Is Dating Obselete?


Earlier this week The New York Post ran an article on “sexual economics“. The article makes a case that the price of sex is at an all time low. The case:

25% of women have sex within the first week of dating

30% of young men’s sexual relationships involve no romance at all — no wooing, dating, goofy text messaging. Nothing. Just sex.

The fact that men want sex more than women do.

“It’s a fact that sounds sexist and outdated. But it is a fact all the same — one that women used for centuries to keep the price of sex high (if you liked it back in the day, you really had to put a ring on it). With gender equality, the Pill and the advent of Internet porn, women’s control of the meet market has been butchered.  As a result, says Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin, men are “quicker to have sex in our relationships these days, slower to commitment and just plain pickier.”

This subject is not new. The Washington Times did an article on it earlier this summer focusing on the relationship between sexual economics and marriage. The piece features University of Texas sociology professor Mark Regnerus who is co-writing a book, “Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate and Think About Marrying”  with Jeremy Uecker that focuses on sexual economics theory.

“Their conclusion is that, for young single Americans, modern rules of romantic engagement “clearly favor men” and penalize women who want to marry — especially those who want to save sex for marriage.” – Washington Post.

I personally hate to think the old adage “why buy the cow if you get the milk for free” is being resurrected through these articles. But I do see the effects of in on 20-something women who want to transition from hooking up to dating.

I have asked numerous 20-somethings about this and what they do say is that dating in their twenties is extremely difficult. Women of all ages agree there’s a great benefit to exploring the sexual market before even thinking about marriage and both sexes are freely enjoying it. But where things get challenging is when women decide they do want a relationship. Some women say they don’t know how to transition to more emotional sex themselves and many men aren’t ready to go there yet.

I get a lot of 20-something submissions form women asking, “Where are the nice normal guys who want to date?” Still others feel it’s a futile cause. I interviewed an amazing 20-something woman who has never been on a date and fears she never will. I would hate to think the art of dating is dead.

As 20-somethings know it…we are in the “post-dating world”. The website and upcoming book, WTF Is Up Is Up With My Love Life deals with how to find love in this dating free zone.

So what is a woman who wants to date to do?  There are plenty of 20-something women who freely admit they aren’t comfortable with the hook up culture that prevails amongst 20-somethings but don’t feel they have many outlets. They feel their choices are either to go with the flow or to go it alone.  The articles go on to say that the only way to change the sexual market supply and demand is for women to join together to make sex less available. In essence taking themselves off the market. This is not likely or desirable. The thing you can do is “to thine own self be true ” as they say.

The 40:20 Vision advice?  Don’t go with the flow if you want something else. If he’s into hooking up and you want a relationship you’re only going to chip away at your self-esteem by staying in the relationship hoping for change. You may not be “in the market” but perhaps that will be your differentiation and will add to your self worth.

As for dating in the post-modern world, 40-spmething women agree the best way to play hard to get is to get into you own life. The natural energy you get from finding things you love to do and spending time doing them will attract more like energy than spending your energy trying to find good men. As Tom Matlock at The Good Men Project told 40:20 Vision:

“It’s a matter of deciding what you want and putting it out there and not settling for less, living your life, having fun, and being patient until the right thing comes along.”

What do you think? If you’d like to weigh in on whether the hook up-culture is making dating obsolete weigh in at one of my favorite new websites, Honestly Now.

Has the art of dating become obsolete in today’s hook-up culture? VOTE NOW!


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