Why Your Dating Strategy Just Isn’t Going To Cut It Anymore


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There’s an article in The New York Times called “The End of Courtship?” which I find to be more than a little disappointing.

The article discusses how men generally put minimal effort into dating or women anymore and the extent of dates these days is “hey babe I’m out with some friends, wanna come meet up?”

…That’s a date? And women are accepting? Forget that nonsense. It’s impossible for a man to pursue you if he just…gets you. Simple concept.

A date is something you plan. It’s something you pay attention to. As time goes on and you have gotten to know each other a little better, I think spontaneity can be good – but you will find in the NYT article, that is not the concept in question.


Here is an interesting excerpt from the article:

“It’s one step below a date, and one step above a high-five,” she added. Dinner at a romantic new bistro? Forget it. Women in their 20’s these days are lucky to get a last-minute text to tag along.

What? No. Just, no. How is this acceptable? How are these conversations not being had? Is this real life?

I am cringing. Literally cringing as I type this from the reverberation of that line, and many others from the article in question. I look like I’ve just been gnawing on a lemon.

The article discusses a girl who goes home from the club with a bouncer and how it “only lasts 4 months.” In other surprising news: The sky is blue and water is wet.

People are jumping into relationships with essentially no foundation or bonding process between them. They are not experiencing each other, learning about each other, absorbing each other into their lives – before deciding to make a commitment. Of course much of this happens after the commitment is made, but we still need to be aware of the person we are giving our time to.


There is no finger to point here nor is there one party who should be blamed for the gradual downfall of courtship and the systematic destruction of the monogamous 20-something. If women collectively refused to give themselves to guys who seemingly get what they want without putting in any effort, then men would be forced to step it up and do what it takes to get a quality woman, or they’d get no women at all. Are guys to blame? Sure, of course. Are women also? Yes.

I believe one of the problems our generations are facing is a lack of role models. Who is in the mainstream really addressing these issues? Who is out there helping our youth truly value themselves and therefore not growing up into adults who accept less than they know they deserve?

And, who is out there teaching our young men how to treat the women who do value themselves, and won’t accept the apathetic offer of some schmuck who is looking to get maximum reward for minimal effort?

If people are not learning these basic principles from their parents, who are they going to learn them from? Negative relationships can start at a young age and very easily begin a pattern that will continue into adulthood if it is never broken. If young men and women get a certain view of relationships in their mind, it is only natural that they will continue to gravitate towards the same type of people and the same type of scenarios, because they think that is what is ‘normal’ and it is also comfortable.

It’s a vicious cycle. If men have no idea how to treat women, women who do have higher standards will eventually get so tired of being alone that they will decide to be a little more flexible in what they accept. Then a little more flexible. Then a little more flexible, until they end up with someone who…you guessed, it has no idea how to treat them.


Then after a few months they are single again and wondering why there are no good men left out there. In the meantime, men are not pushing themselves to act any better because they know eventually they will find someone who accepts them just as they are. She is very often that woman who just got finished lowering her standards. This cycle makes nobody happy in the long run.

So for both men and women, your dating strategy just isn’t going to cut it anymore. We have seen the effects of the hookup culture and how it has chiseled away at what our parents and grandparents knew as dating and courtship. The instant gratification “give it to me now” nature of our society has overflowed into relationships and people are becoming less and less willing to put real time and effort into building something solid with another person.

We are all at fault. Anyone who just assumes they can get something for nothing, as well as anyone who is giving something for nothing to others. The hope is that many of us mature out of these patterns and understand that if we really want something real we have to work at it – but the question becomes, how long is this going to take for each of us? And who is going to be willing (and available) to give their time to the last people who figure it out?

These are concepts we have to figure out sooner rather than later if we want to have any hope at keeping the concept of happy relationships alive.


As far as The End Of Courtship, the very last sentence in the article about a girl in California really drove it home:

“For her, the old traditions are alive simply because she refuses to put up with anything less. She generally refuses to go on any date that is not set up a week in advance, involving a degree of forethought. “If he really wants you,” Ms. Yeoh, 29, said, “he has to put in some effort.”’

You tell’em, Ms. Yeoh.

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  1. Rhonda Walker on October 13, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Hello James, I really enjoy reading your material. I’m an old fashioned but modern girl at 63 and in a relationship. When I was single I found at 60 there were decent guys out there but not all were prepared to wait until the friendship grew. However one fellow I went out with wanted a date, but I had 22 coffee catch ups over 22 weeks, all at either the morning or afternoon. Never at night, as I didn’t want to be put in a situation during dinner that if it didn’t work out, how could I escape. I also didn’t want him to feel he was being used just for a free meal.

    It worked as we built up respect without expectations building on getting to know each other. Eventually after the 22nd coffee date and I would offer to pay every second time, of which he didn’t always accept, he said I think its time we had a real date. It was lovely to gain trust And to see if he was going to hang around, and he did. It would be really wonderful if you could take your knowlege into high schools and teach teenagers the respect they deserve, and maybe the breakup and heartache may not be as high as it is amongst our young future society.

    I really enjoy your values, thank you for such good respectful writings.

    Rhonda Walker.

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Tina on October 13, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    I basically had my fist up in the air the entire time reading this while yelling, “YES! FINALLY!” Thank you for existing, James. 😀 Gonna add this to my newest post about waiting. 🙂

  3. […] Modern dating is something I will never feel connected to. Perhaps it’s not even “modern” to begin with, as I’ve witnessed generations before me getting blindsided by the wrong person, but as technology progresses and the thrill of instant gratification becomes more prevalent, it feels like we are losing our grip on how to form relationships and lasting connections with people. Dating apps make it easy to swipe away unwanted mates, but what are we really doing to ourselves? By looking for love through a screen and by looking for Mr. or Ms. Right Now, we are ignoring what we might want years down the road: true love that stands the test of time. Do you know anyone who actually met the love of their life through a dating app? Skip what you want right now and start thinking about what you really want for the future. […]

  4. rlcarterrn on October 14, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Yes, yes, yes! I could not agree more with you on this issue. I think the hook-up culture is really ruining so many people’s chances for true romantic happiness, both men & women. And both genders are definitely at fault here. You summed up the vicious cycle so succinctly. This message needs to be heard all over the world.

  5. Kate's Bookshelf on December 20, 2014 at 1:52 am

    This was so spot on. I think our culture, and the age of the GenX has really been damaged by the lack of good role models and parents raising their boys and girls to become men and women. It makes it that much more frustrating for a woman like me to want to date men in my age because they are consumed with this bad mentality when it comes to dating. And it’s rather depressing as well. Which is why I don’t date much, if at all.

  6. Lp on March 7, 2015 at 11:05 am

    So, in rebuttal to this post, I feel the need to point out a statistic from my own experience. I admit this is only what had happened to me so it could be because I’m a total douche and a terrible date. Nonetheless, this year, 2015, I’ve scheduled 8 first dates. of those 8, I’ve been stood up 3 times. Legit stood up. No call to tell me she wasn’t coming. No apology afterwards. These weren’t your last minute dates. I had planned these things, made dinner reservations, etc… The question is why should I put the effort in when there is a greater than 30% chance of being stood up?

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