Girl on phone

The New York Times called it “the end of courting.” Here’s how to rescue dating from disappearing altogether. 

Beth Cook is a dating coach and throws private dating events for San Francisco’s most awesome and unattached. She also writes and draws about her own dating experiences. Want advice? Have advice? Send her an email.

There has been a lot of chatter about the recent New York Times piece “The End of Courtship?” If you have not yet read it, or you need a little refresher, let me sum up the main points. These days, youngish people:

  • hook up rather than date (casually hang out and get physically intimate)
  • meet people online versus IRL (it’s easier to contact multiple peeps)
  • text instead of call (why open yourself up to potential phone call rejection?)

In short, post-college-to-30-something men and women have gotten used to a romantic exchange devoid of meaning and social skills. Yikes.

A moment of silence for how fucked-up we’ve become.

And now the good news: it doesn’t have to be this way.

I’m going to spell out something implicit in this article: Women are craving a lot more than what is listed above. Simply read the interviewees’ droll accounts of getting involved with men. “‘I’ve seen men put more effort into finding a movie to watch on Netflix Instant than composing a coherent message to ask a woman out,’ said Anna Goldfarb, 34, an author and blogger in Moorestown, N.J.” Women are bored. Unsatisfied. Disappointed.

I don’t believe that guys are content with the status quo either. Taking the path of least resistance doesn’t feel good. Plus, who wants to date a disappointed chick? (In case you don’t know from direct experience: They’re not fun.)

What are we to do, reluctantly accept this sad state of dating affairs? Nope. You should change them.

Tremendous possibilities actually exist in the land of hook up/hang out turmoil.

Men: Take advantage of this lazy, voiceless dating to easily stand out from the crowd with a few simple moves: chat a woman up in person, call her on the telephone (gasp!), and take her out for a glass of wine. She’ll think you are Prince Charming—and Prince C. is a guy who gets laid!). Oh, and not only will she be impressed, but be practicing social skills that are (shocker) oh-so-useful in other areas of life, like your career.

And women: Set some standards for yourself that you won’t compromise. If a guy asks you to hangout with him and his pals, say no. Suggest instead that just the two of you get a drink later that week or cook dinner together. If he’s not willing to do those things, you shouldn’t be willing to hang around! Know what you want and don’t accept anything less.

If we all put a little more effort into courting, we’d be a lot happier—with our romantic prospects and with ourselves. Let’s rescue dating from disappearing altogether.

Photo by combust

In dating, the means justify the end
Match your dating methods to the end result you want, and you'll find yourself dating in a whole new way. 
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