by Tammy Schubert
Dating has changed, and I don’t know the rules to the game. What I do understand disturbs me. Actually, maybe it is just that I’m too old-fashioned to truly accept the dynamics of modern relationships.
Let’s talk about the flirt process on a well-known dating site. They offer the ability to send a Wink or an email to the person you are interested in learning more about. A wink is just a flirty icon thing that allows you to enter some text if you want and then send it to the person of interest. Think of it as a shy person’s method of initiating contact. Email is email. Just about all of us use it. We can pretty much agree that these tools are good ideas. When used as intended, I’m sure they work great. Here are real scenarios I don’t know what to do with:
- An interesting guy sends me a wink. I respond with a wink. Never hear anything else from the guy. Do I pursue this further?
- An interesting guy sends me a wink. I respond with a short, friendly email. Never hear anything else from him. What just happened?
- I send a wink to a guy. He winks back. No more contact. Do I pursue him?
- I send an email and he winks back. Now what?
Let’s say we get past the initial contact and exchange phone numbers:
- We had some great conversations before we meet in person. We agree on a Wednesday night to meet at a specific location on Saturday at a certain time. Great. Right? Except he calls Thursday night for the pre-meet confession. He tells you his picture is a decade old. What do you say to that? I am not happy about being lied to by using a picture that apparently is not a good representation of who you are now. Well, I rolled with it. Fine. We’ll meet. Why do people do this? Keep in mind I spent time and energy getting a picture posted that was taken just days before my profile went public. Why can’t he do the same?
- Same guy we just talked about. Now it is Saturday—date night. I picked the restaurant. He was supposed to plan the rest of the date. I get there a few minutes early and sit at the bar. No sign of a single guy on the lookout for a blind date. An HOUR later, I’m not seeing anyone who might be my date. Remember, his picture isn’t him as he is today. I don’t know who I’m looking for in this busy establishment. I text him that I’m at the bar. His text — “What bar?” We exchange more text messages. He apparently forgot the time and went out to cut the yard. What? He forgets a first date? Yeah. Nothing like making a woman feel special. What happened here?
- Same guy, same night. I’m sitting at the bar for about an hour next to a crazy guy, who swears there are five CIA operatives sitting around us. I text my date and ask him to rescue me. When a man comes up behind me and touches my arm, I come face to face with my date. Since his profile said he is several inches taller than me and I’m wearing low heels, I shouldn’t be taller than him. I am. To make matters worse, his martial arts pictures that are decades old are not remotely accurate. By the way, his shoes are hiking boots with a nice bit of heel. I’m still taller. Please know that I am not a superficial person. However, based on the way we met, shouldn’t he tell the truth about the basics? At first sight, I have pegged him as lying to me. What else has he said that’s not true? Further, what hasn’t he said that will become an issue later?
- Post dinner with same guy, same night. No date plans, but there is no clear end of the date. So we take a walk. It’s awkward and doesn’t last long. Why didn’t he bother to plan the date? Heck, why did he bother to make the date in the first place?
Let’s just hit the highlights of a few more issues on other dates:
- A man who has more estrogen than me. Trust me when I say I have enough for both of us. We both need some testosterone in this mix. Yikes!
- The guy is a natural-born nurturer. Great. I am, too. He spends the entire time we are waiting for a table at the restaurant taking care of all the other customers and wait staff. I’ve never seen anything like this in any man or woman I have crossed paths with in my life.
- I tell a guy that I do not like to text much. He keeps sending me messages. Yes, I respond to be polite. It goes on to the point it makes me crazy. I mention this text issue in a conversation. I’m still ignored. Why?
- Over dinner a guy who obviously makes a modest salary begins to tell me what he plans to do for his child. This includes private schools, etc., etc. The conversation turns to travel, and a college education for him. So am I supposed to foot the bill? I’m NOT a sugar mamma.
- Then there’s a guy who can’t hold a job. I repeat, I’m NOT a sugar mamma.
- How about the guy who wants to meet? He’s married. What? NO WAY!
- Oh, here’s the other guy. He’s separated from his wife and shopping around. NO WAY!
- An interesting guy wants to know if I like kids. Of course I do. Great. He’s a single father who has full custody of his five boys all under the age of ten. I’m not sure how to take this. Is he looking for a maid, babysitter, mother figure, or a romantic interest? Oh, he says our dates would have to include the kids. Ummmmm…. He wants to introduce me to his young, impressionable children on the first meet? No way. Count me out. I have very strong feelings about dating and small children. They need to be protected from the early part of the dating process, which could involve some crazies or women he isn’t interested in seeing again.
- Then there is the guy who is not seeking any type of long-term commitment. He is looking for a gal without drama or disease for a rendezvous or two. Mornings and early afternoons are preferred. Enough said. Moving on.
I have started to notice something disturbing. The dynamic in relationships is shifting. Have any of you noticed this? We are experiencing a role reversal, which goes against biology. Read John Gray’s book Mars and Venus on a Date. He explains the old-fashioned process and the reasons behind why a guy plans the first date, picks the girl up, holds the door and brings her home safely. Seriously. There is a purpose for every bit of the dating process.
Whatever happened to the old-fashioned dating process? Boy meets girl. They chat and flirt. Boy asks girl out…
Let’s get one thing straight. If there is going to be a committed relationship, I’m the woman. That’s my job. I had dibs. I was born into this role, and I refuse to relinquish the position.
Readers, why are all these weird things happening? How do you play the modern dating game? Please help me understand.