Old school, retro, vintage… call it what you will, some things withstand the test of time. Here are some dating trends we (really) wish would come back.
For the past few days, I’ve been thinking about things that bother me in relationships.
I have a friend that openly and verbally abuses her boyfriend. One of my boyfriend’s friends is having communication problems with his girlfriend. I saw a woman blatantly ignoring her two children and husband while her attention was glued to her iPhone. It just baffles me how we can look around us and notice so many things that seem absurdly irritating with other couples, yet how many times do we take the time to look up?
There were so many things that came to mind when I thought about how much dating has evolved over the years. From MySpace days to Facebook to Tinder to Tumblr. There are so many social media platforms for dating and social networking that I feel a majority of us—the younger generations, specifically—are confining our social interactions to behind a screen. We’re never present when we are face-to-face. It’s almost as if we’ve forgotten how to use our voices and verbally speak to one another.
I came up with five dating trends that I felt needed to be revived. Some might seem “old school,” but I believe that if they were implemented, we’d see fewer divorces or dysfunctional couples. It’s not a foolproof list, but I think they’re valid suggestions.
1. Going Out on a Whim
I miss meeting people the old-fashioned way. For example, I met all my previous ex-boyfriends—with the exception of one, and not including my current boyfriend—at places I frequented or worked.
I met my first boyfriend when I was working at Subway. I met one of my “flings” at the local video store I frequented and had applied to during a summer in college. I met one of my boyfriends at the 7-Eleven I went every morning before work—he delivered Budweiser every Tuesday morning.
I miss meeting people in what I consider the “old-fashioned” way. I call it now, “going out on a whim.” How many people actually ask for a number or even just a name of someone they connect with at the grocery store, or the office building for which they work, or the Starbucks they frequent before work, or at the gym? Not many that I know of.
2. Holding open doors.
I know it’s sort of cliché and I’m all for the “independent” approach—like I know I don’t NEED a man to hold open a door, but it’s definitely a nice gesture. My current boyfriend opens every door for me—even when I tell him not to, or that “I’ve got it.” He literally gets upset when I open it on my own, and grumbles, “That’s my job.”
It doesn’t have to be the extreme of all the time, but you have to admit, it’s somewhat embarrassing or perhaps slightly shameful when another man opens the door for your woman, yeah?
3. Talking on the phone.
I feel like so much can be misconstrued through texting, emailing, messaging, etc. For me, it’s all about the inflection of a voice. It’s hard to detect that through text. For example, people that respond with “K”—my absolute biggest pet peeve. Why? I read it as “F**k you.” However, most times people are just too lazy to give me an “OK” or a little bit more of an actual response.
I’m not going to lie; I only talk to a few people on the phone—aside from professional calls. I talk to my parents on the regular, my boyfriend and a couple close friends. I don’t like the awkward pauses, the moment before saying goodbye, and the different ticks everybody has when speaking [i.e. one of my friends likes to insert “like” every other word].
But in all honesty, when I started dating my boyfriend, I realized how much more I like talking to him on the phone than texting him. Sometimes it’s more convenient—you’re in between meetings, traveling, etc., I understand. He always calls me before he comes home from a meeting and asks me if he needs to pick anything up.
4. Interacting with each other on dates [or together].
I see so many people on their phones—and I’ll admit there are times when I do it, too—when they’re on a date. I’ve witnessed, especially with young couples, they’ll just sit on their phones the entire date.
Just the other day, I was at Waffle House with my boyfriend and we noticed a family sitting across from us. The mother was on her phone—very absent from her two young children and husband. Even after her children and husband left, she was still on her phone. At one point, she finally set her phone down and started chatting with a young waiter.
I like going on dates with my boyfriend where we can truly interact—talk, laugh, participate in fun activities like bowling, or going to the movies, etc. Communication is the number one contributing factor to strong and healthy relationships—in my opinion.
5. Handwritten letters.
My boyfriend isn’t a wordsmith. He barely graduated high school, but he’s not dumb by any means. He’s really smart—and no, I’m not just saying that because he’s my boyfriend. The one thing that I wish more than anything he’d do is write me a letter. He’s told me countless times that he will, and I know he will…eventually.
Handwritten things have a significance [to me] for many reasons. One, it shows that the person took the time and effort to write something, which leads me to number two: they wrote something sincere, something that came from the heart. And three, I’m a writer, so anything handwritten is something I take very personally, read carefully and hold dearly.
Everybody is mobile, and publishing is migrating to electronic versions. But me? I like the ruggedness of a physical book, the crisp smell of the pages, and the way you can smudge and wear the ink. That’s the beautiful thing about handwritten letters.
I still have a couple of friends that I write letters, postcards and send cards to. I also send out Christmas letters to update my family and friends of the past years’ events.
Chivalry isn’t dead and these are a few ways to keep it alive.
This article was originally published with the Good Men Project; republished with the kindest permission.
[image: via shutterstock]
About the Author
Lizz Morse: I’m a native Michigander. Graduated from Grand Valley State University in April 2013 and moved to Arizona for a job. I love food, film, writing and meeting new people. Writing has been my escape since I was young and began to take it seriously when I was in eighth grade when I entered my first poetry contest. I enjoy writing among all genres, both creative and professional writing. I’m a creative enthusiast, problem solver, and giver. And yes, I still say, “pop,” instead of “soda.”