Imagine your worst first date. What happened? Why was it so wrong? Was it bad enough to sue your date over?
Yes, that’s a serious question.
A man from Texas recently sued his date for a $17.31 refund after what he called a “first date from hell.” He claims the woman he took to see Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2 in 3D texted throughout the film, which just so happens to be one of his biggest pet peeves.
“While damages sought are modest, the principle is important, as the defendant’s behavior is a threat to well-mannered society,” his petition said, according to CNN.
Whether or not you agree with his claim, one thing is for sure: the dating climate has certainly changed in the modern age. Gone are the days of dancing dates, hours-long conversations on your parent’s home phone, and traditional gender roles and responsibilities. Now, we have embarked on a completely different style of courtship that has its pros and its cons.
Everyone is Equal
One of the biggest perks of today’s dating scene is that there are no expectations of what a man or woman should do. Women no longer have to wait for men to ask them out. Men are not expected to foot the bill for every date. Instead, anyone can take charge and plan and pay for a date.
It’s also true that more and more women are independent and flourish in this state of independence. In the past, relationships and marriages were the culmination of a woman’s life. Relationships led to marriage, which in turn led to motherhood. Now, it’s okay to wait and be selective, which is excellent news for women.
Finally, this greater sense of equality also means that women can go on many dates and pursue multiple relationships without fear of backlash. No one’s reputation is at stake if they date various people. It’s all part of today’s dating scene, and there’s no harm in exploring who you are and what you want.
There Are Plenty of Ways to Find Dates
Another pro of dating in today’s world is that there are seemingly endless options for where you can find a date. We’re no longer restricted to relying on chance meetings or blind date set-ups by friends. Now, you can schedule your nights out with dating apps and online dating sites.
Using these tech-savvy matchmakers has plenty of benefits. They make dating more efficient since you can chat with someone and decide whether or not you have enough in common to stoke conversation in person. There won’t necessarily be a need to bother with a first date if there’s no online chemistry, which is a huge time saver. So whether you want to find single Muslims, same-sex partners, or someone with the same political beliefs as you, you can find the correct matches without even meeting the person.
It’s Not All Good
Still, there are plenty of complaints about today’s dating scene — ask the guy who sued his tech-addicted date for the price of her movie ticket.
Our dependence on technology has made us less dependent upon real-life conversations and contact. As such, ghosting — simply disappearing rather than properly ending a relationship —has increased.
Technology makes it easy for us to think about what we say to the person we’re dating. This might sound like a positive, but the real-life conversation is real. You get to know a person’s honest thoughts and attitudes without editing. Instead, we get mulled-over texts sent hours later to look as though the sender is busy and not too invested in the relationship.
And finally, our dating apps make it easy for us to explore other options, even if we’re dating someone else. People often forego a deep connection to start connecting with others for simple, casual dating. This is undoubtedly an okay choice, but more and more people are finding it hard to find a real connection since so many people press the eject button before they reach an honest and loving relationship with someone.
Not Everyone’s on the Same Page
Despite the above pros and cons, some daters still hold on to traditional dating stereotypes and the expectations that come with them. Namely, some men believe their payment for a date means they should get something in return from the women they take out.
This has very sinister side effects, mainly when they use force to get the sexual contact they want. Dates are often fueled by alcohol — you have to get rid of the jitters, after all — so it’s easy for men to take advantage of women under the influence.
This is especially true in young daters across college campuses. At least 80% of college students sexually assaulted were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Additionally, when you reverse that, we see that every year, approximately 696,000 college students are attacked by another student who has been drinking or taking drugs.
Even if it’s tempting to drink a little bit extra on a first date, stay aware of your surroundings and your date’s behavior. You don’t know each other well enough yet to gauge if you’re completely secure with them. The best choice is to stay vigilant until you know you can let your guard down.
Be the Exception to the Rules
It’s great to have so many options. However, take it upon yourself to avoid becoming the “unfeeling millennial” who doesn’t text back and doesn’t want more than a casual fling. Treat others with respect, and you might find it coming right back to you. It can be a relationship with old-school levels of love and trust but an utterly modern sense of independence amongst both parties.