Just like it is an impossible task to explain the context of memes to grandparents, it is impossible to learn the art of dating from them. This is not because they did not know how to do it, but because lifestyle, thought processes, exposure avenues and cultural contexts were different during their times. Now things have changed thanks to world events, movements, and technological innovations to name a few. So what worked for them is no longer applicable now.
For example, take technology. Previously you would need introductions in person; letters by post could follow at snail-mail pace; followed by meetings over tea a couple of times; and so on. Now, because of the Internet, connecting with people has become easier,instant, while demanding its own set of etiquette – something your grandparents are not versed in and hence cannot guide you.
Then take the example of the cultural changes like women’s empowerment movements that are gaining rapid momentum. In this case, what you had probably taught yourself painstakingly is suddenly irrelevant. You had learnt the man should pay the bill. Yesterday the woman expected it. Today if you do it, she might get angry. If you did not drop a woman home after a date, she would have found it oddthe day before. Today she will be offended if you suggest you want to save her the trouble of finding her way home. How do you keep up with what women want?
And there’s the current education system. It makes sure sex education is on the curriculum, it gives teachers condoms to distribute, but it does not teach anything about relationships, courtship rituals nor how to even approach a girl to strike up a conversation. You are taught all about how to climb the corporate ladder and manage your finances. But you do not learn how the human heart and mind works. Hollywood and Korean dramas make matters worse, giving impressionable minds a false idea of how dating works in real life between common people. They mimic, and don’t understand why they fail.
Yes dating is tough nowadays. Those who, through trial and error, manage to learn the tricks of the trade get lucky. Those who cannot, feel like losers.
But no longer. Try out a few simple suggestions and see what works for you. Common sense says, something will.
Get on a dating platform. There, you are already one step in the right direction, because the women listed there are on it because of the same reason as you. So you don’t need to go through the process of finding out if she is looking out. Swipe your way through getting to know them till you feel you want to meet someone in particular. In the process you will also learn a lot of relevant social and communication skills.
Pick up a skill by enrolling in a class. Choose something you are interested in so that you enjoy the classes. At the same time you will get to meet new and different kinds of people. There will always be a common ground of talk – the class subject. This will facilitate the way to other conversations which could bring you closer to women you find easy to get along with. Try going for interactive classes like salsa or theatre. Don’t take a friend along. You will be going there to make new friends, and not hang with old ones.
Read contemporary dating-related non-fiction. A few suggestions are ‘Double YourDating’ by David DeAngelo, ‘Why Men Love Bitches’ by Sherry Argov, and ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie.
If nothing else works, take the help of a good matchmaking service. The fee you pay them will be worth the homework they do to get you to meet women you have the highest chance of hitting it off with. It’s their job.