Dating is a tough cookie. And I get the feeling that it’s no easier for the 18-year-old today than it was for the 1800s woman. Oddly enough, many feel like a lot of the things that we expect have been handed down to us from older generations, generations riddled with inequality and arrogance and a scary sense of entitlement. And we still wrestle with that today. Headlines still shock, especially when it comes to dating. So that brings me to this notion of chivalry. In a word: it’s dead.
Well, on one hand, there’s the sweet millennial woman who simply wants to be treated right, in a manner worthy of her time: right? There were some amazing pickings from past courting spiels that we all definitely want to steal as bristling young women. From late teens to post-college, girls love to build that virtual fire and bask in the ‘good all days’.
Just the thought of it brings caramel cheesecake to mind: him opening the car door, bringing flowers, picking up the check at dinner, driving to your doorstep, escorting you by the waste, doing creative and sacrificial things to show he genuinely cares. But that dream bubble is usually burst before the whipped cream lands on dessert. I mean nobody throws a coat over a puddle anymore, do they? I mean where did all the goodness go? Aren’t girls worth it anymore?
Yeesh. It’s rough country for us nowadays. I mean not to drum up a sentimental L’Oréal commercial, but come on. The writing’s on the wall. And a lot of great girls feel maniacally duped by millennial men. Feelings are fried. Time is tanked. Expectations—gassed. And it’s getting worse by the minute, creeping into the norm, breaking things down with a quickness. “I don’t do romance,” he says. “I’m not the door-opening type,” he’ll croon. “I like fuss-free girls, you know, easy-going, zero drama, short ego, willing to share the tab.”.
And for the sweet, bright woman who simply wants some class in her life, she is blue out of luck. She dares not hold her breath. Dares not wait for these bozos to catch fire and do better. Because, as I see it, the problem is tattooed across American campuses and happy hours and beer halls and sports fields. Smack dab in the middle of living rooms. You name it. And it’s straining millions of millennials, males, and females, egging them into stonewalling each other.
But sadly the buck doesn’t stop there. There are real consequences—in the dating world and beyond. Things can spiral into glib places. And if left unchecked, it can have wonky effects on good girls—slashing self-esteem, stealing self-respect, dumbing down vocabulary, stripping away healthy expectations to the bone. We can fall into cynicism, and things can begin to erode our sense of worth. Because the typical millennial man doesn’t really know how to treat a woman like amber, like pristine topaz, like uncut gold or silver. They sort of treat us like we’re they buddies in the pool hall, just shooting pool like its nothing: different racks, different balls, different colors. Or like we’re an avatar in their video games—cute, but disposable.
We really feel this. We feel the lack of value, the lack of attention to detail, the lack of sacrifice, and no one wants to put on a pretty dress and style the heck out of their their hair only to have to grab an Uber to an all-you-can-eat pizza place in the middle of nowhere—with the tab staring you in the face opposite his boyish grin and wink. Nope. They want to feel like they’re really being wowed—wined and dined—and this is super important because attempting to date in today’s culture will throw you into culture battle. It means that you’ll have to grow a really thick skin, and you’ll have to have a really healthy dose of self-esteem.
Because it’s not going to come from the male millennial. No, it’s not likely to swoop down from the 18-year-old guy trying to figure out whether not he wants to use his middle name for his first name or not; or the college guy who is exquisitely addicted to vodka shots and video games. It’s not going to come from the guy who is creeping the tipping point of 30, who basically is still a mama’s boy and hasn’t figured out what the dinner napkins are fancy restaurant are for. You’re not gonna get anything from these guys.
The days of shining knights of armor on horseback are long gone. The days of chivalry like roses wrapped in handmade silk is over. The truth? Men don’t want to want to drive us and pick us up at our doorstep. They don’t want to pay for the check. They don’t want to offer you a coat, and they don’t want to carry an umbrella to protect you from the rain. Yep. So what’s a girl to do?
Well, our generation is a wildcard. There are endless solutions to problems right at our fingertips. At the click of a button. So, in many ways, this is the ultimate time in history for us gals to join forces and tackle this problem head-on. Yes, I could divert and talk about who’s really to blame here, question whether the parents of the millennial male are at fault, probe into whether religion somehow played a role or examine their playlists and reading lists and secret list that they turn to under dark, moonless night. But I won’t. I’ll let that go and focus on some helpful solutions.
While dating is not a cakewalk, it doesn’t have to be a wet blanket. There is no need for you to sour or jump ship or throw in the towel. You don’t have to do that ladies because dating has done something dazzling for you—it’s gone virtual and online and assimilated. Yes. No longer must you feel cheated or lonely or underwhelmed by slackers who refuse to treat you with manners and respect. You can bypass all that nonsense with a few savvy moves. All you’ll need is reliable wifi on the device of your choice—phone, laptop, tablet. That’s it.
Lately, the web is crawling with alternative dating sites. Many of them are pretty popular—like Tinder or Match—but they each give you a feel of control, comfort, and ease of use. In less than three flash-quick steps, you can be on your way to meeting the man of your dreams, the man who isn’t trapped into boyish ways, the man who’s ready to come and get you—on your terms. Think suited knight in a Lexus coupe (or whatever you’d like). The point is to spend time chatting with the guy who seems like a good match. You can go slow. You can have “the conversation” with him before you commit to stepping out in your Manolo Blahniks. You can save so much time and energy by letting today’s technology do the sifting and heavy lifting for you, right from your cozy couch. That being said, don’t be afraid of going out and letting yourself enjoy a drink or meal downtown, especially if you have any sorts of issues with social media. America is a bit lonely, and sometimes while technology can be a wonder, it can hinder us. But if you know what you want, and have the confidence for it, then certainly stick to the dating sites (or maybe even mingle at a bar too). The options for mixing up the approach are there after all. And that’s what’s important, the flexibility we have in all this.
No longer will you feel like you have to do all the thinking and planning. On a respectable dating site, a good man will step up to plate. Why? Because he is a person of quality and responsibility and honesty. He truly wants to meet you and have that pricey Italian dinner and that gorgeous glass of Burgundy in your sweet company. A good man will sign-on to these dating sites. Not boys. Boys will see a website like Tinder as too much work, too much effort. But the upstanding man will welcome your contact through a site like this. And when you’re on your tenth date, he’ll be the first to broadcast it in sweeping, chivalrous style: “Hey guys, meet who I’ve been dating!”
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