TODAY   |  January 25, 2013

Is courtship dead in the digital age?

Relationship therapist Ian Kerner, author Debra Goldstein and Cosmo bachelor Ryan Chenevert discuss how texting, emails and social media  have affected dating in the digital age, and whether calling up a crush is a thing of the past.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> being asked out on a date is not what it used to be. phone calls have been replaced by emails and texts, and it is not always clear if you're twum on a date or just hanging out with a group.

>> here's the question, is this the end of court hipp some here to help us understand it all is sex and relationship therapist ian kernor along with some people on the dating scene. debra goldstein, 31-year-old, author of flirtexting, and 2012 cosmo bachelor of the year from new orleans, we should point out, ryan .

>> hey, guys.

>> hey.

>> really "new york times" article about whether --

>> i found it depressing.

>> me too. it talks about the end of courtship when a guy would see you and court you and call you.

>> actually call you.

>> and date.

>> i remember being that guy, and i feel like ryan 's generation has it a little bit too ease where i. i remember it was up to the guy. we would have to be the one to call the woman, and you would have to use a phone, and you would dial your number, and then your heart would beat. you know?

>> i know exactly.

>> is somebody going to answer? am i going to get an answering machine?

>> if they answer, what do do you?

>> you could hang up because there wasn't caller id .

>> he could just text, hey, what's happening?

>> tell us what you guys think.

>> when we wrote "flirtexting, and i wrote it with my best friend . we actually grew up dating in your day and age where we did wait for the phone call , and then we noticed guys were texting us and it transitioned, and we thought this isn't slowing down. it's happening. how do we change our game to what's happening? what i discovered is it's really -- it's really -- what's important is sort of teaching somebody how to treat you. if you want him to call you, if you want him to take you seriously and to court you, then you have to create your text messages in a way that puts that out.

>> guys are stupid. we don't get that. you know, some guys are going to text regardless. they'll even text just one word. hey. what are you doing?

>> ryan , if you want to ask a girl out, okay, you see a girl and think she's cute, how do you do it? i mean, do you text her? do you say meet us with a group of friends? how do you do it?

>> no, i'm not a fan of this hang out dating thing. i think because i want to screen the girl before i go and introduce her to my friends. i think i --

>> what does that mean? how do you screen the girl?

>> i like the one-on-one, the face-to-face kind of --

>> you want to physically meet her?

>> oh, yeah. absolutely.

>> is he a southern gentleman.

>> i'm a southern gentleman. raised by great parents. you know, heathat's what i was taught to do. texting versus phone calls , it depends on what kind of relationship you have with them preexisti preexisting. say i knew them beforehand, i would probably give them a call, but if we just kind of met, you know, through a friend or something, maybe a text, you know, to spur it on, and then a call to confirm.

>> let's talk about the scenario and the times. guys texting this girl, and he technicals her about having a date. clearly use the word date. she doesn't hear from him all day. 10:30 at night, hello, he texts her and says let's go out with my buddies.

>> come over.

>> would gu?

>> here's how i feel about that. i think that what's important for the girl to understand if she does go what that's going to set her up for. i've been the girl who says, okay, yeah, sure, i'll go, but i understand what that means. this means that he's not going to put me in the category of i'm going to take her home to meet mom. she's going to be my girlfriend. if i wanted to be his girlfriend, then i wouldn't respond to his text message . i would give him the benefit of the doubt , allow him the opportunity to text me the next day during the daylight, and i would respond back quickly so that he knows this is how i like to be treated, and this is how i want you to set up our relationship.

>> ian, what is happening? is this eroding, like, relationships because there's less contact and more group stuff?

>> i think social media is putting too much information out there. it's kind of stripping courtship of some of the mystery, and i think all of this texting, social media , internet, it's kind of like a faucet that is always on, and you just have to decide when you're going to turn it off. i think you have to be able to step outside of the group, and i actually have heard from a lot of people who are going back to phones. they're saying they're going even back to e-mail.

>> are you?

>> that's going --

>> it makes them stand out from the crowd. if a guy actually calls, he makes an impression.

>> exactly.

>> i notice that recently when guys ask for my number, i'll give them my e-mail because you're going to be able to actually communicate more through e-mail than you would through a text.

>> i haven't got that one yet.

>> it allows you to get to know somebody a little bit more because you're not just texting, hey, what are you doing?

>> what has been the advantage of all this? is there any?

>> well, you know, there was an interesting study that said that you kind of have to go on ten first dates before you really meet somebody who is worth a second date, and i think in an age of social media , in an age of internet dating , maybe it is more of a numbers game , and it's easier to have those ten first dates.

>> you just have to realize back then it was sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll, and then now, you know, hash tag ten years later it's sexting and justin bieber.

>> ryan , thank you.

>> thanks, guys. we appreciate it.