Your Location: Select

Speed Dating the Old-Fashioned Way in the Age of Internet, Facebook and ManyDates.com

9/3/2014 Anant Goel

After 35 years of being friends with women; and dating women of all ages, shapes, sizes, ethnicity, nationality, social stature, and economic stature; I’m uniquely qualified to talk about the subject of dating, speed dating, and now the latest rage… Internet Speed Dating.

Let’s face it…

It is a challenge to simply meet someone right and compatible in this fast paced digital society of ours; that is still evolving and is driven by the Internet and Web 2.0? 

Today, you can sign-up for hundreds of online dating sites that cater to men and women of all ages; and you can go on a speed dating binge. Ask anyone over 30 years of age, and still single, and they’ll tell you: “Yaa, I have dated over 100 women [or men] so far.” At times it almost sounds like a boast… but in reality it is a sad state of affair that has profound impact on our value system, creates shallow human relationships, and promotes promiscuous life style that somehow ends-up raising its ugly head in a committed relationship.

Marriage and divorce are both common experiences.  In Western cultures, more than 90 percent of people marry by age 50.  However, over 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher.

What’s in our future?

The future looks grim for heterosexual marriages. As we continue to further embrace the Internet and Web 2.0 in our lives, the Internet speed dating will continue to flourishing and change our social DNA to a point of morally bankrupting our old fashioned value system of love, intimacy, fidelity, and family union. And it is happening so fast and so dramatically. Some 30 years ago, if a man was among his buddies drinking and boasting of his manly prowess, he may claim to have bedded 20 to 30 women. Now that number is in 100’s and increasing. Fortunately, women don’t brag, but if they did, their numbers may very well pale the most gregarious boaster. 

The big question is: “are you meeting the right person… the person that will be your friend, your confidant, your lover… and perhaps your spouse for life.”

In the last 30 years, a lot has changed on the dating scene. Old fashioned ways of meeting people for serious relationship are gone by the wayside… thanks the Internet and Web 2.0. Every day, the moment you open your e-mail; at least a dozen web sites, both new and old, pop-up to entice you men to sign-up for free speed dating, with pictures of beautiful women… and promises of instant matches and gratification.  Internet dating and speed dating are big business and cost of entry into dating business is so cheap that thousands of web sites have cropped up over the years. Ironically they all seem to make money and thrive… not just survive.

What’s Speed Dating?

Speed dating is a formalized matchmaking process or dating system whose purpose is to encourage people to meet a large number of new people. Its origins are credited to Rabbi Yaacov Deyo of Aish HaTorah, originally as a way to help Jewish singles meet and marry.

What’s Internet Speed Dating?

However, when you combine speed dating with modern day Internet dating; the entire online dating process becomes fun and games. It’s like going down the aisle with your shopping cart and picking who you would contact− based on old touched-up pictures and glorified profiles, and if the service was free to you or you had to cough-up hundreds of dollars to make the first contact. 

The entire process− from making the initial contact to meeting the person and finally deciding on who will pay the bill− is hilarious and end results are− if you are serious about meeting someone − utterly frustrating and waste of time. Granted, some folks will find this Internet Speed Dating fun and entertaining; and at times there may be some success stories where the couple met, dated, and married… only to be divorced a few years down the road. 

In today's world of online dating web sites promoting "speed dating”; sometimes it's good to be reminded of the basic old fashion way of meeting someone.

Is it a challenge to simply meet someone? 

Here is some dating advice for anyone traversing that treacherous road to romance. And we will cover this journey in baby steps from meeting someone, dating, romance, going steady, intimacy, commitment, cohabitation, and marriage.

Step 0: Meeting Someone the Old Fashioned Way?

Meeting someone the old-fashioned way may simply start with walking up to someone and saying a genuine hello. Perhaps you find yourself chatting to someone at a town event or a church social or the mechanic's shop.  A conversation naturally starts and you feel a little spark fly.

