It's no secret that times are a-changing. The term "gluten free" is now commonplace, a well-angled "selfie" is now the norm for picture-taking (my parents have just adopted this, and it's honestly hilarious), and the dating game has been turned sideways and upside down. I'm here to set the record straight on not only how things have changed in the dating world but also how some things should remain the same.
The Past: Boy meets girl at a party. Boy asks girl for number, and she writes it down for him. Boy calls girl in three days and asks her out to dinner.
The Present: Boy meets girl at a party. Boy hands girl phone and tells her to put her number in it. Boy then texts girl immediately so she has his number. Boy maybe texts girl in the next few days to ask her out for a drink.
Comments on the past: It's simple and straight-forward, but if the boy loses her number, then we have a problem on our hands.
Comments on the present: It's certainly efficient, but it's much less personal and endearing.
Erika's recommendations: It's more than okay to put someone's number in your phone when you meet, but I don't recommend contacting him or her immediately. Wait until the next day, and follow up with a text saying, "It was great to meet you last night! I'll give you a ring tomorrow so we can set up some plans." And then actually call!
The Past: SWM seeks SWF for long walks on the beach, strawberry daiquiris, and a lifetime of intellectual conversation.
The Present: I like to laugh and have fun. I'm just as comfortable in a tux as I am in jeans and flip flops. Sometimes I love a night out on the town, but other times I'm just as happy on the couch with a movie. My family and friends are very important to me.
Comments on the past: It's simple and easy. No picture means no expectations. You have no idea who might respond, though, and it's hard to weed through the muck.
Comments on the present: First of all, this profile is terrible! I learned nothing about this person. Besides that, though, in this day and age, online dating is here to stay, so you might as well use it… and use it well.
Erika's recommendations: Use online dating, but make your profile and photos stand out from the crowd. I don't know anyone who doesn't like to laugh and have fun! (If you don't, well, I'm very sorry.) For more profile tips, click here.
The Past: If you wanted to know about someone, you asked your friends.
The Present: If you want to know about someone, you Facebook stalk, Google, follow, and Instagram.
Comments on the past: Sometimes a little mystery is a good thing! But it's hard to know whether this person is who he says he is.
Comments on the present: TMI! While a little online stalking… ahem… researching is good (and normal), some people take it too far. No need to know the year your date had his wisdom teeth pulled out or her mileage breakdown on the last six marathons she ran. Leave something to talk about on the date!
Erika's recommendations: It's fine to do some due diligence. Just don't overdo it and start obsessing or making assumptions that you don't know to be true.
What's the point of dissecting how things have changed? It's to show that each time period has its merits. I love that we live in the digital age, and as long as we use that to our advantage, then I think we can only benefit. Happy dating!