Biggest Changes in Dating from the ’90s Until Now

Technology and culture have shifted since the ’90s, and the dating skills men need have changed as a result. For a brief breakdown of some of the dating skills that didn’t matter so much 20 years ago – but are absolutely crucial now – read on.

Online dating

Two decades ago online dating was virtually non-existent. It was seen as nothing more than a last-ditch effort for desperate people. But now? Online dating has become wildly popular, and transformed into one of the best ways for couples to meet.

So while the ability to succeed in online dating is a dating skill that didn’t matter in the ’90s, it’s incredibly important now. To ensure success in this arena don’t do what a lot of guys do and burn yourself out spending hours and hours searching for girls and trying to craft the “perfect message.” Online dating is very much a numbers game, and your time is better spent messaging multiple girls quickly, before moving on to something else. As a general guide you should look to spend 15-20 minutes per day using online dating, messaging just two or three girls in that time. By putting this little bit of effort in each day, you’ll avoid burnout and put yourself in position to start meeting a lot of women.

Dating Apps

Dating apps are becoming just as big as traditional dating sites. So using dating apps effectively is another important dating skill didn’t exist back in the ’90s.

The key to using dating apps effectively starts with using quality pictures in your profile. You want your pictures to go beyond just showing what you look like, and actually convey your personality and lifestyle. So forget the bathroom mirror selfie and go with shots that show more of who you are. Use pictures of you traveling, out with friends, or doing something active (a nice shot of you in a suit can also be a great way to get women interested). If you don’t have these kinds of pictures already, make a point to get some. Pictures play such a huge role in your success with dating apps that it’s worth taking the time to get them right.

Social Media

Another piece of technology that’s changing the dating world is social media. Now girls you meet have a chance to find out all about you and your lifestyle before you even go on a date. You want to make sure then that your social media outlets are working for you, not against you.

So take a look at your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts (even LinkedIn) and make sure they’re giving off a favorable impression. Avoid pictures and comments that paint an unfavorable picture and would turn women off (pictures of you chugging a beer, comments where you’re negative or complaining, etc.). Instead keep your accounts fun and positive. That way those women who do a little “background research” will become much more excited for the chance to spend time with you.

Texting

Perhaps the most important dating skill that didn’t really exist in the ’90s is texting. Phone calls have become a thing of the past for a lot of people, so if you’re going to flirt and build attraction with a girl when she’s not around, you’re likely going to do it over text.

A great technique you can use when flirting with girls over text is guessing her answers to any question you ask. This can add a touch of fun and playfulness to an otherwise dull text. For example, rather than asking a girl “What are you doing this weekend?” you can ask something like “What are you doing this weekend? Let me guess…taking a speed knitting class so you can make me a scarf! You’re so sweet ?”

Defining What You Want

Aside from the technological changes that have occurred over the years there’s also been some cultural changes that have affected the dating skills men need. For example, nowadays the lines that define what a relationship is and can be have become increasingly blurred. This can be great as it gives you more options to create the relationship you want, but can also create confusion and uncertainty.

So a dating skill that’s becoming increasingly important is the ability to define what it is you’re looking for in a relationship. When it comes to doing this, the sooner you can let a girl know exactly what kind of relationship you want the better off you’ll be. Doing so allows you to know right away if you’re on the same page which can save you both a lot of drama down the road.

A real date

A dating skill that’s been lost over the years is simply taking the girl out on a real date. Younger guys in particular are more inclined to just invite women over to hang out as part of a group as opposed to dating one-on-one. The trouble just “hanging out” leaves the girl uncertain of what your intentions are or where the two of you stand.

So if you’re interested in a girl beyond friendship or casual hookups, invite her on date that’s just the two of you. Find a fun activity that you can do together (live music, an improve show, cook dinner together, etc.) and get to know each other on a deeper level. As for what to say when you invite her out, be direct and honest with your intentions. Let her know that yes, this is a real date. And make it easier for her to commit by giving her a specific date and time to get together (as opposed to just asking “Want to go out sometime?).

More dating skills for men

For more tips on how to succeed with women, be sure to follow the Art of Charm on Facebook. That way you can stay up-to-date on all the latest podcasts and articles that are filled with the dating skills men need to succeed with women.

Brian M - author of 191 posts on The Art of Charm

Once he realized attraction was something he could learn, Brian spent way too much of his free time studying and practicing everything he could find on the subject. He stumbled across The Art of Charm podcast and eventually signed up for an AoC bootcamp. Excited by the progress he's made in his own life since the program, he decided to start writing for AoC to help other guys do the same. By writing about interpersonal dynamics, he’s finally able to put that psychology degree to good use.

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in Art of Dating, Dating Tips

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