The New Dating Norms: 6 Big Changes in the Dating Game

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In a few short years, there have been some major adjustments to the dating game. I can see the difference in the attitude of women in younger generations compared to mine. They have much more of a,  “I want him and I am going to get him” type of attitude. Back in the day, when you liked someone, you kind of played it off until he let on that he was he feeling the same way. But nowadays, women are much more aggressive, and it is clearly the era of the “go-getter.” My mother’s generation viewed women with this “go- getter” mentality with less than pleasant eyes, but today, the women who go for what they want are growing in numbers, and they’re getting respect and the guy for being so bold. Yep,  the times have changed and so has the dating game. Here are a few examples:


Meeting Potential Mates Through Social Media 

When I say social media, I am not talking about The social media I’m referring to is more in the realm of sites like Facebook and Twitter. When I was in high school, Myspace was the popular social media website. You always heard warnings about meeting someone online and that you should use good sense because there might be a “Myspace killer,” or you might find yourself in a “To Catch a Predator” scenario. It was absurd to think that you would meet your future boyfriend on a social media platform like that.

However, plenty of people meet their potential girlfriends and boyfriends on Facebook or Twitter. On Facebook it’s as simple as a friend request, a message or a chat. Anybody can request anybody, so you never know who will end up trying to approach you through your inbox. Don’t act like you have never shown your girlfriends the profile of some guy you thought was cute–we’ve all been there. Twitter is another avenue all in itself. People are more exposed on Twitter. There are plenty of people who fill up your timeline with pictures of themselves and inviting tweets. All someone has to do is direct message you and the ball is rolling from there. Even athletes and celebrities have fallen victim to seducing women (and even men) through their Twitter pages. People really do form relationships through the social networks. Maybe it is that through these venues you actually get time to talk and really get to know a person (or the person they claim to be), which can make for a strong connection. So don’t be so reluctant to accept that friend request, your future could be waiting in your inbox.


The Woman Proposing 

Don’t be fooled into thinking that Chrissy on “Love and Hip Hop” was the first woman to get down on one knee. It may not be a widespread phenomenon but more and more women are taking the bull by the horns when it comes to walking down the aisle. I remember in college, I had this conversation with a couple of friends and we were split in half about whether or not we would or would not take the leap and propose to a man. The thought that I could propose  never even crossed my mind, but I have quickly learned that in the real world, things don’t always go as planned. Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches. I admire any woman who has the confidence and the gusto to propose to her boyfriend, because from the outside looking in, I’m sure it can’t be easy.


Sex on the First Date 

I remember hearing a song on my Pandora and the lyrics were in reference to a man and woman who had sex on the first date. Contrary to what you might assume, the man actually respected the woman’s choice to go after what she wants. When I heard this song, I was confused. Reminding myself of all the things I had heard my guy friends say, you would think that most men believe that a woman who gives it up that fast can be categorized as being a little bit too friendly. These were the kinds of women that you “hit it and quit it,” as some would say.

But I find that as we get older and more mature there is less room for labels, and more room for people to do what they feel. While some used to be quick to label a woman, now a woman can often get kudos for going after what she wants. A lot of women are saying the double standard is unacceptable (i.e., It is okay for a man to sleep with as many women as he wants, but women who want and do the same get labeled a hoe) and freely being sexual beings. Plus, I know women who’ve had sex on the first date and are now in committed relationships with the same person. It isn’t always so cut and dry.


Women Being the Breadwinner 

With more women in college than men, it’s no surprise that there is an emergence of women bringing home the bread in relationships. Women have become very career driven, and all this hard work and dedication definitely pays off when that paycheck rolls around. With the increase in money-making women, it is only expected that there might be relationships where the woman is making more money than her partner. For the most part, it’s still thought that the man should be the breadwinner in the family, which plays into the whole idea of the man being the protector and the provider. But in these ever-changing economic times there is no telling who will come out on top. It matters less who is the actual breadwinner in the relationship and more about how each person is treated. The emphasis should be placed on the cohesiveness of the couple’s lifestyle.


Women Making the First Move 

This change in particular has been hard for me to adjust to. I’m not the type to walk up to a guy and try to get his number, but more and more men say that they like it when a woman approaches them.When a woman approaches them he already knows that she is interested in him so that aspect of the chase is gone. I think that more women are approaching men because women these days have more self-confidence. We no longer feel the need to act coy and wait for what we want. This attitude has helped us become more successful not only in relationships but also in the workplace. Women have become conquerors. I have seen many women approach men and you can feel their self-confidence perk up as they walk up to him (because in her mind, she’s thinking: “I’ve got him in the bag.”)


 Influence of Technology on Dating 

With such an influx of new technology and gadgets, it’s no surprise that it has affected the way couples communicate. From Skype to FaceTime, there are an array of new options. Even if you are not in a long distance relationship, your significant other may still try to get “digital” with you. It can add an element of  excitement to the relationship, just when things were starting to get dull. People were not always this comfortable with “expressing themselves” through the Internet, but in 2012 things have changed. Do people even talk on the phone anymore?  However, all of this technology is a double-edged sword. Even if you are not using the latest gadgets to explore each others bedrooms, new technology can also be the cause of drama in relationships. The more avenues there are to communicate, the more there is a chance  for someone to do the wrong thing.

Rachel Louissaint is a graduate student and a blogger. Check out her blog at Ebony Maiden or follow her at @Ebony_Maiden. 

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