Sunday, January 25, 2015

Old School in a New School World

“You say you’re old school, yet you do online dating,” he said.

Once I got over the initial shade that was thrown my way by his comment, I laughed to myself.  I purposely sought male insight on my last blog post regarding my desire to be pursued and the lack thereof among the men I had been dating. And although I may not always understand or agree with their point of view, I appreciate the male perspective, and to say the least, the post stirred an interesting, yet familiar response from them.

When you think about it, the term “old school” and “online dating” don’t necessarily go hand in hand. But I look at this way: We have all shopped at Payless and are familiar with their quality of shoes compared to Nordstrom or Macy’s. Yet when I walk into Payless, I still expect to be treated as a respectable paying customer. And every once in a while, you find that one shoe, your favorite shoe, that will last you years, that you probably could pull out of your closet right now.

Being old school, aka “valuing what both of my fathers taught me about the respect I deserved as a woman,” should not and does not negate the quality and respect I seek after just because I choose to date through a popular online site.  I’m not really sure when having standards of believing a man should pursue, pay on the first date, open doors, pull out chairs, negate the use of a convenient online site.  And I am not really sure when people grew to abhor online dating, or when it became the bottom of the barrel for finding a date, let alone “Mr. Right.” I recently I have found myself defending it in a way that inadvertently defends my desire for relationship and eventually a marriage.  It seems that those who sought relationships the conventional way tend to turn their nose to those who seek unconventional avenues.  I mean, we have all seen the and eHarmony commercials. They all can’t be lying about the many marriages that came from their various sites! Someone had some standards and values they stuck to! I mean, they look so happy on the commercials! LOL

Online dating is almost, if not exactly the same as meeting someone, say, in the grocery store. You don’t know them, they could easily be dating and pursuing others outside of you, and they had plenty of options to choose from as they cruised down the produce aisle, but you just happen to catch their eye. At least with online dating, you aren't just caught on looks alone, but you get a quick synopsis of the persons life in a profile with more than one visual option to gaze upon to figure out if they are to your liking.  Now, do you have to worry about the whole "Catfish" scenario, yes, but that's when you begin to intercede to the Lord fervently before meeting along with a few phone conversations, sending his info to two of your closest friends, and doing a quick Google background check!

I pride myself on being “old school” in a “new school” world.  I am reminded of the terms assimilation and acculturation coined in my Sociology class while matriculating through undergrad, oh so many years ago! “Assimilation is a process whereby people of a culture learn to adapt to the ways of the majority culture. There is a loss of one’s own culture as a person gives more value to the cultural aspects of the majority community..” Acculturation, on the other hand, is the process by which a person adapts to some aspects of the majority culture while maintaining their original customs and beliefs.

I recognize the majority culture and society we live in now. Everything is right at our finger tips with cell phones, laptops, ipads, etc. And even dating has become an “at your finger tip” ability that is convenient, and for which I have chosen to adapt to. It has led me to meet interesting people, experience new restaurants, and learn from my various experiences. But I will always choose to acculturate myself rather than assimilate to the assumed culture that online dating embodies low standards, one-night stands, absent morals and values, and options upon options for the male species to fish through, throwing away as needed. I will find that one good shoe....more like, I will be that Red Bottom black pump that will be found!

So yes, I am old school doing the online dating thing! Sexual chocolate!! (drops the mic, walks away slowly) LOL

Excerpts from "Difference between Acculturation and Assimilation" posted August 9, 2012