10 Ways The Dating World Needs To Change

10 Ways The Dating World Needs To Change ©iStock/Squaredpixels

As we embark on a new year, the tradition is to look back on the one behind us and consider what went right, what went wrong, and how this year can be improved. In that spirit, here are some ways I think the dating world desperately needs to change in 2016:

  1. “Netflix and chill” needs to die already. The other option is to replace it with actually watching Netflix and chilling. Using Netflix in a lame attempt to hook up while making zero effort is both sleazy and a sacrilege to those of us who appreciate the awesomeness of Netflix sans sex. In 2016, guys need to have more respect for women and for the almighty Netflix.
  2. We need to stop “hanging out” and actually date. Somewhere along the line, people stopped asking for dates and that’s both sad and confusing. When we’re “hanging out,” it’s hard to tell if someone likes you just as a friend or more. Thanks to hookup culture, even physical affection doesn’t mean definitively that it’s romantic. Let’s stop with the ambiguity already and let our intentions be known.
  3. Marriage and family shouldn’t be something only crazy people want. Having a family is the ultimate accomplishment, so why are we judged for having such an admirable goal? There’s nothing wrong with being a little bit old fashioned and expecting a real commitment. Even the biggest player is probably going to realize at some point that he wants a real family, and by then he’ll have driven away all the nice girls, so maybe it’s time to rethink the way we make love decisions.
  4. Unsolicited penis pics need to go away forever. Guys, we know you’re proud, but the harsh truth is that your penis on its own is not sexy. It becomes sexy when we get to know you and like who you are, so you’d be better off keeping it in your pants until we want to see it.
  5. “The Talk” needs to be an expected and perfectly normal thing. When you’ve been dating someone and it seems to be going well, everyone knows that “The Talk” is going to come up; that honest conversation about where the relationship is going and if there’s a future. The truth is, there’s nothing about that talk to dread; if one of you isn’t feeling it or you don’t share the same life goals, you get to move on without wasting too much time or emotion. If you’re both on the same page, well, you may have just won the jackpot.
  6. Everyone needs to stop playing games. This goes out to the ladies as well. When you’re playing hard to get or pretending to be busy all the time to make him want you more, you’re not helping the cause. If we stopped playing and responding to these stupid games, we would all be better off.
  7. We need to stop being so shallow. If you’re looking for forever, it makes no sense to base your decision mostly on how someone looks. Everyone ages and their looks fade, so it makes a lot more sense to get to know someone and make your decision based on who they are inside.
  8. We need to talk and listen more. I’m not talking about serious relationship talks all the time; I mean talking about real things, like current events and philosophy. Real conversations are fun and people who know how to have them are awesome.
  9. We should have less one night stands and more all-night cuddles. Think about it; which one is more enjoyable in the long term? Plus, the all night cuddle with someone you’ve known longer than a couple hours will lead to much better sex than the drunken hookup with a random stranger.
  10. We need to realize that love is a four letter word but it’s not a bad one. In a world where dating serves several purposes, including status symbols and simple physical satisfaction, love is sometimes falsely dismissed as something that’s only for women and effeminate sappy guys. In 2016, let’s bring back the real love that we all want and deserve.
Anna Martin Yonk is a freelance writer and blogger in sunny North Carolina. She loves hanging out with her goofy husband and two rescue dogs and can be found at the beach with a drink in hand whenever possible. You can find her on Instagram @mrsyonkdogmom or on her Facebook page.