I am going to let the world in on a secret: I have never been on an actual date.
Yes, I have hung out with boys before, and yes, I have done things like getting lunch or see a movie with them. The thing is, however, is that I do not see these as dates. I see them as two good friends hanging out like anybody else would, even if it is with a guy I like at the time. Maybe it is the generation gap to blame, or maybe our parents are right and technology is hindering our ability to communicate. Maybe people my age still need to grow up a little. Whatever the reason, I feel as though traditional courting, for lack of a better word, is slowly going out of style.
Unless he is a die-hard traditional romantic, I rarely see a guy ask a girl if he can take them to dinner. I rarely see guys opening car doors or moving chairs out for their women. Most irritating of all, I rarely have a guy get out of his car and walk me to the door at the end of the night. It is just drop-her-off-and-leave, these days. Sometimes he speeds off without waiting to see if I made into the house. Of course, this is a very traditional view of dating stemming from centuries of patriarchal rule, but it is also what I grew up on. I admire this boy-handles-the-romantic-things-for-girl type of romance simply because it is familiar, but I am also all for other people switching up the gender roles. I just want that fairytale romance experience I have dreamed of at least once.
I think the problem with people my age is that a whole new sort of culture is taking place. "Netflix and Chill" culture has become more and more popular, especially for people in college. For those who do not already know, "Netflix and Chill" is just slang for hooking up. Sometimes it can lead to two people dating, but more often than not people just become a 'thing," or just sort of together. They like each other, but no definite girlfriend/boyfriend status has been established. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but I know myself and this sort of culture is not for me.
I don't want to think about whether a guy actually means it when he wants to "hang out" for awhile or if he expects something more. I don't want to fall for a guy who is only sort of into me, and I don't want to overanalyze everything he says like is all too common in these sort of relationships. These days, I hear the words "come over and watch a movie" and I immediately get suspicious of his intentions. That is not how I want a relationship to start.
No, I want that magical feeling where the guy asks you to dinner and says he will pick you up at eight. I want the flowers, the fancy restaurants, the nervous chatter — all of it. Just for one night, I want to be superficial and spend my time worrying about what dress I will wear and if the shoes I just bought will match. I want the kiss goodnight and the follow-up date next week. I know I am incredibly young, but I also don't want to waste my time with someone who really is not in it for the long run. I want to know the guy is seriously interested and if I could build a future with him.