informal_homeHaving been out of the dating game for most of my life (read more about why in my website) I am pretty clueless as to what that scene is like.  I imagine some variation exists by age group due to use of social media, texting, and smart phones.  Or maybe “dating” in order to meet new friends or to establish intimate and loving partnerships is dead.  Perhaps more people are jumping from “Hello, how are you?” to “Let’s move in together to save money.”  Please set me straight on this one!

I’m also curious as to the dating habits of New Englanders and Bostonians as opposed to people living in other parts of the country.  It is a well-known truism that the Boston crowd can be tough, that making new friends takes forever around here.  I’m sure there are many stories to tell.   I’d like to hear from you.

What about the dating scene for straight men and women as opposed to for gay men and lesbians?  Part of me believes human nature is the same across the board regarding the ways in which people tend to interact in social and intimate circumstances.  Just how jaded is the gay community toward dating?  Is there more or less resistance to forming committed relationships for gay men, for lesbians, for straight couples?  I’m willing and anxious to find out more and hoping that many readers will contribute their experiences and thoughts on the reply section of this post.

I do have a few observations:

  • A lot of men and women are not entirely aware of or comfortable with their feelings and they still have a tough time expressing them.
  • Many do not take dating seriously enough; they treat it like a game, rather than the building of a possible relationship based in mutual respect and love.
  • Most daters do not receive a follow-up thank-you phone call, email or text.
  • Judgments based on sexual performance trump the slow and deliberate period of getting to know each other or even discussing these issues beforehand.
  • People are entering the dating world with a lot more baggage than before: former spouses, minor (or major) criminal records, substance abuse, financial problems, children, employment challenges.
  • Many still are not facing the negative effects caused by their dysfunctional family of origin or the divorce of their parents.
  • There is more loneliness out there than ever before.
  • Commitment phobia is also greater than ever.
  • Expectations about physical health and personal finances are either too high or too low.
  • There is a genuine desire to listen, greater empathy, and a sincere effort to help one another, even before commitments are made.

So readers, what do you think.  Help me flesh out what the challenges in dating are today.

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