By Tyomi Morgan –Blackdoctor.org
“Netflix and chill” has been the topic of many memes and discussions recently on social media and it speaks to the current conditions of the dating scene. “Hooking up” and “kicking back” have replaced the traditional first date activities where serious daters actually invested time in getting to know each other beyond physical attraction.
It’s sad to say, but the average new age millennial has lost sight of what it actually means to court. Tinder, SoulSwipe and apps of the like are partially responsible for the lack of substance-filled interaction in the dating arena, but their existence doesn’t mean it’s the end of traditional dating all together. Existing within the shadows of hookup culture are hopeless romantics who continue to appreciate the aroma of fresh flowers and the ambiance of a candle lit dinner.
But how can one that fits in this category go about dating in a culture that seems to have lost its romantic touch? If you’re looking to date seriously in today’s sexually charged climate, here are a few pieces of advice to keep you off of the couch.
Set standards early on.
If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything, and chances are if you don’t set your standards early on you will be suckered into spending an evening on a couch eating Chinese takeout and surfing late night television before your shirt is over your head on the way to the floor. There is nothing wrong with a cozy night in, but that type of dating activity is better suited for a couple that has had its fair share of adventures outside of the home. Create a level of standard in the beginning that meets your preferences in dating etiquette and don’t be shy about letting your standards be known.
Talk about interests.
In a hookup culture, penetrating the doorway of the bedroom is the initial goal and with that anticipation comes conversations about sex. To avoid the “smash or pass” scenario work on keeping topics of discussion away from sex as much as possible. Work on getting to know each other’s interests, commonalities, last names perhaps. The goal is to have conversation that holds more substance than “how do you like it” and “where do you want it”. Work on getting to know your romantic interest outside of the bedroom first. At some point, two attractive adults will begin to compliment each other and sexual attraction may be apparent. However, the boundaries that have been set will gauge how you deal with flirtation.
Think outside of the living room.
You have a brain. USE IT. The days of being challenged to use our imaginations may seem like they were left in preschool, but as an adult it’s just as important to flex your mental skills in thinking of creative ways to enjoy life with a romantic partner. The world is so big and there are so many activities that can bring wonderful experiences to two individuals looking to get serious beyond “getting busy”. Go on an afternoon date to the museum, hit an amusement park or take a road trip out of town to a nearby attraction that will keep both of you active in the experience together. The couch dates are cool for when you’re more settled in your relationship, but the beginning sets the standard for the entire relationship. Make the first impression a good impression.
Plan to do something interactive.
Dinner dates or movie outings are typical of traditional daters, but these activities can limit conversation and interaction. Plan a bowling outing or a fun game of laser tag to break the ice and bring a rush of adrenaline. Putting a competitive edge into the date will help bring out personality and not the representative many try to use to represent them during first encounters.
Place sex on the back burner.
Sex is always going to be a forethought between two people who are attracted to each other physically, but to avoid falling into the “Netflix and chill” trap leave the possibility of entering into sex on the backburner. The 90 day rule of requiring a significant other to wait three months before entering into sexual activity could be a helpful method to keep sex out of the foreground. Whatever method is used, work on making sex the last thing on your dating list instead of the first and avoid situations where sexual activity could occur.
Create a list of ideal dates.
If you have a list of exciting activities you can experience with your significant other outside of the home, you will be less likely to default to a night in. Beginning a courting relationship with a list of exciting activities that the both of you can enjoy together is another great suggestion on how to avoid the “Netflix and chill” trap.
A cozy movie night in is a perfect alternative for a couple that has some time invested, but for the dating hopeful that is looking for a long-term commitment outside of sexual attraction, “Netflix and chill” is a setup for short-term satisfaction.