By: Bethany Koughan
This article was first published on the fourteenth of February, 2013.
The New York Times published an article last month proclaiming “the end of courtship”. While the article may be trite, it has since been heavily reposted – enough to indicate a great interest in the topic.
The article explains that traditional dating has evolved into “hanging out,” a more casual, commitment-free affair; and that the term “dating” is so outdated that it “should almost be stricken from the dictionary”.
“Traditional courtship — picking up the telephone and asking someone on a date — required courage, strategic planning and a considerable investment of ego (by telephone, rejection stings). Not so with texting, e-mail, Twitter… it removes much of the need for charm”.
The article suggests that rather “ʻhookup cultureʼ characterized by spontaneous, commitment-free (and often, alcohol-fueled) romantic flings” is the norm among young people, and that most students today havenʼt been on a “traditional date.”
In light of the article, and in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, The Cadre decided to reach out to some fun, fearless, females to find out, is traditional dating dead?
Here are some of the highlights:
All girls interviewed (on condition of anonymity) agreed that “hookup culture” has indeed had an impact on modern romance. In general, the consensus is that it depends on what youʼre looking for; commitment-free intimacy can be great “if thatʼs what you want.”
– “The idea of romance is itself typically romanticized… nowadays, you get drunk, hookup, and either never see each other again, or keep hooking up until physical intimacy tricks you into falling for that person. Where’s the romance in that?”
– “You might go home with a guy one weekend because youʼre feeling fun, and then the next weekend you might say ʻIʼm not that kind of girlʼ, so perhaps women are just confusing themselves with who they are and what their actual standards are.”
Of the eight ladies interviewed, each claimed to have had only 2-4 “traditional” dates in their lifetime.
– “As Jessa from girls said, ʻdates are for lesbiansʼ… I think by that she means they don’t exist for straight girls anymore. Like, does anyone go on serious dates anymore, outside of relationships?”
– “Date? What’s a date?”
So, is contemporary ʻdatingʼ too casual? Not necessarily.
As a generation weʼre not in a hurry to settle down. Many of us seek alternative or higher forms of education, and fewer are into “marrying highschool sweethearts.”
The girls agreed unanimously that texting is terrible for dating. Emotion simply does not transfer electronically, no matter how many emojis you throw in. Decoding text messages can drive someone crazy, especially when you donʼt get the instant reply youʼre hoping for.
Said one gal: instant messaging may be ruining our social skills, but at least “it allows people to be a little more forward, a little less shy…we have all these outlets and little attention span, so maybe this is all a part of how courtship is evolving.”
Another common issue is the drunk-text. Remember people: “drunk texting does not mean you’re dating.”
So, are females more empowered within this new dating framework? In general, yes. Most claim they have, or would, initiate a romantic situation. But the belief that the dude should make the first move still lingers. While women now have the freedom to make the first move, a double standard definitely exists:
– “If it works out, it makes the woman look powerful. She knows what she wants, is brave, strong, true to herself and a modern woman! However, if the woman is rejected, it almost looks like she was desperate or pathetic…this isnʼt the case with men.”
While some bemoan the death of traditional dating, others accept that “dating is where it needs to be.”
In the end, romance isnʼt dead yet, and still exists for those who are patient or lucky enough to find it – and honestly, who needs a formal first date when youʼve seen his Facebook?