Have you considered trying old-school dating?

If you are an actively dating female, you are likely using dating apps to meet men. Yes, they are quick and easy, you can manage several meetings in a single night--and over time there have been more and more relationships that began by swiping right. But how are they working for you? If the answer is not so good, the following may sound familiar:

Guys seem to be focused on physical appearance and apps make this worse

The men you are meeting seem to be distracted or in a hurry to get to the
next date

It seems everyone you meet is only looking for fun and sex

It feels like hooking up is a prerequisite to getting a second or third date

While it's true that the dating app culture can be characterized by all the above, there are plenty of single men out there who would like to meet women who want more than a casual hook-up or brief affair. Often they can be found in all the usual places and using all the same apps and social networking sites to connect, but with a secret hope that she just might be in the right place at the right time. After all, where else can a girl go to meet guys? Where indeed.

Consider the experience of one woman, Jochebed Smith, who wrote an essay titled Swearing off the Modern Man for the NY Times "Modern Love" essay contest. Ms. Smith began by describing her frustrating experiences dating the Modern Man. "He's the guy who is always plugged in to his iPhone 6 Plus, wants to start a blog, has a favorite microbrewery and a fun Twitter feed. He is well dressed, cultured and cool." The problem with this kind of guy according to Smith is that "he's not into labels," the translation being, into words like relationship.

Ms. Smith decided to do something radical and get off the social media dating grid. She began by unfollowing and unfriending her ex, then "swearing off modern men." After doing so she met a man who was older, mature and off the grid. They met through a mutual friend, went on old-fashioned dates and began a relationship. She describes face to face conversations, deep exchanges about ideas and books they had read, mutual talk about future hopes and dreams--and no interruptions from or communications through electronic devices. Sounds pretty interesting, doesn't it?

But the relationship ended and Ms. Smith talked about her sense of loss and grief--a feeling of true heartbreak as opposed to something much less in past break-ups with men she had dated. Her attachment was much deeper with this man, not loudly splashed across her social media pages, just a quiet and endearing presence in her life and heart.

She signed up for Tinder after the break-up, but the first meet-up just didn't do it for her and she decided she wanted to remain old-school in her dating life. She does confess to rereading his texts on her phone as she tried to deal with her loss and finally, wrote him a letter (yes, one that required an envelope and stamp) in order to seek a final bit of closure. Days later she got a text from him that read, I miss you too. We don't know what happened after that, but we can hope that they found their way back together.

The take away from this young author's new approach to dating is something every woman could learn from. If you are tired of dating scenarios in which technology is the ever-present fifth wheel, if hook-ups aren't your thing and you want more, if you are exhausted from swiping right and then going on revolving door dates, the emotional energy you spend checking his social media posts looking for clues as to what he is doing and what he might be feeling about meeting you, spending time with you, or the hook-up you had, and/or you can't get any closure because his presence is always popping up--consider a different approach to dating. What have you got to lose except all those frustrating hours doing the same things over and over again looking for someone who wants what you want? It's dating season, don't waste another moment.

Want to read other articles on this subject?

"Assessing your date's possibilities by the venue they choose"
List of more "Help With Dating" articles

"Is he the marrying kind?"


Toni Coleman, LCSW
Phone: 703-847-1768


Copyright 2008 Antoinette Coleman. All rights reserved.

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