Old-fashioned dating rules are such a thing of the past, that almost it’s difficult to recall how courtship used to be. Whatever constituted conventional dating anyway? Allow me to explain. It’s any kind of behaviour that pop-culture now deems unusually respectful, thoughtful, sincere or romantic. Classic chivalry, if you will. I’m talking about flowers, planned picnics, surprise dates, holding doors open, standing up upon a woman’s arrival and pulling the chair out for her at the dinner table. Things like waiting with her for the cab to arrive and texting her after, thanking her for the evening. And gentlemanly gestures aside, it’s also about listening—and I mean really listening—to what each other are saying. Engaging in the conversation, being present with one another, and asking insightful questions.
It also includes remembering the things you mention that matter to each other. As for sex? It doesn’t cross your mind in the same way as it usually does, because you’re too busy getting lost in the conversation. To some, what I’ve described above seems like ‘old-fashioned dating’—an art I’m starting to think might be going extinct. If you’ve ever had to swipe (right or left), you’d know that from where I sit, the 21st-century dating struggle is real. After all, how many more times do we have to ask ourselves: why does nothing work when it comes to modern dating? Do you often find your advances, no matter how slick, are rebuked? Do you get pissed off when your best efforts seem to land in the gutter? Does it feel like there just isn’t anyone out there on your wavelength?
To some, what I’ve described above seems like ‘old-fashioned dating’—an art I’m starting to think might be going extinct.
It’s no wonder we’re all in the same boat. Modern-day society encourages immediate selfgratification. Everything is now readily available at our fingertips with one click of a button. We can access anything we fancy, fulfilling indulgent whims on the spot. Tinder and other dating apps allow us to literally swipe through suitors mindlessly to pass the time. If we fancy a quickie, it’s available. No real connection needed (pun intended), just wi-fi. While this fast-paced, all-consuming modern world is now our norm, it’s bled into our views on love, sex and relationships too. But Nixalina, why can’t we have all the things we want as we want them? Why can’t we just hook up if we want to? Not everything has to be about dating after all – some of it is just good, sexy fun, right? You sure can.
But do you want to know my best-kept secret and the paradox of it all? Even if it’s just a good time you’re after, life experience has taught me that you’d fare much better off with your next love interest, if you actually did adhere to the conventional rules of dating after all. Here’s why. If you do not act like all you want is to score, you’re probably going to score anyway. And if you want more than just casual sex, you’re onto the correct path with this method too. It’s a win-win for all. A little bit of pomp and circumstance and good old-fashioned chivalry goes a long way. It doesn’t mean you have to pretend to be something you’re not, it’s just about reviving the basics of human etiquette.
If he had shut up and graciously let me go home, perhaps sent a good-night text after, he'd most likely have seen some action the following weekend. Sucks to be him.
Indulge me in regaling you with one example to prove my point. I once met a guy virtually and we chatted onand-off online for five years. The day finally came when he was in Singapore for work, and we went on a dinner date. He was even more handsome and charming in real life. As the night came to an end, he began to suggest we go back to his pad. I rarely do first-date one-night stands, and instead politely asked if we could meet up. in a few days’ time where I would have gone back to his. Except, instead of listening, he chose to go on and on and on at the taxi-stand, about how I should just go back to his that night, nigh-on badgering me until I swiftly left in my own cab. I never saw him again. It was off-putting to say the least, because I could suddenly see the date was merely for the purposes of a few lubrication (excuse the pun) drinks to get me loose, so he could loosen his belt buckle. If he had shut up and graciously let me go home, perhaps sent a good-night text after, he’d most likely have seen some action the following weekend. Sucks to be him.
This example is not to say you should be lying about your intentions. If you just want a hook-up, tell us. If you don’t want to see us again, tell us. If you think we’re not the right fit for you, tell us. Sure, some women may not take it well, but that’s true of any immature person who doesn’t always get what they want. The point is, you don’t need to lie; just remember we’re all human beings at the end of the day. You can still want sex and be courteous in the process. They’re not mutually exclusive, trust me. Remember what the ever-desired Mr Darcy said: “A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.” Seduce her mind, unlock everywhere else. Thank me later.
Nixalina Watson is a multi-award-winning blogger, writer, podcaster and digital content creator, who founded the popular blog ‘Sex & London City’. She now lives in Singapore, where she hosts her own podcast on all things dating and romance called ‘Sex & Singapore City’.