Last Friday night my roomie had some of her dude friends over to hang out before we all headed out to the bars. In between pretending I understand their jobs in finance, I overheard the following conversation:
Dude 1: Where’s Johnny?
Dude 2: Oh he’s on a date.
Dude 3: What!? With who?
Dude 2: That girl from the bar last weekend. He is taking her to Capital Grille…
Dude 1: He took her to Capital Grille on the first date?! That place is like 100 bucks a steak.
Dude 3: And I SAW that girl, she was not Capital Grille stuff.
Dude 2: Yeah, that girl was an Applebees.
Dude 1: Seriously. That girl was a Red Lobster. Capital Grille. What an idiot.
Needless to say, all of the women in the room were horrified. I then started bombarding them with questions about if they really, truly decide where to take a girl on a date based on how attractive they are? Not how much they like them? Or their interests?
These guys were all between 23 and 26. And I have noticed a trend in men of this age and generation, and it is this: They rarely date. As in, take women on dates. And if they do, the dates are few and far in between.
In college, it was easy to avoid “real” dating without seeming ungentlemanly; we were all broke, and it was extremely easy to meet people and spend time with them socially without ever having to leave campus. I only went on dates with guys AFTER I was already dating them. The only actual “getting to know you” date I went on in college was with a woman. My college sweetheart was basically the nicest guy I have ever met, and very sensitive. But even he never asked me on “date” dates. In our “courting” days, we did go for a walk around campus as the sun was setting, however. We spent about 50 minutes deciding which bench was the best for making out on. We spent the rest of our pre-couple period making out at parties and in lofted dorm beds.
But when I found myself single after college, I guess I sort of had some weird idea that I would go on these grown up dates, to dinners and concerts and fancy parties. I didn’t know people who threw fancy parties, but I expected them to somehow scuttle out of the woodwork like roaches after you turn the lights off. I went on about three dates in 6 months. Two of them were with the same guy, and the other was with a 40 year old recently divorced guy I met at karaoke, so he doesn’t fit in the generation I am scrutinizing.
My current boyfriend DID take me on dates in the few weeks before he was my boyfriend. Unfortunately, we had been friends for 10 years before, and so I thought we were just hanging out, and he was paying. I didn’t understand they were dates. We even held hands at a museum exhibit, and I STILL didn’t understand they were dates. In fact, I invited some other guy I was interested in to dinner with us directly afterward. It was awkward. I am dumb. But I am not alone.
A friend of mine went through an idiotic experience where she was seeing this guy for about three months who wouldn’t take her on a date. He would invite her over to watch movies a la college, he would invite her out with his friends, shower her in free booze at the bar—proving it probably wasn’t a money issue. He even invited her over to have dinner with his parents near the end—proving that he probably did like her…he didn’t think she was “an Applebees.” But he seemed incapable of taking her out. The idiotic bit was not on his part. He obviously had no idea he should be be taking her to do something—anything. The idiotic bit was that she REFUSED to sleep with him until he did. He never did, they never did, and they stopped seeing each other. Poor guy.
I am not sure why the majority of guys in my age bracket seem incapable of taking a woman out. We can’t even talk about where to take her, or argue if the guy should pay or not if they won’t even invite her out of the apartment. The dudesters in the above convo all seemed surprised that their friend was even on a date in the first placel What single 24 year old man goes on dates, they wondered. As if Dude 2 had told them all Johnny was spending his evening lifting tires with his teeth, or something equally as ridiculous.
I know this is not a conscious thing men are doing…at least I hope. And honestly part of me blames our ease in communication. Ten years ago if you wanted to see a girl, you called her on the phone and made plans. Why call a girl when you can text her? And why make plans when you can say “You going to Tigins this weekend? Word. Me too. See you there :)”
This can’t be all the man’s fault. That is just unfair. Females have to be part of the problem too. Maybe they don’t ask us out because they know we will eventually sleep with them anyway? Or maybe because women these days give of an air of independence that says “Please don’t try to buy me dinner.” If this was just a problem that only I had when I was single, I would just maybe think I was “an Applebees” and go cry in a bathtub whilst feeling bad about myself. But the majority of my female friends lament over this issue, even the one’s that are so funny/hot/smart/sweet/ they are clearly “Capital Grilles.” I don’t know. Someone tell me. It’s an epidemic of sorts.
To get a bit of perspective, I asked a few of my most sensitive male mates—ones I consider as the type to take a girl out—if they take girls on dates. Out of the ten I asked, two responded yes, five responded no, and three just didn’t respond probably because the answer is no and they knew I would then judge them.
Bonus points for the ice skating and paintball. Not so much for that last bit…Let’s have another…
That last one may or may Notice I also asked what they DO on these dates? And if they pay. That’s another article for another day. The point of THIS rant is if you like someone, TAKE A GIRL OUT FOR F*CK’S SAKE. Don’t text her all week long and then try to follow her home from the bar on Friday. That’s just douchey. Unless, of course, you don’t like her, and just want to sleep with her. Then go ahead and commence with the douchbaggery.
Next week, one of iEG’s own writers, Andrew Johnson. who also happens to be eligible young vegan and SINGLE (unicorn alert) will be giving a little dating advice to 20 something dudes. I know there are some sensitive guys out there, but even the male friends I asked—and I only asked my crème de la crème of male friends…not the asshats who had the above conversation—seemed to be a bit clueless. Some, not all.
Okay, Gen Y women, do you go on many dates? Gen Y men, do you take many women out? Why or why not. Everyone from EVERY generation–has dating changed? What is wrong with us?
The Lusty Vegan is a lifestyle and sex column focusing on living and loving as a twenty-something year old vegan. More rants from Zoe Eisenberg can be found at www.sexytofu.com. Follow her on Twitter @Sexytofublog.