Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What's in a Date?

Things have definitely changed in the ways of the dating scene since our parents’ and grandparents’ times. More than just a few rules have changed over the past few decades, some for the better and some perhaps for the worse.

Ask anyone and money will be their top answer of what’s changed the most. And it has! ‘Back in the day,’ men were the workers who brought home the bacon so they were expected to pay for dates. Ladies, we’ve lost that perk! In this day and age when both parties work for a living, this line of payment may become blurry. I say ‘may’ because some people haven’t caught on yet. If you both are making the money, then you both need to be paying. Either split it evenly or by order or switch events. If your bacon isn’t equal, or comparable in any way, don’t sweat! You can cover the movie tickets while he gets the sit-down dinner. Just keep in mind the ratio of your wages to his, or vice versa, which allows for the person making more to pay for more and still come out even with the person who makes/pays less, as a way to justify doing that. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with making more money than your man! Just be fair and even and talk about your options. Communication!

So where do you go for a date nowadays? Dinner and a movie is a classic option. Or just dinner or just a movie. How about a stroll through the mall or on the lakefront or down in the Quarters. With or without friends or another couple. The challenge is to find something unique. Rent a horse buggy in the Quarters. Go sailing (a personal favorite now)! Try the arcade or amusement park. Local festivals are a great free and fun idea. Think outside the box a bit. First impressions are important but pleasant memories last longer.

Let’s talk about clothing, ladies. And you gents too. Be it your first date, your tenth, or your 100th, there is absolutely no reason to be dressed at extremes. Leave your hoochie skirts and holey t-shirts at home, unless you’re going to a costume party. Think about your outfit for at least 30 minutes but no more than an hour. Always dress appropriately; don’t wear heels to the mall or tennis to a nice restaurant. Jeans and a nice shirt, collared, silky or otherwise not ordinary shirt, is a great combo for most any date. If you’re going on a surprise date, ask the guy to give you a hint or suggestion so that you can dress correctly. Fashion is just as important for you fellas too! Same rules apply: no ragged t-shirts or torn pants. Brush your hair, shave, dig out your clean tennis or sandals if the occasion allows. Ladies like for their guys to look as nice as they do. Oh, and we love a guy in a tie! (hint hint)

Both of these being valid points, I think propriety wins out as the most changed aspect of dating. Many of us may be familiar with the ‘Royal Jerks Society’ rule of ‘put out or get out.’ If the guy you’re with believes in this rule, darlin’, get out. Giving up any piece of you is not worth a potential one night stand. Even if you think there’ll be anything more, think about it just as carefully. If there really is going to be more, then putting out on the first date can potentially harm your fledgling relationship. If he’s worth a few more dates then he’s worth going a bit slow. Try just a simple kiss after the first date and see how that works. Who knows what a simple kiss can lead to if you’re ready? But if you’ve already decided that you're going to put out, just be sure it’s because you want it and not him. That whole regret thing really sucks.

There we go: four problems with dating in the modern world. 1) Always share costs if possible. 2) Find a unique, or close enough, place for a date. 3) Remember to dress appropriately. 4) You don’t have to put out on the first date. Remember these four things and dating should get a bit better for ya!