The End of Courtship?


What is a date? What do you expect from a date? Why do you need to date anyway? What topics are you to allowed to discuss on a first date? What things are ok to say on a date? How long are you supposed to wait after the date to call? Is it ok for a woman to ask for a first date? Is the man always to pay each time a couple goes out on a date? When are you supposed to have sex – by the third date, fourth, a month? When are you supposed to announce that you are exclusive? When is it ok to move in? When are you supposed to get married? Is dating eventually a road to marriage? It certainly is for most young women.

Rules, expectations, outdated norms and customs. A lot of changes have been made in our culture. Some people expect to keep old customs alive. I feel the concept of dating might be a thing of the past and may never come back.

The article “The End Of Courtship” talks about these ideas and concepts.

Instead of dinner-and-a-movie, which seems as obsolete as a rotary phone, they rendezvous over phone texts, Facebook posts, instant messages and other “non-dates” that are leaving a generation confused about how to land a boyfriend or girlfriend.

A much-publicized study by Reach Advisors, a Boston-based market research group, found that the median income for young, single, childless women is higher than it is for men in many of the country’s biggest cities (though men still dominate the highest-income jobs, according to James Chung, the company’s president).  This may be one reason it is not uncommon to walk into the hottest new West Village bistro on a Saturday night and find five smartly dressed young women dining together — the nearest man the waiter. Income equality, or superiority, for women muddles the old, male-dominated dating structure.

“Maybe there’s still a sense of a man taking care of a woman, but our ideology is aligning with the reality of our finances,” Ms. Rosin said. As a man, you might “convince yourself that dating is passé, a relic of a paternalistic era, because you can’t afford to take a woman to a restaurant.”

Many young men these days have no experience in formal dating and feel the need to be faintly ironic about the process — “to ‘date’ in quotation marks” — because they are “worried that they might offend women by dating in an old-fashioned way,” Ms. Rosin said.

 “It’s hard to read a woman exactly right these days,” she added. “You don’t know whether, say, choosing the wine without asking her opinion will meet her yearnings for old-fashioned romance or strike her as boorish and macho.”

I feel courtship is mighty confusing for young men in our new millennium. Many men are having a hard time figuring out what modern women want. There are a lot of mixed messages and double standards. I’m sure young folks will figure it out sooner or later. Hopefully they will do it sooner because I feel there is at least two generations of folks that have had a hard time relating to one another.

“A lot of men in their 20s are reluctant to take the girl to the French restaurant, or buy them jewelry, because those steps tend to lead to ‘eventually, we’re going to get married,’ ” Mr. Edness, 27, said. In a tight economy, where everyone is grinding away to build a career, most men cannot fathom supporting a family until at least 30 or 35, he said.

“So it’s a lot easier to meet people on an even playing field, in casual dating,” he said. “The stakes are lower.”

Things have changed now that women are making more money than they ever have before and can be ‘independent.’ How is that going to play it out with relationships, dating and courtship? We shall see.

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