Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Been told by a young colleague today that people don't date now

(57 Posts)
Sherbert37 Thu 13-Jun-13 23:36:26

Colleague in his late 20s was telling me how people go straight to fooling around in bed or having sex, then text and flirt after and never really date now. Is this really true? Would a 40 year old man expect that too or are the generations so different? Colleague couldn't believe I hadn't been out with anyone since my marriage broke up several years ago. I can't imagine doing what he described. Gulp!

LessMissAbs Thu 13-Jun-13 23:38:54

Pretty much so. Or they hang around each other in the same group of friends for months, maybe years, before eventually and stutteringly getting together.

I'm 29 and have never been on a date with someone I haven't already shagged/fooled around with. That said my experience is limited ad I've been with dp for 11 years!

But no, when I was a teen no-one 'dated', we hooked up in pubs and clubs, usually having met through mutual friends, often having known each other for a while.

BlueSkySunnyDay Thu 13-Jun-13 23:50:47

If you are in your 40s, I would assume you would be dating people of your own age? In which case I think you are quite safe to assume dating is still OK...well put it this way, if I were single your colleagues scenario would not be the way I would want to do things.

Sherbert37 Thu 13-Jun-13 23:52:16

Thanks for your replies. Getting my confidence back enough to flirt but still seems a very big leap to go straight to sex. Need to do something though or it'll be me and the dog rattling around at home for the next 40 years. Well, not the dog sadly!

BlueSkySunnyDay Thu 13-Jun-13 23:59:13

Well have a ramble about in the relationships section here (particularly with regard to internet dating) its pretty much a blueprint of what not to do

Startail Fri 14-Jun-13 00:02:52

I'm 45 and DH and I fell into bed together, got engaged and got married without going in a 'Date'.

I still joke DH has never actually booked a restaurant table and taken me out.

Sherbert37 Fri 14-Jun-13 00:05:49

But how well did you know him before Startail? Could imagine perhaps doing that with someone I had known for a while as part of a larger group but not from an Internet date. Over thinking this!

Startail Fri 14-Jun-13 00:14:35

I'd met him once for three days at the same conference exactly a year before and we'd hardly spoken as I was with my BF.

Hadn't thought about him in between at all.

Said BF was very sweet and very shy and thus DH is the only person I have ever slept with.

BlueSkySunnyDay Fri 14-Jun-13 00:15:07

Yeah but Sherbert, if you think to when we were younger grin there were always girls who did do it that way, it doesn't mean everyone does.

When we were younger and my friend got upset about being "used" because yet another one night stand hadn't phoned her - I had to point out that in that circumstance you are both agreeing to spend the night together not date - chances are you wont see them again.

These days you have the choice of playing the game how you want, in theory - just don't over think

Dontlookattheknees Fri 14-Jun-13 00:25:06

I'm a young person. I go (did go) on dates. They do still exist.

NoRainNoRainbow Fri 14-Jun-13 00:31:51

I'm in my mid twenties, I've always been on dates......I'm single again now. Now Im frightend! confused I've never had a one night stand, wouldn't even know how to go about it....what's the etiquette???

I'm going to be alone forever......wahhhhhhhhh <flails about on bed dramatically>

WafflyVersatile Fri 14-Jun-13 00:34:44

'british people don't date. they have a series of one night stands then realise they are living together'.

you don't have to do it that way, especially if you're older. plenty of dates happening on Online Dating sites.

ALittleStranger Fri 14-Jun-13 00:43:56

I'm late 20s. People do still go on dates, especially with the rise of online dating. But it's true that if people hook up with someone from their existing social/work circle they'll go straight to drunken shagging rather than dating and then never speak of it again or end up living together, but surely that was ever thus?

Discomama Fri 14-Jun-13 02:32:58

I'm newly single, pushing 40 and I've just been asked out on a date via online dating and he seems very nice and terribly handsome, I'm excited about going on dates, I'm certainly not averse to the occasional one night stand but to have the build up from a few dates smile we haven't been out yet......

garlicgrump Fri 14-Jun-13 02:46:50

Erm, I'm 58 and have done it both ways all my life! Your colleague's describing 'social sex', which is hardly a new phenomenon. All 20-year-olds think they've just invented it, though, so don't disillusion him wink

Some people are comfortable with inserting body parts before they've exchanged phone numbers. Some are too crap at conversation to manage a date. Some prefer to know each other really well before getting out the body parts. Play it by ear. Have fun!

BOF Fri 14-Jun-13 03:14:31

I agree with Garlic- look on any thread here about how people met their partners: there are plenty of posters who met their partners, shagged them, and never looked back. Equally, lots of them dated.

It takes all sorts.

scarecrow22 Fri 14-Jun-13 03:26:38

when you have drunk.tea sit comfortably and upright, take in good deep breaths and exhale slowly, really focussing on the breath and life giving oxygen coming iiiin ....and ...ouuuuut.

repeat...

have to go back to bed as am alone with 9 week old and toddler and a but destroyed, but holding your hand and will check in at next feed smile

keep breathing!

scarecrow22 Fri 14-Jun-13 03:27:53

sorry, so tired posted on wrong thread!
good luck dating...I'm 42 and would want to date first FWIW.

