By: Grace Mizrachi
By: Grace Mizrachi
As a 21 year old single, I have to say that It's extraordinarily hard to be a woman in the modern world of dating, especially in NYC. From talks with so many women and from my own personal experience, I think its safe to say that dating in this day and age has become a complicated, anxiety filled endeavor, that more often than not leaves women jaded and scarred, and has us feeling we were better off not even trying. I blame the hook-up culture, and the casual nature that dating has taken on. Hook-up culture is hedonistic and designed to get the most pleasure in the quickest way. And it's completely ruining our dating lives.
It's not even called dating anymore. It's called "hanging out", and its making us act, say and do stupid things. I think that women who are frustrated with dating and how men have come to treat women in the dating world in general- should re-examine the "rules" of dating. This post is for a few friends (and you know who you are) who have come to me for advice, and I hope that reading this will help you, because re-assessing the value of the dating "rules" has certainly helped me in my dating life. So here goes:
1. ALWAYS MAKE HIM COME TO THE DOOR
Why: A guy who wants to see you and spend time with you, no matter the occasion, should come to the door because it shows that he gives a damn. If a guy can't be bothered to park his car and come get you from the door, then he doesn't deserve your time or affection. Picking a girl up from the door shows that you respect her and the potential, adult relationship that may or may not develop as a result of the date. A man needs to show that he is different than a friend: a friend texts "Hey I'm outside." A man, who wants to spend time with you in the pursuit of a potential romantic relationship should prove to you that he knows the difference between acting like a friend and acting like a date. Picking a girl up from the door shows this
2. NEVER GO OUT ON THE SAME DAY THAT HE ASKED TO SEE YOU
Why: When you're first getting to know someone, or even if you've known someone for a while and are starting to become romantically involved, both people should be respectful of each others time. A proper man will call a woman for a date at least one day in advance to show that he understands that respecting her time is important. When you accept a date from a guy asking you out for that same day, you're sending him a message: my time is not valuable, hanging out with you is more important to me than whatever it is I had planned, and (this is the most important one) i'm OK with you disrespecting my time. A lot of girls are reluctant to follow this rule, thinking that if they say no to see a guy on the same day he asked to see her (based on the above reasons), they'll seem uptight and prudish. (Plus, when you die for a guy it's very difficult to say no.)
To that I say this: if you start off being that "casual girl" who is dtf and "cool" with coming to meet a guy at the drop of a hat, its only a recipe for disaster. Once you send the message that the guy can casually disrespect your time, there's no going back. Do you really want to enter a relationship with that mentality?
3. Establish that it IS a date and that it is NOT hanging-out.
Why: Hanging out is for boys, dating is for men. You go out on dates to get to know a person. A date is not a commitment, its just a nice time with clear intentions. Key words: CLEAR INTENTIONS. A date says: I like you, I want to get to know you better.
A guy asking you to "Hang Out" says: "i'm a child that is afraid a girl will read to much into it if I ask her out on a real date, so I'll just ask her to hang out FOREVER, that way I can keep acting like me spending time with her is all fun and cool and casual - and I'll never have to actually make my intentions known."
This is dangerous because it's open-ended: constantly "hanging out" and not dating allows men to string women along and waste their time, without ever looking like their doing it. Why? because they can always say "I wasn't wasting her time, we weren't dating. just hanging out"
Ladies: The "hang-out" mentality is the mentality of a high-schooler. A real man should ask a woman on a date. A man-child is afraid of making his intentions known. Do you really want to be involved with a guy who is still afraid to admit that he likes you, one who is a scumbag user? get out of the 7th grade.
4. DON'T ACCEPT THE HANGOUT. YOU'RE BETTER THAN THAT.
why: I'm not saying you shouldn't hang out with your guy friends. I'm talking about someone you're interested in, or have been flirting with. Insisting that that particular guy take you on a proper date will help you sift the losers from the potentials: since now we know that a guy who asks you to "hang out" is not only childish but is also more likely to be the guy who strings you along (in other words, the guy who is going to use you), demanding from the guys you flirt with that they take you on proper dates will help you get rid of the guys who are only out to use verses the guys who actually want ADULT relationships. "Hanging out" opens the door for you to be confused about a man's intentions, and even the smartest, most perceptive of women have fallen for a guy whose intentions were, lets say, different from theirs. Hanging out will waste your time and you will always regret it later. Demand a date. The guy who can't deliver on that has no business wasting your time.
