Was 2014 the year that you found the man of your dreams? Was it the year that men treated you with respect and adoration? Was it the year that your boyfriend dropped to one knee, told you he couldn't live without you, and asked you to spend the rest of your life with him?
Maybe. I hope so. Or maybe you were one of a gazillion single women who complained that 2014 was yet another year of dating fails. Indifferent men. Mixed messages. Being screwed over and cheated on. Getting stuck in dead-end relationships with men who treat women like something stuck to the bottom of their shoe.
Sound familiar? If so, keep your pants on -- literally -- and get ready to make 2015 your first year of dating success.
A little background: Four or five decades ago, a woman who did what you probably did in 2014 -- that is, engaged in casual sex -- came across as empowered, sexy and self-confident. A pioneer of sexual freedom and female pleasure, she challenged social dating norms and was a rare and desirable thing in a larger world of sexually modest women.
Similarly, a woman who did what you may have done in 2014 -- that is, moved in with a man without a commitment from him -- was seen as independent, self-assured and courageous enough to make a counter-culture lifestyle choice. Women like her were in the minority.
Before too long, more women started to do what she was doing. They started having casual sex and living together outside of marriage. And then more women started doing it. And then more. And more. You get the idea.
The result was a virtual boom of free, no-strings sex for men and a culture where women had to increasingly compete for men, typically by offering even more free, no-strings sex. Against this background of competition for men, women also adopted more masculine dating habits. They became less concerned with their number of sexual partners and began to engage in more sexual variety and experimentation.
With men holding all the cards and having access to sex whenever they wanted it, marriage and any semblance of commitment or exclusivity became unnecessary. Instead of taking the time to "court" a woman and ultimately accept the risk of marriage, men just suggested moving in together.
This was a risk-free way for a man to indefinitely receive please-marry-me sex and split the rent, at least until she became more trouble than she was worth by leaving toothpaste in the sink or nagging him for a ring. After all, when a man isn't in the "must make this work" headspace, it's all too easy to pull the plug at the smallest of problems.
As the number of sexually available women continued to grow, it became unnecessary for men to treat women with respect or affection. Why open her door? Why pay for her meal? Why bother to call? Why go through the trouble making her feel special? Why be faithful? Why make a commitment? After all, there are 50 "hotter chicks" waiting in the wings. If she won't put up with my shit, they will.
What began as a trend toward sexual empowerment thus ended in a situation where women felt more powerless than before. Whatever women gained in sexual liberation, they lost in emotional well-being.
Fast-forward to 2014. Another year of dating fails. Not only have women continued to compete for men, but their desperation has led them to engage in the kinds of "Look at me!" behaviours that are, to put it nicely, quite unbecoming to a lady.
The puking drunk girl. The selfie-snapping, bikini-clad bombshell. The open-mouthed party animal, screaming "Fuck You!" at the top of her lungs and waving her middle finger to everyone around her. The fake lesbian tit-licks. The Internet abounds with sexy-selfie and party-gal sites. I'm the hottest! I'm the dirtiest! I'm so FUN! Pick me!
Instead of flirting or using their natural femininity, teenage girls are asking boys out on dates or to the prom, texting naked pics and sexting things that would make a sailor blush, all in a desperate attempt to be "the chosen one." Grown women are begging to move in with indifferent men, and even proposing marriage to apathetic partners who won't even pause a video game to give them the time of day.
It's funny how history has a tendency to repeat itself. As we leave another year of dating fails behind us, more and more women are reclaiming "traditional" dating habits, including sexual modesty, social grace and not living together before marriage.
Why? Well, for a few reasons (and don't worry, none of them are religious). First, it's a question of supply and demand. "Easy" women are easy to get. The supply exceeds the demand. Now, it's the sexually modest woman that stands apart in the dating world as a rare and desirable thing. Now, it's the woman with social grace - more Amal Clooney-esque style and less Katy Perry-esque ditziness - that catches a man's eye.
Second, a woman who practices sexual modesty and social grace reduces her chances of being used as a living sex toy by a guy. After all, like attracts like. A woman who presents herself as a woman of substance tends to attract men of a higher calibre. In fact, I've heard from countless single men who are frustrated with today's hook-up, shack-up dating culture and who are looking for a woman who will hold them -- and herself -- to a higher standard.
Third, a woman who refuses to cohabit maintains her power in the relationship and in her own life. She avoids the risk of spinning her wheels with a guy who won't commit to her, of always hoping for a ring and always being disappointed.
I've long believed that, when it comes to dating, women set the bar of male behaviour. If a woman conducts herself with dignity, sexual self-restraint and social grace, she is far more likely to be valued and respected by men. If a man knows he must act like a gentleman and treat her well -- and that she's worth it -- he will rise to the occasion to win, and keep, her heart. And as a result, her heart is less likely to be broken.
So stop bitching about loser men and start being the type of woman that attracts higher quality men. They're out there, I promise -- they just get overshadowed by the lower quality ones. And they're looking for a woman just like you, one who is brave enough to call bullshit on today's dating norms by showing more class and less ass.
Check out Debra's counter-culture dating guides, The Modest Minx: A Date for Marriage Method for Women Who Know that Good Men Marry Class, Not Ass as well as Ancient Bitches: Cutthroat Love Advice from History's Most Cunning Women
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