One slow evening at work I engaged a female coworker about how her dating experience was going. I know I didn’t have any positive stories to tell so I wanted someone else’s perspective on dating in our area. When I asked when was the last time she had been on a date she exclaimed, “Oh, it’s been forever!” Even though there wasn’t necessarily a shortage of men in her life, none of them had asked her on a date.
She mentioned that one guy would frequently text her “I miss seeing you” or “Can’t wait to see you again” but never actually made plans. He asked all the right questions: “What are your days off? What do you like to do in your free time?” But never actually said, “Would you like to go out?”
Between the two of us and the other single girls at work we had tried all of the dating apps, gone out to clubs or bars, tried meeting guys through mutual friends but none of that had resulted in a single date. I’ve had guys make an overt effort to get my attention in order to ask me for my phone number. Only for us to essentially become the new version of pen pals: texting buddies.
It will start out with a few “good morning” text. Then maybe they’d throw in a “how was your weekend?” or “how was work?”. Then we would progress to “what kind of things do you like to do?” or “when is your next day off?”. Sometimes they may even go as far as “let’s do something when you have time” but when I have time, they don’t make the effort.
While out on a rare Saturday night off I met a guy who initiated a conversation and began to ask me different questions about myself. He didn’t seem like a creep that was only interested in hooking up after the club so I gave him my phone number. Over the next few days he frequently mentioned that he wanted to see me. On my next day off he asked about my plans. My only activity planned was going to the gym. As I was driving he text me “Let’s see each other tonight”. At the next red light (I’m trying not to text and drive, I swear) I told him I was driving and would be in the gym for the next hour and then would have to rush home, shower and change. So I asked him to let me know where he wanted to meet. He responded with “I’m not from the area so can you find a place?”
That sort of threw me off. In this day and age everything is online so I suggested that he look on Yelp or online, which is what I would have done if I had the time. He text back, “I’m running right now”. After telling him that I was going to be busy for the next 2 hours and he still insisted that I look up some place to meet turned me off. If it was too much effort for him to Google a restaurant, it obviously wasn’t that important for him to see me.
Yes, I know, it’s 2016 and women are empowered to do the same things that men can do. I’m all for equal effort, but is it too much for a guy to make an actual plan to see a woman they’re interested in? They can text you all day and night but they can’t execute a plan to see you in real life? Let’s not even get into the fact that men don’t call anymore. I can’t remember the last time a man called me to talk and see how I was doing besides my grandfather.
In the rare case that a guy does inquire about spending time together, it generally involves staying in. I recently had a guy ask to come watch a movie on my couch. He had never taken me out on a date and I hadn’t heard from him in weeks, and his way of trying to get back in my life was to come sit on my couch. I politely declined. It’s not even like in the old days when if a guy did come to your house they would rent a movie and bring dinner or drinks. These days they bring nothing but themselves then ask what you have to eat and drink, then suggesting renting a movie through your cable on your dime.
As another coworker passed by she agreed that men don’t ask women out anymore. She told us about how she and the guy she was currently seeing ended up going on their first date. They were texting, of course, and she mentioned she was going to the movies. He responded with, “I want to come!” The end.
Since she liked him she wanted to see him even though it was last minute not his plan. I just wondered if from that point on, would he make a special effort to take her out. If you start the relationship in a casual manor going from your couch to his couch, then when will he court you? Is courting a thing of the past? Have we progressed past meeting out for a planned date? Is it the woman’s responsibility to ask a man out if he doesn’t make plans after talking for several days?
Everyone that I’ve spoken to, who isn’t already with someone, has given me the same stories of confusion about why a guy that seemed so interested in the beginning never progressed past texting to an actual date. There are ways to spend time together that doesn’t involve the standard dinner and a movie, but are men interested in making that effort anymore? Since phone calls seem to be a thing of the past, has dating become outdated?