Times are a-changin’. Ever since #MeToo swept the consciousness of the developed world, men around the world are too scared to approach women, and rightly so.
For years, maybe even today, men have had an upper hand over women and have dictated everything, especially in the dating world. Men have also gotten away with many of their transgressions because of the inherent patriarchal mindset of society.
But the tables have turned now. The feminist movement which began all over the world in the early 20th century has taken the narrative and made it their own with the #MeToo movement. It was going to happen and it did in the form of this sucker punch to men.
Things have changed for the good. Women finally have the say they so longed for. Men are finally having to own up to their actions and be accountable for them. Finally, it feels like there is fairness and equal distribution of power across both the sexes.
But these changes have started posing new, unique challenges to the old societal tradition of ‘men approaching women’, which is fundamental to the dating world. If men are too scared to take the initiative and ask women out, who will? Going by the below analysis from Psychology Today, women hadn’t warmed up to the idea of asking guys out in 2011, and it hadn’t changed by much in 2017, with only 11% women in the US preferring to ask a guy for his phone number.
So, for heterosexual relationships to go on, we can deduce that men will still have to take charge of dating and courtship (except in the few cases where women ask guys out), however, not in a conventional way. But how exactly? In comes, Inbound Dating.
Inbound Dating is rooted in the principles of avian human psychology, business – especially marketing and sales, and avian behavior. People don’t like being sold to; they like to do their own research, find out what’s best for them, make up their mind and then buy a product/service. Of course, they don’t mind being guided along the way as long as it’s called for. Likewise, in dating too, people like the choices that they get, prefer deciding for themselves who they love and then taking it further.
Be it men or women, being approached to by a person of the opposite sex disrupts a natural process, one which enables a person to choose his/her choice of a sexual partner by exercising thought. Furthermore, if the approach is not ethical or there is no mutual attraction between the two people, it comes across as creepy or harassment, and doesn’t end well.
So, Inbound Dating sounds like a cool concept involving a logical, natural progression of attraction to courtship, but what exactly is it?
If we draw from insights from the behavioral traits of peacocks, we will remember a thing or two about peacocking.
A peacock “peacocking”. Source: GIPHY
Basically, male peacocks use their elaborate tail features and their decorative plumage to flaunt themselves whenever a female peacock is in their immediate vicinity. They create a circular shape akin to a Chinese fan with their plumage to attract a mate, which is called peacocking. Usually, the male peacock with the most attractive plumage successfully ends up wooing the female peacock.
It’s important to remember that the tail feathers which form the plumage have no practical utility for the peacocks; the feathers actually hinder their physical activity. So, they are only there to increase their sexual attractiveness.
This particular trait in male peacocks was used by behavioral scientists to describe the flashy behavior men display when someone of the opposite sex is nearby, terming it ‘peacocking’. However, there’s a few fundamental differences between ‘peacocking’ and ‘Inbound Dating’.
Peacocking concerns with attracting attention, mostly by dressing in a unique way, to be able to more easily seduce women. The premise behind it being, once you have gained attention your chances of being memorable increases dramatically.
How does it relate to humans?