In many ways, the incredible technology that has come into our lives in the last ten years has changed our culture for the better and much improved our lives. Unfortunately for single people looking for love, some of our
technologies have actually changed the way we interact with people for the worse. Many years ago, a "date" was defined by a gentleman asking a lady, either by phone or in person, if he may take her out. Generally, this implied he was going to treat her to a nice time with dinner, a movie or other activities.
Nowadays, it seems like women in their twenties or early thirties are lucky if the guy they are seeing asks to take them out somewhere, rather than simply shooting a quick text message inviting them to tag along wherever he's going. It is incredibly common now for two people to communicate only through text or instant message and have their "dates" consist of hooking up and hanging out rather than going on dates with one another, and this is a very worrying trend.
An article in the New York Times last year reported that "Dating culture has evolved to a cycle of text messages, each one requiring the code-breaking skills of a cold war spy to interpret." The article cited an example from a man in his late-twenties that said, "I don't like to take girls out. I like to have them join in on what I'm doing - going to an event, a concert." Further evidence of this lazy dating trend can be seen in popular culture as well. Shows like Girls, a HBO TV drama about people in their mid-twenties trying to sort out life, showcases the way in which communicative technology (texting, instant messaging, social media and online dating) drives a dumbed down version of dating and in the end lowers the quality of relationships. Yet, this does not mean that chivalry and courtship are dead. There are still plenty of ways to reintroduce these valuable ideals into your dating life.
First, talk to your prospective significant other in person or on the phone. Picking up the phone or actually seeing someone requires courage, strategy and a personal investment. Communication through text or online messaging removes the need for charm and planning, and replaces it with anonymity and a lack of care. This is not to say that you should avoid these forms of communication in your love life, but rather that they should be secondary to face-to-face conversations and never used when discussing important topics.
Second, go on planned dates. If he sends her a text at 11pm inviting her to come over for Netflix, a frozen pizza and a hook up, this is a booty call, not an adequate substitute for a date where he plans to take her out to dinner and a movie. Dates require a plan, not just a spur-of-the-moment thing. Netflix and frozen pizza make for an enjoyable night in and can benefit the relationship when used in moderation, but too many of these spontaneous occasions indicate that the relationship is stale, unambitious and most likely going nowhere. Planned dates don't always require a large budget. Many younger couples choose cheaper options, such as happy hours or matinees. The point of a planned date is to show the other person your level of commitment and care.
Finally, be true to yourself. Do not get involved in a relationship with a person that you feel is not in sync with you regarding your level of commitment. If you want a guy that plans dates and acts like a gentleman, don't settle for the one who persists in inviting you over to hang out with his buddies late at night and refuses to take you out because he has other priorities. That guy is not for you. If he really wants you, he has to put in some effort, and the same is true in reverse.