Is Traditional Dating Dead?

Is Traditional Dating Dead?

After an 11-12 year hiatus, I have been back in the dating pool for 5 or 6 months now. And I have to say, it’s been a rude awakening. Dating is so much different now than it was in my 20s. Sooooo much different. And, honestly, I am having a really hard time trying to fit my square self into this round hole. And I have come to realize that I am just not sure this new style of dating is ever going to work for me. Let me explain.

Is Traditional Dating Dead?

So, I tried the internet dating thing. That’s not really that big of a change, as that is where I met Jay [the reason for the “hiatus” from dating] and a few of the people I dated before him. We met online, talked a little while, and then carried the show offline, with phone calls, dates, etc. So, I would sometimes meet guys in a non-traditional way but then we would end up having a traditional relationship.

In my previous relationships there were phone calls, dates in public places, meetings of friends and family. The usual stuff. We did these things to learn about each other and to see how we fit in each other’s lives – or if we even could. Friends can be great at helping you decide if someone is a good fit for you. I mean, who knows you better? So, I have always been a proponent of introducing potential love matches to my circle. It just never seemed like a big deal to me. Nor did it seem like a big deal to those that I dated.

Also, phone calls happened, and generally pretty often. I always looked forward to talking to someone I was digging on the phone. It was really exciting waiting on my paramore to call me. I really enjoyed learning about the person I was seeing and finding out if we could have a meaningful conversation. After all, good communication is so important. And phone calls were, oftentimes, one of the ways in which we could tell that someone actually liked us. I mean, if they didn’t call when they said they would, that generally told me everything that I needed to know.

In my experience, there usually wasn’t a huge discussion about whether you were boyfriend and girlfriend or not. I mean, it kind of happened. You dated regularly. You called each other. You kind of merged into each other’s worlds and everyone knew you were an item. And that was generally that.

But, today’s dating world is totally different. I have gone out with several guys and had what you might call a relationship with one guy. None of these guys, save for one guy that I never actually met, seemed very interested in talking on the phone. Communication typically came in the form of text messaging or Facebook messenger. With a couple of the guys, I started stressing how much I would prefer phone calls at least part of the time. The “relationship” finally did start calling me, but it seemed to take so much pleading on my part to make that start happening that, honestly, it ended up making me a bit resentful. I just couldn’t understand why I needed to basically beg a guy to call me, a guy that supposedly cared about me and wanted to get to know me.

I work on the computer all day long. At the end of the day, I have very blurry vision. I have glasses but that does not always fix the issue. At times, texting is actually quite difficult for me. And many of my texts make basically no sense because I simply can’t see them. I explained this to a couple of the guys and it still seemed to be a real pain for them to call instead. This has now taught me that I have absolutely no more interest in talking at all to guys who just want to text. None. I just can’t understand why someone would want to only text and have an incredibly long and drawn out conversation that, many times, you can’t even understand the tone or meaning behind. The same conversation could be had in just a few minutes via phone call and be full of vocal inflections and other cues that help in understanding the other person more fully.

Unless, of course, they are texting others at the same time. There’s that.

I have also learned in my new dating experience that men seem to despise labels. The guys I have gone out with don’t want to be referred to as boyfriends, though they seem to typically want everything they would get from a girlfriend. Though many people, both men and women, seem to be ok with this, I don’t care for it at all. I have no interest in being a “secret” girlfriend. I have no interest in going out with someone who appears to me to be keeping their options open. I feel that I am a nice girl and I try to treat people well. I really don’t want to date someone who feels that I am not good enough to date.

Because, you know what? I am.

Part of the point of dating is to be with someone you feel good around – someone who makes you feel good about yourself. I feel like people, in general, have lowered their standards quite significantly about what they think they deserve. Instead of trying to grow a meaningful and loving relationship with one person, it seems like people are trying to always look single, to always keep their options open, just in case something better comes along. I am not sure if this is because of poor self esteem, greed, arrogance or just a total lack of empathy for the other person in the couple. But I don’t like it. I have never been a person who used someone as a placeholder, with one eye on that person and the other looking to try and find something better. And I don’t want to be the person used as a placeholder either.

And that’s not to say that I have gone out with just a bunch of jerks. It’s quite the opposite actually. A few of the guys I went out with were quite nice. Or at least ok. But still. It just seems to me that the dating pool available to me now is just not what it used to be. People just don’t want even the slightest bit of a commitment. I am tired of hearing “I will let you know” about dates, “I will try” about phone calls that then never happen and the other wishy washy excuses that I have heard over the past few months about various things. I am tired of flakes and people who, let’s face it, probably just aren’t that interested to begin with, kind of stringing me along until something better comes along. So is this where we are now? Do we have to just settle and play along with what I feel are games or end up being alone? I just really don’t accept that.

If I like you, I like you. It’s simple, really. Dating just doesn’t have to be this complicated. From here on out, I am upping my standards. And if any of this resonated with you, you should probably up your standards, too.

About Dawn McAlexander

Dawn is a full time travel and lifestyle blogger. Besides Cheap Is The New Classy, she also owns and writes for EatPlayRock.com, an entertainment site. Her interests include traveling, home decor, DIY projects, organizing her home and enjoying a nice cup of coffee {or two}. She currently resides in North Carolina with her dog, Daisy.