HullMum Fri 14-Jun-13 04:17:23

I think English people have weird dating rituals. It's all a bit "lets get drunk and shag, so we don't feel so socially akward about doing what we want to do". Just my take on it.

Sherbert37 Fri 14-Jun-13 05:54:45

Garlicgrump - said colleague thinks he has invented everything and is number one in all areas, haha. Think he is a bit bemused by me and my principles. I cheekily asked him what his qualifications were for dispensing dating tips as I wouldn't want to be receiving dodgy advice. He proudly texted back that he has exactly xx years of qualifications. Oh for the confidence of the young. Flirty texting with him is great fun but just need to find someone nearer my age to be brave with.

garlicgrump Fri 14-Jun-13 06:09:21

grin Well, if you want a confidence boost and it wouldn't ruin things at work, I reckon you could blow flirty Mr Know-It-All right out of orbit! You'd even be doing him a favour by sharing your experience wink

VivaLeBeaver Fri 14-Jun-13 06:34:23

I was thinking how shocking, then realised that's what me and dh did. Knew each other through mutual friends for years, got drunk one night and ended up in bed. But we did date after that.

niceupthedance Fri 14-Jun-13 06:34:52

Sounds about right to me. I've heard the phrase "I'm not looking to go on a date" quite a few times recently! I'm 39, latest 'hookup' is 32, neither of us want a relationship, though it might be different (regarding dates) for those that do.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 14-Jun-13 06:35:19

Sherbert - I think you should have sex with flirty bloke at work. Sounds like he wants it!

OrangeLily Fri 14-Jun-13 06:44:31

Nonsense... It all just depends on your standards!

Plenty of people in their 20s actually 'date'.

Sherbert37 Fri 14-Jun-13 07:04:11

You've made me laugh. He is great and totally gets my sense of humour. I really can't do the involved with workmates thing but he is moving soon to another area so who knows?? First time in 5 years I have felt even a spark for anyone so I'm grateful to him for that. Any more and I would totally not recognise myself, but feel bolder than I did in my prudish 20s so who knows (and I wanted to end that with 'lol' so am totally getting on his wavelength haha).

I never NOT dated.
I never wanted to have sex with someone I didn't know and trust. My system was not infallible though and I had to dump my fare share of arseholes smile

MadBusLady Sat 15-Jun-13 20:11:00

That's just the student and post-student norm IME, it's not really about generations. I would date now, but didn't 10/15 years ago. Dating's a hell of a lot scarier.

hersheys123 Sat 15-Jun-13 20:21:39

Nothing quite breaks the ice like sharing herpes.

Minty82 Sat 15-Jun-13 20:24:40

I'm 30 and never dated, but also never had sex with anyone until we'd been going out for a month or so. Somehow managed to get three serious relationships (including DH) established and acknowledged with neither dates nor shagging. Hmm, can't quite think how now! Lots of evenings snogging on the sofa...and un-datelike evenings in the pub.

ToTheTeeth Sat 15-Jun-13 20:26:25

Minty it sounds awfully like you dated!

Minty82 Sat 15-Jun-13 20:32:15

Ha, no, because there were usually other people with us in the pub! DH and I genuinely didn't go out for an evening just the two of us till we'd already been living together a month! And I guess what I mean is I never went out on a romantic evening a deux with someone I hadn't at least already kissed - never had a speculative date!

StuffezLaYoni Sat 15-Jun-13 20:34:07

All through my late teens and early 20's I got with people by falling into bed with them and seeing how it panned out. It was rubbish really though I am still friends with a lot of these people.
Now I'm not interested in all that and if I met someone nice, I'd want to do the whole "dates" thing. I still have the odd ONS but I've been single for years, so if I didn't my sex life would be non existent :-(

brokenhearted55 Sat 15-Jun-13 20:34:36

People do still date.

digerd Sat 15-Jun-13 20:48:19

Minty 82.
Snogging on the sofa and going to the pub is what was called "courting" in the 60s. It was lovely - sigh. smile

Tigerbomb Sat 15-Jun-13 20:55:04

According to my 24 year old daughter ... she and her peers see each other.. try before they buy and then decide if they are want to go out with each other.

I was gobsmaked.. then realised that's what I did when I split up with my Dexh.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Sat 15-Jun-13 21:20:20

I'm 42 and in my 20's 'dates' were something American teenagers did. We just 'got off' with one another and then 'went out'. Or not.

I don't think it's that much different now. Is it?

