A recent Frankie Valli concert got me thinking about how much dating behavior has changed since that time period for the worse. Here is my Love Essentially column on the subject, published yesterday in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press.
Dating in 2016: Worlds Different Than Sherry baby by Jackie Pilossoph for Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press
I recently went to see Frankie Valli at Ravinia. As the 82-year-old who stole the heart of every woman back in the day belted out well-loved songs like, “Sherry” (1962), “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” (1967) and “My Eyes Adored You” (1975), it brought me back in time, and for some reason got me thinking about how different the dynamics of dating were back then.
Back in the days when Valli was singing his songs, dating seemed simple. Men and women met through friends, school, church, the community or family. They arranged dates either in person or on their home phones. The guy went to the girl’s house, picked her up, opened the car door for her, took her to a restaurant and at the end of the night gave her a peck on the cheek and asked to see her again. During this era, men seemed to have so much respect for the women they “courted,” and in return, women expected to be treated a certain way that I think fails to exist in today’s dating world.
It’s really sad, but what I’m wondering is how society allowed this gradual but complete change in the effort men make for the women they date, along with the standards women are willing to accept. In other words, how did we get from a sweet goodnight peck on a first date to swiping on Tinder, hooking up and then saying “Buh-bye, see you around?”
I want to clarify that I’m not speaking about all men and women. There are still some old souls out there (including my boyfriend) whose thinking is similar to those during the glory days. But I think for the most part, dating in 2016 as opposed to the Frankie Valli time period is a nightmare for several reasons.
First of all, no one calls anymore. Conversations and plans are made via text, Facebook or Instagram. Although a time saver, it’s impersonal and there is no spontaneity in conversation. People have as long as they need to respond to a text and to think of a funny, witty answer to a question. That to me really isn’t how you uncover someone’s authenticity.
Next, I have heard so many stories from men and women of all ages about how sex is just expected – even on a first date. When the heck did that happen? Umm … I have a 12-year-old daughter. I know we live in an immediate response-driven society where we want everything right now and where Siri will give it to us. But does that mean we can’t let a relationship breathe and enjoy getting to know someone before we take off our clothes?
Furthermore, people don’t seem to date exclusively very much anymore. It seems perfectly acceptable to go out with (and have sex with) multiple people in the same week. Call me judgmental, but that just doesn’t cut it for me. Besides feeling kind of gross, multiple sexual partners leaves people feeling empty, used and with low self-esteem.
I’m not saying true love doesn’t exist any longer, or that men and women don’t experience romance and the innocence of vulnerability. I just want to know when such mediocre dating behavior became so acceptable, when men decided they didn’t have to try so hard and when women lowered the bar. What happened to that strong, manly man who was supposed to sweep a woman off her feet, treat her like a princess and give her the fairytale? What happened to the woman who felt worthy of being with someone who made her feel treasured? Did self-esteem become obsolete like Valli’s 45s?
I understand times have changed, and that women are more independent and self-confident. I also realize strong, self-sufficient women can be intimidating to men, and that maybe men are just trying to do what they think a woman wants.
What does a woman want? Click here to read the rest of the article, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press.
Like this article? Check out my post, “There are No “Buts” in a Healthy Romantic Relationship”