The various iterations of dating that have evolved due to the internet, A.D.D., porn-addiction and business culture, leave a lot to be desired.
A real date is something I’ve seen in the movies and vaguely recall from my teenage years.
In fact, a real date seems like it is an elusive creature much like a unicorn or a financially-stable-30-something who has no student-loan debt.
Ah, but the desire remains to have a good-ole-fashion “I’ll pick you up at eight” night on the town.
The mythical story of a real date goes something like this:
The date begins the moment the man comes across the room and interacts with a woman. She is naturally on guard. But, that doesn’t detour his efforts. In fact, he is not only attracted to her, he is interested.
So, he starts to ask questions.
A dialogue ensues.
Then there is the spark. You can’t fake the spark.
One thing lends to another and information is exchanged. He calls a few days later and asks, “What are you doing this weekend?” She just so happens to have the weekend free. This leaves things open for plans to be made and he makes them. “I’ll pick you up in the afternoon and we will go for a drive, get some lunch and see how the day goes.”
All details aside, the day goes great. They have fun together, connect and he is a gentleman who is enthralled with her company. Further, he opens doors, pulls out chairs, pays for lunch and is humorous and easy to be around—a real date.
Alas, this fantasy seems to be just that. I know I’m not the only one who has wondered, “Maybe I am playing on the wrong team” or “Maybe I’m in the wrong league.”
Or maybe, just maybe, gender roles are so confusing that while there is permission for men to be effeminate and women to be masculine, neither really knows how to take the lead or how to surrender.
Metaphorically speaking, we are all bad dancers stepping all over each other. Certainly, the dating landscape as humans know it is no panacea. It requires effort, a tolerance for rejection and a die-hard belief in love.
A real date encompasses both old-school values and new-school romance. The “I’ll pick you up at eight” is delivered over text. Plans are made online and links to where lunch might be are emailed or sent over Facebook.
Regardless of how the message arrives, it is the time spent together that counts. No matter how technologically advanced our society becomes, consideration, respect, clever spontaneity and real connection, will never be out of date.
*Authors note: This is not an invitation! It is a commentary on dating.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Rachel Nussbaum