Asking Someone Out Has Become Too Casual

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?


12 thoughts on “Asking Someone Out Has Become Too Casual

  1. I think the main thing for me was, who would pay the bill.
    I was born at the end of an era! if I date guys older than me, they always fit the bill, but dating guys younger than me, You never knew if they wanted to go dutch or not. (split the bill) So when accepting the offer for a date, a quick calculation of the bank account needed to be done too…

    • Haha, tell me about it with the calculating the bank account. I always make sure I feel ok if I am going to pay my part of the bill. Part of why I was so confused on my date was that I paid for my drink at the first part (which solidified what I was already thinking- we were in the friend zone) but he paid at the second location. So. Confusing.

  2. This is actually the first time I have truly dated. When I was single before I never went out with different guys. I just kind of ended up with a guy. Dating is kind of exhausting. I think I may be too forward towards guys. And the hangout thing is in full effect. No guy has said lets go on a date, it is usually let’s meet. I fully agree with the planning thing. To my surprise, a guy I have been talking to off and on for a few weeks asked if I wanted to get a bite to eat, drink or go for a walk in the park this week. I agreed. He was very good about making decisions. I told him what day I couldn’t do and he picked a day. And asked what I felt about a burger and a beer. Um, yes please. He picked a location that was in the middle of us both, and picked a time. WINNER!! Love it. Is it easy to Google my town, yes but he took that simple step. Wish me luck tonight.

    As for the asking guys out, I have suggested meeting up a few times to different guys. I have one in particular that I really want to meet but alas nothing yet. The flirting continues.

    Good luck!! I think go with your gut. Do what you feel will lead you to happiness!

  3. I feel the same way. I feel flattered when the guy I’m dating has a plan in stored for us for the day or night rather than asking me “where do you wanna go next?” Fortunately I have already experienced guys asking me out personally and that courage got me impressed right away. Haha.

  4. I agree with you, relationships have become so casual and that is possibly why so many end up in divorce, because the approach from the start is that this is just casual.

  5. ahhhh this is glorious. I was always under the impression that whoever did the asking is the one who pays. I think that if a man has an issue with a woman paying, then he shouldn’t have accepted the date =0P. Dating is super exhausting – it’s true when people say that being in a relationship is cheaper and easier lol but dating is also a lot of fun! I’ve dated a lot of guys and the hanging out thing has gotten old. I’m not trying to get married tomorrow, but it would be nice for a man to be direct and say, “Hey, let’s go on a date. We’ll do this and that, how’s that sound?” I think I just vented a bit…yikes! lol

  6. I think people are only as brave as they think they need to be. Everyone needs to feel a connection with someone, but this internet dating/social media thing gives us a false sense of connection, it’s not real. People don’t take the chance so much anymore because rejection hurts, and they see themselves as having plenty of other options. We are just taking the easy path more and more, consoling ourselves with connections that’s are only surface deep while actually getting lonelier and less and less able to put ourselves out there and take that risk. We are losing the skills we need to create and maintain relationships. The internet gives us something to hide behind, so we do.

    • Well put!!! I agree with all those honest (and frustrating) observations. And sadly, I don’t know if there is a solution to it, I think the cultural zeitgeist has moved so far towards the casual and avoidance of pain, commitment and risk that it may be too late to turn around and regain what we had.

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