DrinkFeckArseGirls Sat 15-Jun-13 21:28:07

Actually that us quite comforting to hear. I'm a single parent, can't afford bloody dates. Shagging someone I know sounds good. grin

DoTheBestThingsInLifeHaveFleas Sat 15-Jun-13 21:32:46

Sorry, have haven't read whole thread. I am mid thirties and have NEVER been on a date. Been married twice and have 2 other LTR. Shagged them all first and then text and flirted and did it again. The married some, lived with some and others just let fizzle out. The fact I have been married twice by my late twenties speaks volumes about this method. If I was single now I would probably date, and if the man didn't like it, he wouldn't be the right one for me at this point of life. (DH I hung around with as a teenager and he was a good friend and even attended my first wedding. We were friends with benefits throughout our life before be we're a couple, so I guess I did at least know him pretty well before in a relationship). Good luck with your dating. Everyone is different and I think there are lots of people who like to date first.

ThisIsMummyPig Sat 15-Jun-13 21:37:09

I did a combination of snogging people I vaguely knew when pissed, and seeing what happened, and meeting blokes in clubs, snogging, swapping numbers. I might take them home but never actually shagged them until I knew them.

I always considered the first date to be the time we met alone together after we had first snogged. (with the exception of DH - he brought his best mate!)

Trills Sat 15-Jun-13 21:45:13

I imagine your colleague is falling into the trap of thinking that "people I know don't do X" is the same as "people don't do X any more".

People who make sweeping generalisations are often wrong.

Trills Sat 15-Jun-13 21:47:18

Startail being married doesn't actually prevent you from going on a date. You should tell DH "don't plan anything from next Friday", then book a babysitter and a restaurant table and take him out!

(ou have to lead by example here - you can take him out as easily as he can take you out)

It's generally rather enjoyable, assuming you are married to someone whose company you like.

CitizenOscar Sat 15-Jun-13 21:53:29

I'm in my mid-30s and all my single friends date. Some might also do casual shagging, but they do date.

I've done both in my time. Dated DH before getting together in my late 20s (and it was a blind date, through a mutual friend). Previous long term boyfriend I met at uni & we had sex first. In between I did a bit of both.

Do what you're comfortable with and you'll find someone on your wavelength. I think most people are happy either way so if you feel more comfortable with one rather than the other, anyone worth their salt will be happy with your approach.

Good luck grin

Jayne266 Sat 15-Jun-13 21:57:27

I met my DH when I was 20 and no we went on dates and everything. Am now 27.

Sherbert37 Sun 16-Jun-13 05:50:54

Wow more replies. Thanks everyone. Was brought up on a diet of Jane Austin etc and lived my twenties as if in a period novel. Sounds like it's time to go more Fifty Shades in my forties!

Timetoask Sun 16-Jun-13 06:01:57

Is it a wonder why relationships don't last anymore?

digerd Sun 16-Jun-13 06:40:25

Quite.

Sherbert37 Sun 16-Jun-13 10:04:28

Yes but I did everything the 'right' way, to the letter and still found myself alone after 20 years of marriage. Despite having 3 kids, I have less knowledge in this area than the average 16 year old today it would appear.

DanceInColour Sun 16-Jun-13 10:14:13

I'm 22 and me and DP went on a few dates before reaching the fooling around in bed stage though we did a fair bit of practice snogging first wink

Then again we had worked together for a few months already so had got to know each other a bit anyway.

MadBusLady Sun 16-Jun-13 10:15:47

I don't think there's any such thing as a right or wrong way, only right or wrong men. You can carefully and formally "date" a twat or fall straight into bed with an amazing man - I know, done both! I don't think you should feel compelled to choose one path though, as CitizenOscar says, a mix may be appropriate, depending on what feels comfortable with a particular man. Have fun smile

MadBusLady Sun 16-Jun-13 10:17:17

Also, 16yos never know as much as they say they do grin

HollyBerryBush Sun 16-Jun-13 10:18:13

Would a 40 year old man expect that too or are the generations so different?

I think it depends on the man. We have a friend (46) who joined a dating site, he was absolutely horrified at the amount of women who put out within an hour of meeting him. He simply isn't like that, he'd rather know someone before that level of intimacy. He just thought the whole online thing was a shagfest so went up the more traditional methods of meeting real people through friends.

WeAllHaveWings Sun 16-Jun-13 10:18:17

My niece is 20 and dates first for a couple/few weeks, so do most of her friends. She's had 3 longer relationships of 9-12 months and a few snogs/dates in between.

Dating is still happening (here in Scotland anyway!)

YoungBritishPissArtist Sun 16-Jun-13 10:38:36

I don't remember people using the term 'dating' in the 90s and early 00s, it was 'going out with' or 'seeing' each other. I'm 34.

Do British people date in the same way Americans do?

Scruffey Sun 16-Jun-13 10:40:52

I think that going straight to bed is fine in the scenario that there is a bunch of young people who are friends and a pair of them hook up. Point being that they already know each other. Or a friend of a friend.

However I don't think going straight to bed with a complete stranger you have just met is advisable. Someone you know nothing about etc, I don't like the idea of that and will advise my dcs not to do this.

Sherbert37 Sun 16-Jun-13 11:00:08

Scruffey, that pretty much sums up my thoughts. I would be horrified if my three did that (and I really don't think they would), so why would I?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now