Modern Dating: Progression or Regression?

Modern Dating: Progression or Regression?

For a twenty-something girl, modern dating can be tricky. The rules have changed, the roles have shifted, and expectations have been altered to a point of absolute confusion. Where once the definition of dating was clear and precise now it is .. Well it’s just shades of grey. The shift came along with the evolution of what some writers call the “Manolo Blahnik female”. These women are sexy, sexual, powerful and confusing as hell to men and women alike. To women, she is what we’re expected to be, our goal even: ambitious, self-reliant, independent, sexually confident and free and most importantly, aggressive with our careers, with our futures and with our men. She is the hunter instead of the hunted; the chase instead of the catch. Trust me, you see these women everywhere. She’s the one at the bar in the stiletto heels, the lowcut shirt, the equally low riding jeans checking you out from across the room. If you’re lucky she’ll introduce herself, buy you a drink, take you home and maybe give you her number. To men… she is the answer to their prayers. She does all the work, puts in all the effort, and only expects him to play along and enjoy the ride.

But what about those of us who aren’t “Manolo females”?

I was recently dating this one guy, we’ll call him “Ken”, and the most effort I got out of him were phone calls that eventually degenerated to sporadic text messages and a personal visit but only in private. I had finally convinced him to ask me for a proper date, however sometime during the week “Ken” fell sick but didn’t find it necessary to inform me of this. I ended up inviting him for drinks at a local martini bar that was maybe eight blocks away from my apartment, but even that was too much to ask of the modern male. It’s not that “Ken” as a modern male is scared so much as “Ken” and all other modern males are used to getting what they want and when they don’t they put up a wall instead of putting up a bit of effort.

Now I am not saying that the “Manolo female” would not have been upset had she found herself in this situation. It does beg the question, by becoming the “Manolo female”, did modern women give up the right to be treated like a lady? Have we gained so much power in the business and social world that we no longer expect a little common courtesy from the opposite sex?

The “Manolo female” is perpetually on top… in education, in fitness, in career, in sex… The “Manolo female” is doing all the work now and she doesn’t even realize it. They are chasing men, paying their own way, and it seems as if modern men are simply laying back and enjoying the ride. And who can blame them? We have allowed men to relax and forget that the amount of effort, not the amount in his bank account, is what’s appreciated. When everything is coming to the modern man, why would he feel the need to put in effort where none is required to get what he wants? So when faced with a situation with a woman who requires a bit of effort, the modern man doesn’t know what to do. Scratch that. The modern man knows what to do; he simply feels that he doesn’t have to because soon enough he’ll meet another “Manolo female” who will put in all the effort for him and give him what he wants without him ever having to lift a finger. What women want has changed over the years along with the methods of getting what we want. But not men. Men still want what they’ve wanted before, and the “Manolo female” has made it easier on him.

So what about the rest of us? The so called “Manolo-lights” who, although independent, empowered, confident and sexy, are looking for men who will treat us like a lady? When I can’t even get a modern man to drive the extra eight blocks to meet me for a drink I have to ask myself, has dating as we knew it gone the way of the dodo?


~ by Carrie on May 8, 2006.

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