5. SET BOUNDARIES
Why: you are not an animal. You are a human being. You should not allow yourself to be ruled by your hormones because the guy you like looks good in a t-shirt. A lot of guys look good in t-shirts. Getting physical with someone if they haven't made it clear to you that they want to be exclusive is only going to make your judgement very very clouded as to what they really want from you. Again, you want to sift out the losers. A loser will be physical with you while making no kind of commitment - why? BECAUSE HE DOESN'T RESPECT YOU. If you want to know if a guy respects you, set your boundary and see if he honors it. If he can't honor it, than he's not really interested in who you are as a potential girlfriend, and you should understand
But it's not just about the guy, it's about the woman too. I know how tempting it is to become physical with someone, especially when you're single. Physicality is a very personal thing and I do not mean to try and set limits for anyone. I just want to humbly state that getting physical with someone prematurely will ultimately cloud your judgement. The "in the moment" excuse is a common one. You were having the best time, and it just sort of...happened. Your single and you want to have fun, after all. But when you start treating intimacy with someone as casual a thing as shaking hands, your sending the message that your body and affection are permissible to be used, and the guy doesn't have to owe you anything. And any girl that says that she's ok with casual physical relationships , that she can separate her emotions from the physicality: she is lying. Letting guys use your body WILL take its toll on you, no matter what your friends or anybody else tells you. Your body is not a motel room for a guy who is deciding whether or not he likes you. I've heard way too many stories of women getting physical with guys only to turn around and admit that they didn't even like the guy, or that he was a complete jerk, but that "he was a great hookup". Don't reduce intimacy to that level. It leaves scars and cheapens what should be a great part of a committed relationship into something that manipulates you, and confuses you.
6. NEVER GO DUTCH
I'm sorry but this needs to be said, and I'm sure there are many out there who would disagree, but: when two people are on a date, they are on display for each other. maybe that sounds crude, but its the truth. A man who won't pay for the whole date looks cheap. If you ask a girl to go dutch with you you're basically sending the message that you can't take care of her or DON'T WANT TO. (so you can't afford two dishes of pasta? Where do I sign up??)
7. STOP EXCUSING HIM
If he can't ask you out on a real date or won't ask you out on a real date: stop trying. Stop trying to understand it and explain it. Stop letting him text you and talk to you and see you if he can't step up to the plate and make his intentions clear. A real man can find a way to make it work: he won't have an excuse. When you excuse a guy for not following the above rules, you are only lying to yourself. I cannot keep track of how many girls have told me this same old story: "we were texting for three months and hung out twice and I had the best time. But he hasn't asked me out yet because he's still in college" or "his money situation isn't good" or "he was really burned by his last girlfriend"
um, no. Men are aggressive and they are opportunists. If he wanted you, he'd make it work. If he hasn't, it's not because he CAN'T its because he doesn't want to. Be smart enough to recognize when a guy is using you, and move on. Making excuses and letting him be in your life will just emotionally drain you - and why should you let someone emotionally drain you if they aren't committed to you in any way? To many women are hurt simply because they allowed themselves to keep making excuses for a guy who is leading them on.
8.GET OFF THE INTERNET, GET OFF YOUR PHONE
When you let social media dictate your moods, and how you communicate, you've got a problem. Another thing I've heard way to many times: "He always likes all my facebook pictures but he never calls me."
A. stop paying attention every time he makes a burp on social media and go get a life. A guy liking your posts means nothing. It isn't real. Liking a picture takes ZERO EFFORT and you shouldn't be that pathetic that you think it "means something". It doesn't. Stop getting happy or sad based on likes. And please, for the love of God, stop posting pictures just so that he can see how 'cool and fun' you are. Do cool and fun things and be cool and fun because that's what you actually are; not because it will get you imaginary brownie points.
B. When you rely on social media and texting to communicate with a guy, you're sending him a message: i'm not even worth the phone call. Nobody ever had the best date of their life because of this text "wat r u up 2?" if he can't pick up the phone and call you, YOU HAVE TO STOP CARING ABOUT HIM
Bottom line: Everything is about respect. Treat men the way you would want to be treated and demand the same in return. When you allow yourself to be disrespected you will ALWAYS get hurt. Following these rules can help you sift out those guys who can't show you that respect. The end.
Grace Mizrachi is a senior at Brooklyn College and a semi-professional dater, who hopes to be making aliyah soon.