Now simulate the same process for Internet Speed Dating…

Step One: Go Online to Meet Someone

Sign-up for a free personal listing on web site like LeRumba Classified Personals and create a simple profile page [anonymously] with a picture and some basic personal information that you’re comfortable sharing in public. No need to get into details or post a picture if you are not comfortable. Just basic information that’s no more or no less than what someone standing behind you in a line at the checkout counter would know about you.

Check the classified personal Ads frequently but don’t get anxious or concerned… patience is a virtue and karmic forces of the universe take time to propagate the message that you want to meet someone. Once you've found someone who interests you, take it slow and share some information, interests, likes, and dislikes. When you feel comfortable; make plans to meet with each other. Keep it simple. "Meeting for a quick cup of coffee has the same odds of success as a marathon first date at a five star hotel restaurant."

Step Two: First Date

Do's on a First Date

  • Relax and be yourself. You're not auditioning or on a job interview.
  • Dress comfortably and appropriately. Squeezing into a tight dress or wearing a T-shirt that announces your attitude might send the wrong message.
  • Plan to do something that allows time to talk, such as ballroom dancing, golfing, tennis, row-boating, or bowling—not target practice at the local firing range.
  • Pick up the tab, if the date was your idea. If there is any doubt, discuss it when you first make plans.
  • Look your date in the eye when you're talking. Avoid glancing at other body parts.
  • Show up. If an emergency forces a last-minute cancellation or delay, contact the person. Never leave someone in the lurch.
  • Know where you'll go and how long you'll be there. Make it quality, not quantity, time.
  • Ask permission to call or e-mail at the end of the date, if you're interested in seeing your companion again. If the answer is no, respect that the "relationship" is officially over and move on. If it's yes, send a brief thank-you note and wait at least 24 hours before making plans for a second date.
  • Have fun. There is a reason that this activity is called the dating game.

Don'ts on a Date

  • Don't bring anyone along, including an ex, your children, pets, or parents, unless you're on a double date or an arranged blind date.
  • Don't dowse yourself in perfume or cologne.  A bath or shower is adequate—no, it is essential.
  • Don't monopolize the time with your cell phone—or text! Turn off these devices and concentrate on your partner.
  • Don't reveal unnecessary personal information: your failed relationships, what the fortune-teller told you, or how unfriendly the police were to you when they pulled you over.
  • Don't take your medication while on the date. Take it before you meet.
  • Don't meet at your home—unless you're dropping by to pick up your partner.
  • Don't flirt with your server, stare at others nearby, or talk about how hot Paris Hilton or Harrison Ford is. Focus on your companion.
  • Don't discuss politics, sex, religion, or taxes. Your date may have differing opinions.
  • Don't use a coupon for food or services. Go to places you can afford.
  • Don't lie, lead on, or tell someone you're single and/or available when you're not. Be honest and considerate.

Step Three: Blind Dating with your Eyes Wide Open

Is it a challenge to simply meet someone?  Tell friends and family that you're interested and looking.

The "blind" date, that meeting with a stranger often arranged by a well-meaning friend or relative, is generally preferred by people who like surprises, who never get around to meeting others, or who may be "commitment phobic." Perhaps due to their shock value, horror stories about blind dates tend to outnumber happily-ever-after tales, but good news rarely makes headlines.

If a blind date is arranged for you, remember to thank your friend or family member for any introductions, no matter what happens!

Step Four: Dating and Romance

Ignore the magazine articles and advice like “Over 20 surefire techniques for finding, attracting, and wedding the person you will love forever.” When is the last time you heard the good advice like these that worked…

  • Roast hummingbird hearts, grind them into a powder, and sprinkle it on your beloved.
  • Kiss as many people as possible. Dr. Bubba Nicholson of Tampa, Florida, says that kissing is a way for us to taste semiochemicals on another's skin. Semiochemicals transmit biological signals of compatibility and attraction.

