Changing the rules

Changing the rules

All games have rules – so it is not surprising that the ‘dating game’ be exempt.

Earlier, the rules were strict – men approached women, in fact, they approached a woman’s father to ask for permission to date and once granted, took the lady in question to carefully screened and approved eating places or to a movie, more often than not, chaperoned by someone from the girl’s family. There was a strict curfew and maintaining it was of primary importance. The courtship period was long and drawn out, with the couple exploring each other’s minds and personalities in time, with brief, infrequent meetings.
Now, with online dating instead of actually meeting physically being the norm – and free access to each other’s every thought thanks to the internet, the rules of the dating game and indeed, friendship, has changed a lot.

Nowadays, anyone can freely look up people they are interested in thanks to social networking sites such as FaceBook. Earlier, the mystery of not knowing your crush’s whereabouts or friends and likes kept the interest alive. Now, one can find out everything about a potential boyfriend or girlfriend in a matter of minutes.

‘Stalking’ has also become an accepted norm – never mind that the word has negative connotations. And the major change that has come about the dating game is that the roles have been reversed and how. Now, it is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged to be the one to ask a man/boy out. Girls were always told that it is not ladylike to do this; however, now being ladylike only translates into missed opportunities.
While this is a general rule, there are confusing rules that go completely against this forward behaviour. For example, apparently, once your crush has noticed you exist because you made it amply evident, it is not good manners to respond to any kind of overtures immediately. Basically, the play-hard-to-get routine still fascinates today’s teen, but they give it a whole new dimension.

Since accessing one another is so simple and immediate, the girl should wait for at least 4 hours before responding. They should never reply to texts or messages online post midnight and they should also never write long emails – apparently this is revealing too much about the self. The man should be left wanting to know more.

All these rules, in our opinion, are indicative of the present generations confusion when it comes to expressing emotions. What is the harm in getting to know someone you like? Similarly, what is the problem in revealing details about yourself in a mail or texting the poor soul minutes after he has texted you?

Perhaps, it is these very same mind-games that are making the relationships of the present day so fragile and short. Wouldn’t it be easier to just be yourself? If you want to reply to a message reply – you should not be timing, analysing and calculating your every move when it comes to love or friendship.

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