While I belong to the School of Now, I do find it ironic that women's equality has directly shifted courting rituals to be more androgynous. Let me be clear. I consider Women's Rights hallowed ground, but it's chalk to the cheese of women's natures. These are two, separate and distinct entities. The same way male metrosexuality has had little effect on how men are still hard-wired to pursue. Despite vigorous grooming practices. So let me just quell any potential protests to start with, while one is related to the other, it simply isn't the same thing.
When "hanging out" first started rearing its head on my love scape, I was understandably confused. WTF did that mean? Did said asker like me, did he just want to be friends, how could I NOT call a somewhat privately situated meal and activity centered appointment exclusively attended by just the two of us a DATE when it suspiciously resembles one? Hmm. Dilemma. I used to drive myself crazy trying to sort it out, intellectually at least.
I adore the dressing up and going out bit, but the entire thing has always struck me as too reminiscent of a job interview. I'd grown up being told that as a woman, part of my "job" was to filter candidates vying for my affections. That in essence, men's roles were to storm the castle, and mine was to only allow the chosen few. I'd actually resented this but never quite understood why. It's not the sexiest thing to be told you have to be Hall Monitor of your Virtue.
I'm not sure which genius we need to credit for 90 days, why not do it like credit terms, you get a 10% discount if you impress me within 30 days, and you have to pay more if you dawdle till 90? My empirical evidence however tells me that 90 days is usually the time when men begin to wake up from the fog of pursuit and conquer, and seriously consider whether or not the relationship is actually viable. It's also not surprising to find out that men do value more what they work harder for.
So have I been wrong all along by not following the 90 day rule and failing to impose formal dates? Not at all. Even while there's sense in the practice of both, it shouldn't make us blind to the fact that attraction arrives however it does, and while each gender is inextricably bound to its essential nature, we are free to make our relationships as relevant and as dynamic as we are. Rules are only as sensible as the situations that merit them. If I REALLY had to make a rule, the one thing I'm certain relationships constantly demand since time immemorial is for everyone in it to be PRESENT.
You just..have to get out of the way and stop over-thinking it like the Rules told you to do. If there's anything to focus on, stop with the list of what he is or isn't doing right and just occupy your own damn space. There's the dance and play of love to engage in. Get into it. Men love asking you to "hang out" because it deals a lesser blow to the ego and allows them to reconnoiter the territory under the radar. Is it a softer approach than the bluster we'd prefer, mainly as fairy tales, movies and now divorced women who write insane self help books have told us we are not worth less? Of course it is.
But we have to accept that this is part of the evolving mores of courtship. Because whatever you call it, it STILL is undeniably that. WHY would you hang your self-worth on someone else's definition of what it should/ought to be? I think we know for a fact when we are or aren't being treated right. If we don't, then I'm certain one of our loud mouth friends do. Someone is bound to signal the alarm. Very likely it'll be Dr. Phil.
Besides, we all know that even when the people we're in love with expressly states they're not ready for a "relationship", even the NON-relationship is one. At the end of the day, we must all equally succumb to the one fact we all loathe about relationships: You can only control yourself and not the other person. And even if you could, would you really want to anyway? It would render it pointless if you did.
The rest as they say, is semantics.