It seems like the way that people date now is just so casual. It is rare for a guy to actually ask a woman on a date, and then plan the date. Now, it’s more like hanging out. Until someone makes a move and then it’s ok for it to be called a date.
Nothing is at stake, nothing risked and nothing on the line.
And that is how people like it right now. They like when there is no risk, or not admitting how they actually feel until the other person really makes it clear that they like them, too.
I was having this conversation last night with a guy that I’m dating, It’s how we started dating. We were getting together for an afternoon to hang out, and as the afternoon evolved it turned into a date. He said he really wanted it to be a date from the beginning, and I asked why he didn’t just ask me in the first place.
And the only answer was that he didn’t know, he didn’t know how I felt and he was afraid.
People have always been afraid of rejection. This isn’t news. But why are people suddenly so afraid of it? Why are people trying to skirt around it?
And how does it affect relationships later down the road? Are people less willing to share their feelings if they are worried that the other person doesn’t feel the same?
I had a drink “thing” with a new guy the other night, I wasn’t positive if it was a date. We had danced around the idea of hanging out, and finally he said something in a Facebook message and I seized the opportunity to say we should get a drink together. Even I am guilty of not having the courage to ask a guy out on a legit date. (And the woman asking out the man opens a Pandora’s box of complications in my head. I know we are modern women and can ask men out on dates. But I still think it muddies the waters- who pays if she did the asking? Does it affect the power balance?)
Sure, I like this guy. We have a lot in common, conversation is really easy, and he is really stinkin’ cute! But I had a lot of doubt in the beginning of the “hanging out.” There was even a moment where I thought I read the whole thing wrong, and maybe he wasn’t interested in me at all? I was getting a is trying friend vibe. Maybe it was the bar where we sphere sitting, it was hard to make eye contact and the stools were nailed into the floor so we couldn’t get closer to each other.
When we were done with the drinks and we were walking to my cars, I was fully ready for the awkward hug and “we should do this again.” And instead he asked what I wanted to do, call it a night, go somewhere else? I was caught off guard! After stuttering through the words “yeah, let’s go somewhere else” and fumbling for a suggestion where, we went to a bar known for its excellent cocktails and we played a game of darts. This is where the real flirting began.
Maybe that’s the problem with dates and hanging out. Maybe even a bar seems too formal, it needs some kind if activity and integration to take the pressure off of conversation. It also gives more room for conversation and the occasional touch when you’re passing the darts back and forth.
You know what never ever works, surprisingly? Making a bet on the outcome of a game. It always looks so fun in the movies. And hen when I suggest putting a bet on the line, neither of us can think of anything worthwhile. Sure you can bet a kiss, but that seems inevitable and it doesn’t make it exciting. It’s a first date, so I’d rather not bet anything sexual. Likewise, it’s a first date so how embarrassing can you really make the bet? So a bet never gets named, and you make out in the parking lot anyway.
The result at the end of the night is the same, the guy walks me to my car and kisses me. This happens whether it’s an official date or if it is just a drink hanging out thing. And if I can properly get some good flirting happening during the date, I can predict whether or not that kiss is going to happen so it doesn’t catch me by surprise. But what the formal date does that the casual does not is that it states interest so no one has to wonder or guess or assume. It tells me as a woman that the man I am with is interested enough to think ahead a little bit.
As someone that likes to plan, I am definitely appreciative of a man that takes a little time to plan ahead.
But how rare that is!
I had a really vivid dream a few nights ago. I don’t remember who I was talking to, but I was venting my frustration on this exact topic. The person was a guy and a friend, but no one I recognized from my own life. He shrugged and said “you are just going to have to accept it and get used to it.” And in the dream, I sighed and agreed. He was right, things have changed. It didn’t feel like I was giving up, I genuinely agreed with what he said. Even if there was a tinge of disappointment on my part.
I guess that is that. I have to readjust to our dating scene and know that it’s not personal, it’s just what people do. Like asking each other out by texting or Facebook, it’s just a lot less formal than I wish it was.
What are your thoughts on dating and how we ask each other out? Is it disappointing to anyone else that it is so casual, and it requires a little bit of assumption?