Romance is basically the act of dating and courtship… and is universal and touches every single human being on this planet at some stage in their life. Romance is the subject of multi-billion dollar global industry; from romance novels to romantic movies, flowers, candies, valentine gifts, and so on. Some use romance for entertainment, pastime, intimacy and sex, or to get ahead in personal life or business, and last, but not the least, to find lasting love and marriage.

Dating and courtship are two methods of beginning relationships with the opposite sex. While there are many who date and romance with the intention of having a series of intimate physical relationships, the Christians see this as not acceptable and never the reason for dating. Many Christians see dating as little more than friendship and maintain the friendship aspect of their dating until both people are ready to commit to each another as potential marriage partners.

So, what does dating and romance means to you… know what you want, it’s your call.

Step Five: Going Steady

  • Have Clear Intentions

Dating and going steady used to be a little more cut and dry back in the day?  If a guy asked you out; you knew he was interested. We’d love to return to the old fashioned way of more clarity, where we knew where we stood and there weren’t so many guessing games− like 3-date rules, etc!

  •  One on One

Dating experts will tell you, and we agree, with the idea of going on a date and not having your friends, job, or everyone else attached at the figurative finger tip through your smartphone. How about connecting with your partner, without all of our current distractions? Wouldn’t that be amazing? In other words, turn the iPhone, iPad or Android off.

Step Six: Intimacy

  •  When “making love” meant something

Your grand parents will tell you that in their days, a man “made love” to a woman by bringing flowers, writing poetry, complimenting her beauty, and declaring his desire to court her.  How language has changed in our digital age! These days the very concept of vulgarity has become almost passé. Words matter, and not so long ago they were used with far greater caution, care, and calibration. We might be surprised at the benefits of adopting the verbal civility of our “old-fashioned” ancestors.

  •  “I want to hold your hand…”

In 1963, the Beatles released a single that instantly rose to the top of the charts. If written today, the lyrics would seem hopelessly naive or childish, to the point of parody. But back then, the words revealed the generally accepted progression of romantic intimacy—beginning with the most simple of gestures: holding hands. Nowadays, for many, overt sexuality has become the new starting point, with often painful emotional consequences. The fragile circuitry of a brand-new relationship typically can’t handle high-voltage sexual energy surges. The trust necessary for genuine openness takes time to grow. Going slow and letting more “innocent” physical contact suffice early on keeps the sparks away from delicate emotions until they are ready.

Step Seven: Commitment

Commitment is the most difficult stage in any relationship. 'Fear of commitment' is a well-known phrase. We hear it in the media, as well as use it to describe ourselves or other people who seem chronically unable to decide whether to commit properly to a relationship.

Sometimes such people are tagged as ‘commitment phobic’. They fear being 'trapped' and losing, as they see it, their freedom. Fear of commitment might range from a little uncertainty about your relationship to an absolute terror of 'settling down'.

There are thousands of articles on this subject that you can read. Just remember, the fear of not making a mistake may be the biggest mistake of all, and here I'm reminded of the words of the Joni Mitchell song:

"Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone..."

Step Eight: Cohabitation or Marriage

Internet speed dating is blamed for accelerated sexual intimacy, but it isn’t the only way in which we move much faster than our romantic grandparents. Cohabitation and friends with benefits—is setting speed records as well. If you move in together too soon, it is difficult to see the forest (your fundamental compatibility) from the trees (her clothes take up the whole closet; his gym bag smells like dead rat).  In old fashioned times; courtship—going steady—was an intermediate step meant to try out the “partnership” in stages, without creating “ties that bind” too soon.

Slow Down

Looking back, yesterday’s etiquette helped preempt today’s tendency toward “too much, too soon” in new relationships. Our grandparents moved at a glacial pace that would drive us crazy, while our rush into intimacy of all kinds would make them blush.

As usual, the dating experts will tell you, balance is found in the middle.

The bottom line: Wade in slowly!

[Based on excerpts from posts, blogs, media articles, and sponsored research]
 
 
View Count 21,829