Ah, yesteryear. Those times when everything seemed so perfectly refined. A time when dating was an experience more than a chore. At least that’s the way our parents and grandparents present their dating experiences.
It is as if back then the world was inhabited entirely of perfect ladies and gentlemen. Creeps, liars and losers — I guess they didn’t start existing until the early 21st century, the 1990s tops.
All joking aside, we know that the reality of the situation is that dating today and dating yesteryear both had their ups and downs. Nostalgia might make everything from the past seem rosy, but we know better. If you need proof, just ask anyone over 50 about singles bars in the 70s and 80s.
Does that mean that everything about old school dating is just a myth? Is there nothing of real value that we can take away from old school dating habits?
While the aforementioned singles bars should be allowed to remain as a fossilized remnant on the anthropological history of human courtship — there are some golden nuggets from old school dating that still work today.
1- Being on Time
It is incredible how people today can continuously be late when it comes to dating.
Sending a last-minute text that you’re running late doesn’t spare you. At best you come out looking like an unorganized person with poor time management skills. At worst you come out looking like a selfish individual who doesn’t value your date’s time and feelings.
Be on time for your dates.
2- Dress to Impress
Some of us Gen-Xers knew that when “casual Friday” started becoming a thing in the 1990s that society was playing with fire. Flash forward to the present and we can see that those worries were not over nothing.
It’s not that people are worse dressers today than they were in the past. Every generation has its slobs and its fashionistas. It’s just that a larger percentage of the dating population feels that there is no need to dress to impress — not even on first dates. (Yes, we are talking about you millennials and Gen-Zers.)
Men tend to be more at fault in this department by a huge margin. Guys, please, take some time and put a bit of effort into dressing with a bit of style when going on a date. There are many ways to dress up even the most casual of styles. It will help you to stand out and that can be the difference between having a second date or not.
3- Be Polite and Well-Mannered
We don’t know why it has to be pointed out that politeness and good manners will always make you look good. Conversely, that being a b*tch or an a-hole to your date or the people around you during a date — such as waiters, valet parkers, etc. — will always make you look bad.
Unfortunately, based on the number of horror stories involving rude dates, it seems that what should be common sense apparently is something that people need to be reminded. Be polite, mind your manners!
4- Be Attentive to Your Date
Going on a date with someone whom you met online is a nerve-racking affair as it is. The thought that dominates your mind in the first moments of the date involves your uncertainty of what your date really thinks of you. This can affect your self-confidence, your behavior, and demeanor — it can prevent you from putting on your A-game.
By being attentive to your date you will help to put them at ease. If they are at ease, they will be able to be themselves. This will help you to make a more informed judgment about the sort of person they really are. Being attentive to your date sets the framework necessary for a successful date.
How you are attentive will vary on a few factors. These include your personality and that of your date, your lifestyle, traditions, etc. For some, it can be old school attentiveness, such as opening a door, extending a hand as they get out of the car, etc. For others, it can be more contemporary, such as messaging them after the date with a short but sweet message about how much you enjoyed the evening.
5- Let Them Speak
In our present-day existence, it is normal for us to go on and on about ourselves. In a way, we’ve been conditioned to talk more about ourselves than generations in the past. Social media has provided us with platforms to constantly be sharing our feelings, opinions, and comments about everything from what we had for lunch to the private lives of celebrities to politics.
This has made us very good talkers but bad listeners. There is no worse moment for that dichotomy of conversation to emerge than while on a date.
As was the custom in the past, you should structure the conversation during your date so that it becomes a dialogue, not a monologue.
Pace yourself by soliciting the opinion of your date or handing the conversation over to them whenever you have been talking continuously for more than two minutes. Ideally, exchanges during a first date should average 90 seconds in length.
In the past, people were more conscious about hogging a conversation and went to great lengths to avoid it. By mastering that skill today, even if your social skills aren’t the best, you will come off as an interesting conversationalist.
6- Be Respectful
Respecting someone’s limits, opinions, person, and lifestyle should always be in style. Need we say more?
— The Best of the Past Goes a Long Way Today —
Applying a bit of the customs and behaviors that people took as a given in the past can go a long way for you today within the modern dating environment. It can make you stand out above the crowded dating field.
It can also help to “humanize” you faster. By this, we mean that in a world in which people have become conditioned to evaluate potential partners through online dating profiles on a screen, displaying warmth and charm right off the bat when you meet in person can help to forge a connection sooner. Sometimes that can be the difference between sparking or flopping.