He’s Texting You Because He’s Just Not That Into You
Recently the New York Times asked if we were experiencing “The End of Courtship” in reaction to what a few 20-somethings have described as the age of hooking up and hanging out.
When I was in my 20s, guys were already texting…or “beeping” messages to “hang out” (i.e. hook up), while trying to skip the more formal dinner or movie out. This casual attitude is less an end of courtship as it is a clue that he’s just not that into you and it’s not at all a new trend in dating or a new frustration.
Of course, dating companies are popping up left and right trying to market off the notion that “there just aren’t enough men out there”, though that’s been the story since my own mother was dating.
Generations have been mourning the loss of courtship forever. Shifts in gender power, in norms and values always lead to this. But courtship isn’t dead, nor is love or romance. Who we fall for, what we tolerate from others, what value we give ourselves, how we want to be treated – these are all things that impact our dating experiences, and we learn to set those standards from our parents and how we were raised.
Some say that this is a generation that doesn’t know how to interact with others in person because they are always online. I would say that overall, Americans have for many, many years been lacking in human interaction skills, whether for business or otherwise. If kids today don’t know how to talk to one another it has less to do with technology and more to do with the priority their parents gave such things at home.
Even though I met my husband online (and really we would have never met if not for the internet), and we spoke via text and on the phone a few times before actually meeting face-to-face, the old standards of face-to-face communication, interaction, compromise, understanding, respect, and affection are what took us this far and what hold us together. No amount of technology or online speed dating will ever replace that.
So maybe it’s time to talk to our kids about the importance of real human relations, despite the technology they have at their disposal – and set examples for them. It might be time to tell our girls that, no, a guy texting you to hook up isn’t a sign of the times, but a sign that he is an a-hole. It might be time to teach our boys how to treat a girl they really like with respect. It might be time to tell our kids that the best way to build a real, meaningful relationship will forever be offline – no matter how many texts take place in between.