  men are also getting flooded with mixed messages. 

Do women want to be equal or do they want to be courted? Is there even a conflict between the two? Can't chivalry and equality coexist? Should he still pay for dinner? These questions can be confusing to people who haven't yet defined their own answers.

But what if you get turned down? What if you get rejected? In a society where trophies are handed out just for participating, we aren't learning to lose; therefore, we aren't learning to identify our weaknesses and improve them.

Men find themselves perpetually trapped in what they call the "friend zone" and wonder why. Without asking a woman on a proper date, she has no reason to believe you even want to be anything more than friends. Hanging out or even going out for drinks or spending time in groups doesn't send her the message that you're serious about her.

Women get approached constantly. They get complimented constantly. They get invited to clubs and parties and events — but do you know what the difference is?

Those men aren't you. Those men aren't putting in the effort to actually discover who she is. Those men aren't taking the time to express interest in her and to do something together that would allow you to actually have a real conversation.

Let's be honest: a lot of men just try to get into her pants. But you want more than that. Telling her isn't enough  you have to show her. 

We all know about the low-hanging fruit analogy when it comes to dating.

Men, in order to avoid rejection — and possibly effort  will do what's easiest. They'll invite women to just "hang out". They won't approach the woman who they really want to get to know because she just might be out of his league. They will grab at the apple on the bottom branch, because hey, it's easier.

And the whole time this is happening, the freshest fruits are in the top branches staying untouched because every man is thinking the same way. Little do they know, desirable women are probably not being asked on real dates as often as you might think.

Are you going to take the easy road and keep "hanging out," or are you going to take a chance and climb the tree? You might fall down a few times and get hurt, but you'll become better on each climb to a new apple.

There are women out there waiting for someone to prove that all men aren't the same. They're waiting for a man to take the initiative and invite them on a real, actual date. They're waiting for a man to climb the tree. 

Is it going to be you?


James Michael Sama is an award-winning Boston based blogger on the topics of dating and relationships, having amassed over 30 million readers in just a year and a half. He writes and speaks on the topics of chivalry, romance, and happiness throughout the country and has been featured repeatedly in news segments, talk shows, and mainstream radio.

This article was originally published at jamesmsama.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.


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