My 48-year-old friend told me about his dating experience with a millennial. They went on one date. She didn’t want to date him again, and she told him why. She said, he blew it because he wasn’t confident enough to ask for sex.
I once dated a millennial, too. Second date, he invited me to his place. I seriously — seriously! — thought he wanted me to play a card game with him and his flatmates. When I arrived and saw he was living by himself… Well, we were not playing cards, I can tell you that for sure.
It seems like Millennials are going on dates with the purpose of having sex.
As for us, gen-X, although hookups can happen, they are not the norm. And they are certainly not expected. At least not with the gen-X guys that I dated thus far.
My dating experience is 180 degrees different from what I read about.
A few months ago, when I started actively looking for dates on my favorite dating app, I was confused.
I haven’t dated much in my life, and my confidence needed a serious boost.
Naturally, I turned to Google for some dating advice, which only made things worst. I started questioning my own intuition.
And when I finally did go on a date with a lovely (gen-X) man, I got confused. I started wondering if he expected to have sex with me, even though he did not do anything to hint that that was the case.
Nevertheless, I fucked it up with my insecurities. I wrote about it.
Lo and behold, some of my readers gave me the best dating advice.
The main point of difference between the experts’ advice and my readers’ advice is that the experts give advice for dating the stereotypical guy, one that just wants to get into your panties. My readers, on the other hand, gave advice for dating with multi-dimensional people. Ones that are seeking connection and have good intentions. And, yes, sometimes give mixed signals. In short, my readers gave me advice about dating real people.
Now, with the help of my readers’ advice under my sleeve, coupled with valuable feedback I received from the first guy I dated, my confidence is soaring.
I’m confident to let people know that I’m vulnerable. Confident to let them know what I’m looking for while avoiding the formulaic ‘interview questions’ a-la “what are you looking for in a relationship?”. Confident to take my time getting to know guys before forming any opinions.
Most importantly, I am confident that I won’t be devastated every time I’ll be rejected.
I feel open and happy.
Not surprisingly at all, I seem to be attracting the right sort of men for my gen-X archaic dating habits.
Now, after implementing my readers’ advice, I formed my own rules for dating, gen-X style.
My gen-X rules for dating (applicable to anyone who is not into hookup culture):
- Not going on dates with everyone. I don’t respond to every person that contacts me on the dating app. I only go with those that I feel a genuine connection with. And I always (charmingly) insist on a phone call before I meet someone new. I am not going to waste my time meeting someone with whom I have nothing to talk about.
- Being upfront, in a non-confronting way. For example, the other day I spoke to someone on the phone for the first time. He seemed really enthusiastic and eager to meet. An alarm bell went off in my head: is he one of those who are overtly excited then lose their interest at the first sign of me being other-than-perfect? So I asked him. I said: “I have to be totally honest with you, and this is coming from recent experiences that I had, of guys being really keen and then disappear when they realize I’m a human being that makes mistakes”. Guess what? He didn’t phase. And if he did, that probably would have meant that my alarm bell was spot-on.
The moral of this point is, that being radically honest is much better than trying to hide my insecurities. Because then they tend to pop their head up accompanied by some ugly stupid emotional shit.
- First dates are usually a daytime event, and I make sure my date knows I have specific plans afterward. So we both know, there’s no “shall we go to my place or yours?” at the end.
- Always giving a warm hug when meeting someone.
I don’t wait for the guy to lead the way there. I want our dating to start with a warm hug, and that’s what I go for. A warm hug is friendly and sets a perfect tone for a connecting type of conversation.
- Offering to pay my share.
I know, I know, I know. This is the awkward moment when it’s time to pay. I always offer to pay.
So far, no guy has ever let me pay (with one exception: that millennial dude). In any case, I do not expect strangers to pay for me, so I thank them wholeheartedly when they do, and I sometimes say something like, “next time it’s on me”.
- Assuming that the guy was not a complete jerk, I would go for another hug at the end of the date. I haven’t been on dates with any nincompoops as of yet (see rule #1, it helps), but even if I know I don’t want to see the guy again, I would initiate a hug. Although in this case, it will probably not be as warm as the hug from rule #4.
- If the guy doesn’t explicitly say that he wants to see me again by the end of the date, I don’t stress about it. I used to, and to be fair, some of my readers suggested it’s a good idea to ask if they want to see me again before we part ways. But I decided against it. I am now feeling happy and confident enough to let them sit with it for as long as they need before they decide if they want to see me again.
- I used to wait for the guy to follow up after the date, and feel desperate if I didn’t hear from someone that I liked. Somewhere I read that guys, when they are interested, let a woman know. And I’ve been there, I know that’s true. However, and this is something I credit my readers for, now I understand that some guys need a bit of encouragement. And some guys are just not sure yet. So now, if I don’t hear from a guy after a date, I casually contact them and ask how they’re doing. And I don’t take it to heart if they’re not interested.
Actually, at this stage, there are a couple of potential guys on my radar. All as interesting as the one I just met. This means that if one guy doesn’t want to see me, I might be disappointed, but not disheartened. I’ll simply move to the NIL.
Non-hookup dating might seem strange to you if you are mainly used to hookup-style dating. You might not see the point.
As for me, I am not into having sex with people that I hardly know. I never was, and I doubt I ever will be. I prefer having sex by myself than with a stranger.
But I am looking forward to getting to know someone well enough and to have partnered sex again.
In the meantime, I keep learning about dating. From my own mistakes, from guys I am dating, and from my readers.
Originally published in the MakeLoveRevolution blog.