This morning on the Ethan and Lou Show I made several laborious points about dating in the modern era and followed them with a question; "How do you flirt in the modern era, what's OK, what's not OK?" I asked the question because the world has changed a lot over the years and the etiquette has had to have evolved as well. The answers I got varied in confusion but the common thread was no one seems to know. Here are some of the responses:

Anne E.

Sending genitalia photos without permission from recipient never a good idea...

That seems like solid advice, it's sad she had to give it. Next up was this:

Brian G.

The younger generation destroyed modern era dating. Just saying.

Brian was echoing one of my exhaustive points. In my day (get off my lawn) you had to meet a person, get their number, call them, get through their families screening questions to get them on the phone, ask them out, have a date, be funny, smell nice, listen and pay careful attention to the signs and maybe smooch them. Next was the saddest short story ever written:

Joe A.

I'd love to know. I once got a girls number and had a conversation with her at a local bar. The whole time we were connecting in person she was playing on a dating app.

What kind of narcissist plays on a dating app while ON a date? Sorry Joe. Then out of nowhere someone shared an actual suggestion:

Ahsley M.

Um... Talking about common interests is always nice.

Seems like it should be common knowledge but isn't always the obvious answer that eludes us? Ashley was on a roll until she said; "Idk if I actually know how to flirt LOL." Our next submission missed the "hunt" for lack of a better term:

Erin D.

I don't think anyone flirts or puts in an actual effort with dating anymore. People meet, usually on a dating site, sleep together and that's it. It's sad. I miss pursuing someone or being pursued.

Her point is well taken, dating in this era seems more like shopping for a ripe avocado rather than searching for a person you enjoy hanging with and smooching. This one comes from the married, not dead constituency:


Flirting is OK only if that is where it stops. As a married woman you can look but never touch.

Word. Next was a Seinfeld reference that stands on a foundation of good, solid truth:

Jim C.

Jerry Seinfeld had a funny comment about meeting women. They're everywhere. They're in elevators, in lobbies, there goes one now!

If I were to give any advice to a young man, who has had trouble meeting someone, I'd start with that TV show knowledge right there. There are women pretty much everywhere young buck. When your own creativity fails you there's always the pick up line and we were reminded of that this morning:

Ryan Q.

Smooth pick up lines of course!!! "How much does a polar bear weigh?.... Enough to break the ice. Hi, I'm Ryan."

As far as pick up lines go that's not the most horrific one available. The mail continued and my question had one contributor feeling a bit hopeless:

Rob E.

It seem there are no right answers anymore for anything

The right answer here is very subjective but I know what Rob was getting at, it's not easy, otherwise we would not have to ask the question. The next person up shared an image which I cannot use for legal reasons so I've replaced it with one I have legal rights to use.

Lisa F.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Her image had a hot dog instead of a banana and a different young lady enthusiastically eating it. The point being made here is not a subtle one but sometimes subtlety is for the birds. The following submission is one of self deprecation:

Rob B.

I try not to ever flirt. A girl getting flirted at by me is worse than getting flirted at by Sloth from Goonies

Be nicer to yourself Rob it can't be all that bad. Maybe flirting is not the solution at all, maybe the answer to the question is a complete overhaul of the current system.

Jay C.

Solving this problem in two words: Arranged marriages. Let's bring it back, take the pressure off the kids, let the parents do the work.
That's a throwback if I've ever heard one but who knows? Maybe this is just the thing we all need? The headline comes across as if I'm a bit of a "know it all" but I don't feel that way. If I knew the answer, I would not have asked the question. I will say this, I do know a lot of the people who answered, many of them have kids, I have kids. How is it possible none of us can remember what we did right?
I feel for the folks that are single in these complicated times, the rules of engagement are ponderous, relationship goals are unrecognizable and technology seems to be in the drivers seat. The good news is most people do find someone, fall in love, make families and end up with someone willing to tolerate them for a long time, in some cases, a lifetime.




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