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Ask The Men (Advice Column),  Sex & Relationships

Traditional vs Modern Dating – Which Approach is Better? | Ask The Men

Ask The Men!  Yep, its that time again when we go through our bag of goodies and pick a letter from a reader. This weeks question comes to us from  J.C.. Let’s get to it.

Thoughts of 21st Century Paths of Relationships

Dear Opinionated Male:

“I’ve been a long time commenter and lurker, but this is my first foray asking anything. I know you and other writers have written about modern vs traditional means of interactions between genders, but ever so often the posts seem to contradict each other from what was written weeks or months apart.

Anyways, my question is this:
For Men and Women of all kinds of perspectives- Modern, Traditional, and Hybrids (those who have certain POVs of Traditional and Modern preferences), what do you think or believe should be the “right” means to obtain, maintain, and develop a relationship towards Marriage or Comfortability?” – J.C.

Thanks for writing in J.C.. Firstly, you are  100% correct!  There probably has been and will be some contradictions surrounding the topic of relationships on this site. Matter of fact, in life period. And you know what, there should be. As you rightfully pointed out, there have been different writers on OM, each of us offering our own unique take on relationships which is reflective of the myriad of perspectives and experiences out there in the world of dating.  Can it be confusing?  Hell Yeah. Sh*t, life in general is confusing, so it’s only right we stay true to life and add to the confusion. Forgive us.

So you want to know what I believe is the “right” way to obtain and cultivate a relationship towards marriage. Hmmnn…okay, I’m game. Seeing as though I already covered this topic in detail in a previous post (which I will direct you to later), I will take a slightly different approach to it today. I will warn you now though, you probably won’t like my answer. So I’ll give you two: The “feel good” answer that holds true, and the “ride or die for, I feel sorry for your mother, hands down nobody can tell me sh*t about” MY answer that also holds true. Let’s begin.

To keep this post simple, I’ll lie and say that I don’t necessarily believe there is a ‘right’ approach. At least not a singular ‘right’ approach. If anything, I believe there are an infinite number of  approaches that have proven successful for many a relationships. There simply is no one size fits all and there never will be. See, ‘traditional’ vs ‘modern’ vs ‘hybrid’ attitudes really don’t guarantee sh*t at the end of the day and neither of them yields better results than the other. Those ‘classifications’ by themselves don’t determine the probability of success or failure of relationships. In fact, the success of any relationship has very little to do with any of that.  What really determines the success of your relationship are these three things: 1) Luck 2) Plenty of compatibility and 3) Your ability not to fcuk sh*t up for yourself in the process.

As it pertains to relationships, what works is being involved with a partner who shares similar views, values and perspectives on life as you do. Whatever you classify yourself as being (traditional, modern, etc) is really just your own well defined dating criteria summed up into one word. Knowing where you fall only serves the purpose of understanding your own principles and relationship expectations so that you are able to identify those very same qualities in a person that has piqued your interest.  It’s a little something we like to refer to as compatibility – the essential component between two people in any successful relationship. So whatever page you are on in your approach to life and love, so long as you are with someone who is on the same page as you, you’re approach won’t be any more wrong or right than the next couple’s. It will simply be what works for you. And if it works, then it is ‘right’.

…for YOU.

Yes, being compatible is great! It smells like teen spirit with a splash of cinnamon and honey. I believe each of us has a mate match out there in the world. But the challenge is finding that person. If it were only that easy right? Trust me, I know. Life would be less frustrating and each morning three little birds would be by our doorsteps singing sweet songs of melodies pure and true. But alas, life nor love is that easy and most times those birds on our doorsteps are pigeons <- try waiting on one of those to sing.  The point is, we all require a little bit of luck in the sense of timing, availability, quality of dating pool, etc., etc. in finding that special someone so we can begin building the relationship of our dreams.

Your approach to dating only becomes an issue (or ‘wrong’) when you’re dating people who subscribe to a different value system (classification) than your own. And should you be so lucky to find your match, whether you two subscribe to being traditional, modern, or a hybrid of both, it will naturally set your relationship on the path that will work in accordance with your shared values.  Think about it this way: If you are a traditional man looking for a partner, you will likely not fare well with a modern-minded woman, and neither a modern man with a traditionally-minded woman. The reasons should be obvious. Not saying that relationships like these are impossible, but there will be conflict, much compromise will be required and probably a lot more finesse to keep it thriving as opposed to just functioning when compared to a couple who are on the same page.

Lastly, as mentioned above, I addressed this topic in a previous post I wrote entitled, “The 5 Benefits Of Becoming Friends Before Lovers“. I laid out plain as day what I firmly believe to be a very beneficial – and dare I say in this instance “the right” – approach for dating AND cultivating sustainable relationships. As the title clearly states, becoming friends before lovers (despite how cliche’ish it sounds and antiquated it may be to the ‘progressives’ *rolls eyes*) to me is the most got dang sensible’estest approach to loving relationships. Some would label it as ‘traditional’ courtship.  Oh well. Whoomp! There it is.

In the end it doesn’t matter what your attitudes, beliefs, morals, values are, whether you consider yourself a traditional, a modern, or even a hybrid of both. The key is finding someone whom you have these things in common, and then build this. A modern minded man who meets and dates a modern minded woman is that much closer to attaining a successful relationship (assuming all other factors are complimentary and compatible as well) than a couple who share differing POVs. So long as the BOTH of you take the time to get to know one another in the process, communicate and are honest, you stand a better chance of developing, cultivating and maintaining the successful loving relationship you both desire.



Updated on 01/15/19, Post originally entitled, “Traditional vs Modern Dating? Finally, The Right Way To Get And Keep A Relationship”

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  • CNotes

    Good advice. That is why taking time to get to know people is so important; you may realize that labeling someone (modern, traditional, hybrid) may not be as useful as one would think.

  • hershykiss

    In the end it doesn’t matter what your attitudes, beliefs, morals, values are, whether you consider yourself a traditional, a modern, or even a hybrid of both. The key is finding someone whom you have these things in common, and then build this.
    ^^^^^^^ Truer words have never been spoken…..
    Love this OM.

  • sashabowman

    Loved your post!
    I agree that the “right” approach is the one that works the best for each individual person. When I work with clients in this area, I often hear that they want to stick with one particular way of doing things, even if that method hasn’t proven to be particularly successful for them. I also like that you stress the importance of becoming friends first as a means to assess some major factors about the other person.
    In dating, I very much believe the old cliche is true “the more things change, the more they stay the same”.

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