I met a guy at the bar the other night, we drank, chatted, and he got my number, the standard routine. I’ll admit he wasn’t really my type, but I would’ve given him a chance. I figured if he texted me I would be open to going on a date, at least. Well, the next day roles around and nothing. At that point thoughts were rolling around in my head.
He pursued me, so what gives? Why get my number if you’re not going to use it? And why am I wasting my time thinking about a guy who I only kind of liked?
I finally deduced that if he liked me enough, he would’ve contacted me. I put it in my mind as an oh-well-another-one-bites-the-dust and moved on. He popped up in my thoughts every now and then for the next couple days, but more out of me being confused out of it all than wishing he had texted me. Fast forward to just around two weeks later and I’ve pretty much forgotten him when, what do you know, he texts me. I was incredulous. Two weeks later? Are you kidding me? Does he really think the offer still stands after two weeks, and what kind of girl does he think I am that I would hold out for this long? Of course, I didn’t bother texting back (out of my dignity and self-respect), but nevertheless I was shocked. Maybe I’m just being old-fashioned, but it’s amazing to me that people think it’s ok to contact a romantic prospect after two weeks from when the subsequent meeting occurred. And probably when they were bored and all the other prospects have failed. I refuse to be an after-thought.
I confided in my friends and they agreed and commiserated. We’ve all been perplexed by and subjected to modern dating. Some have been “ghosted” (suddenly stopping all contact with one who you are romantically involved) and some admit to doing the ghost-ing. Many of us complain that no one wants to commit, and others claim they don’t want a relationship. Most of the time we’re just strung along until the other person finally decides to leave all together. All of us are just hanging on a text that may or may not come and going on dates with hopes that it’s not all just about sex. How has it come this far and why is it the way it is?
My take on modern romance is that we have allowed our standards in dating to significantly lower. How have our only expectations become just a text, or a drink at a bar, or 3 am booty calls? Aziz Ansari in his book Modern Romance (which you should definitely read) said,
“…being asked out through a text message has become so banal that it no longer gives women that sense of flattery.”
The days where anyone is actually courted are dwindling away. This generation and the generations to come will never have that nervous, yet rewarding feeling of calling their crush on their home phone and praying that they pick up instead of their Dad. Rarely, do you even get picked up at your front door anymore. And certainly don’t expect flowers on the first date.
The truth is we have become cowards. We’re too afraid to even ask for what we want, what we deserve, when it comes to love. We’re constantly toeing the line, acting aloof, never truly expressing our feelings. People don’t even have the respect to break-up face-to-face, but instead runaway and hide behind their phones. No one wants to take risks and work for what they want. Something can be said about instant gratification seeping into our dating habits. Things that are worth your time and effort, just as relationships and love are, aren’t achieved by half-heartedness and ambiguity. People used to die in the name of love, but these days we’re running away from it because we never know what’s real.
In order to change we must demand more. Accepting a vague text or a couple drinks at the bar should no longer be the norm. We need to have more respect for ourselves and other people, especially their feelings. No one should be left without an explanation or even a good-bye. Everyone should be upfront about their feelings and intentions, because it not only saves time and heartache, but it lends to a healthier love life. So next time, call someone and ask him or her on a date, a real date. Be respectful and don’t expect anything in return (a kiss, sex, whatever it may be), because they gave you their time and that’s sacred in it of itself. And if you really like them, tell them, and if you don’t, god forbid, tell them. Learn what you deserve and what you don’t, and never accept the norm if you don’t like it.