That rascally New York Times really got me thinking this week when they posed the (in my opinion, leading) question “The End of Courtship?”
The article’s author, Alex Williams, believes that courtship has, in fact, keeled over and died, writing: “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.”
He adds: “Faced with a never-ending stream of singles to choose from, many feel a sense of ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out), so they opt for a speed-dating approach — cycle through lots of suitors quickly.”
I don’t entirely agree that his statement is accurate. Yes, if you’re doing online dating you’re going to be much pickier about the perfectness of your partner (which you can read about in my book Internet Dating 101). But speed dating? I think not.
Yes, technology can be blamed for a lot. But at the end of the day, when a man really wants a woman, he’s going to court her the old-fashioned way. He is going to call, he is going to make time for her and he is going to show her that he cares in a dozen tiny little ways that are so precious now in this tech-heavy day and age.
If a guy is texting you and texting you only, sure, that’s pretty anonymous. But here’s the thing: if he’s only texting you, he’s probably not that into you.
We are so much more available in modern times, and sure, that makes modern dating more difficult. Because what we need to remember is quite simple: men like the thrill of the chase. Anything that’s harder to get is more worth having. If you’re texting him back a minute after you receive a nothing message, chances are you’re either desperate or he believes he already has you — neither of which is good.
So is courtship dead? No, I don’t think so. Technology just makes it more difficult. The romance of yesteryear is still alive, it just makes it harder to get to.
Even the ladies of The Rules have had to revise their book to include texting, Facebook, emailing and Whatsapping. The invention of new technologies doesn’t have to mean the end of romance: we just have to be smarter about how we manipulate it in order to get back to basics.