The end of dates?

Dana Pellegrino ’12 sends in this op-ed from the NY Times about how dating is becoming a lost art and increasingly replaced by hookups:

According to a report released this spring by Child Trends, a Washington research group, there are now more high school seniors saying that they never date than seniors who say that they date frequently. Apparently, it’s all about the hookup.

It turns out that everything is the opposite of what I remember. Under the old model, you dated a few times and, if you really liked the person, you might consider having sex. Under the new model, you hook up a few times and, if you really like the person, you might consider going on a date.

So why is there an increase in hooking up? According to Professor Bogle, it’s: the collapse of advanced planning, lopsided gender ratios on campus, delaying marriage, relaxing values and sheer momentum.

It used to be that “you were trained your whole life to date,” said Ms. Bogle. “Now we’ve lost that ability — the ability to just ask someone out and get to know them.”

Thoughts? One could argue that sex with no strings attached is preferable above all else, but speaking from experience, I see nothing bad about asking someone out for dinner/coffee/whatever, and personally find it preferable to a one-night stand with someone with whom you’ll never have an emotional connection…

NY Times: The Demise of Dating

58 thoughts on “The end of dates?

  1. Anonymous

    I think one of the things people are forgetting here is that with the (more or less) demise of dating, dating becomes a weird or unusual activity. So being asked out on a date becomes something that seems either awkward and overtly formal, or it isn’t considered a date. If you’re not expecting dates to happen, and an attractive member of your preferred gender asks to spend some time with you, you might go “ah, so friends it is.” Not to say that it’s not possible, but I for one don’t know any couple in my four years here who didn’t start as a drunken make-out session.

  2. Anonymous

    I think one of the things people are forgetting here is that with the (more or less) demise of dating, dating becomes a weird or unusual activity. So being asked out on a date becomes something that seems either awkward and overtly formal, or it isn’t considered a date. If you’re not expecting dates to happen, and an attractive member of your preferred gender asks to spend some time with you, you might go “ah, so friends it is.” Not to say that it’s not possible, but I for one don’t know any couple in my four years here who didn’t start as a drunken make-out session.

  3. Anonymous

    What exactly is being “Wesmarried,” and why does the word carry such negative connotations?Is being “Wesmarried” equivalent to being whipped? I think the fact that people get so annoyed with couples in long term relationships is part of the problem with the dating scene. For all the positive effects of commitment, couples still get berated about spending time together. I think this is because people care about the idea of commitment but are too scared or busy to really apply it. We’re unsympathetic to the demands of commitment. Our lives move too fast and change too quickly for us to be with other people for long periods of time. We lose classmates when classes end, hallmates when we move. Unless we deliberately meet up with people, we lose touch with them. People need to learn to carry over their idea of long-term friendships to what they think of romantic relationships.Lack of communication seems to be the biggest problem. When hook-ups only happen once and both parties are confused, it’s because someone (or both of them) didn’t speak up. The real question is, Are kids in our generation less clear about their intentions than other young people have been? Or do we speak frankly, but still don’t see the need to buy into a dying trend of dating?

  4. Anonymous

    What exactly is being “Wesmarried,” and why does the word carry such negative connotations?
    Is being “Wesmarried” equivalent to being whipped?

    I think the fact that people get so annoyed with couples in long term relationships is part of the problem with the dating scene. For all the positive effects of commitment, couples still get berated about spending time together. I think this is because people care about the idea of commitment but are too scared or busy to really apply it.

    We’re unsympathetic to the demands of commitment. Our lives move too fast and change too quickly for us to be with other people for long periods of time. We lose classmates when classes end, hallmates when we move. Unless we deliberately meet up with people, we lose touch with them. People need to learn to carry over their idea of long-term friendships to what they think of romantic relationships.

    Lack of communication seems to be the biggest problem. When hook-ups only happen once and both parties are confused, it’s because someone (or both of them) didn’t speak up. The real question is, Are kids in our generation less clear about their intentions than other young people have been? Or do we speak frankly, but still don’t see the need to buy into a dying trend of dating?

  5. Ben

    @11:54 – True, maybe, but hopefully it’s clear that I’m not exactly an expert on this subject. I’m not posing questions in an attempt to get advice; those are questions I thought of when I read 7:36’s comment.

  6. Ben

    @11:54 – True, maybe, but hopefully it’s clear that I’m not exactly an expert on this subject. I’m not posing questions in an attempt to get advice; those are questions I thought of when I read 7:36’s comment.

  7. Mad Joy

    It seems the problem to me is the increased stakes of asking someone out on a date. In the past, because dating was more common, it was perfectly legitimate to ask someone you didn’t know very well out on a date, and if you didn’t get along, that was that, and you didn’t go on another date. Nowadays, if you ask someone on a date, generally it signals that you have some more serious or longstanding interest in them. Hooking up is paradoxically the more “casual” thing to do when you don’t know someone very well. I agree that this seems backwards, and a switch back to dating would be preferable, but how do you change a cultural phenomenon?

  8. Mad Joy

    It seems the problem to me is the increased stakes of asking someone out on a date. In the past, because dating was more common, it was perfectly legitimate to ask someone you didn’t know very well out on a date, and if you didn’t get along, that was that, and you didn’t go on another date. Nowadays, if you ask someone on a date, generally it signals that you have some more serious or longstanding interest in them. Hooking up is paradoxically the more “casual” thing to do when you don’t know someone very well. I agree that this seems backwards, and a switch back to dating would be preferable, but how do you change a cultural phenomenon?

  9. Anonymous

    Ben, I think you’re confusing the issue of dating vs. hooking up with the tangential issues of social awkwardness and dating etiquette, which aren’t really what the article is talking about. You probably won’t get too much useful advice about how to talk to girls here.

  10. Anonymous

    Ben, I think you’re confusing the issue of dating vs. hooking up with the tangential issues of social awkwardness and dating etiquette, which aren’t really what the article is talking about. You probably won’t get too much useful advice about how to talk to girls here.

  11. Anonymous

    The truth of the matter is that the number of people I’d like to fuck greatly outweighs the number of people I’d like to date.SO WHAT?When I want to date someone, I’ll ask them.I’d guess it’s the same for a lot of people. This isn’t a “problem,” this is just how college students operate.

  12. Anonymous

    The truth of the matter is that the number of people I’d like to fuck greatly outweighs the number of people I’d like to date.

    SO WHAT?

    When I want to date someone, I’ll ask them.

    I’d guess it’s the same for a lot of people. This isn’t a “problem,” this is just how college students operate.

  13. Anonymous

    It’s easy… really the only way to accurately gauge date interest is by survey. An easy 13 or 17 questions should fill you in on mutual interest, whether seeing anchorman is date material, the implications of this problematic “date” term, and whether or not they would like to be kissed by you, and whether or not they would like to be asked first. You could forgo this last step, if you remembered to conduct your initial pre-date survey regarding spontaneity preference.

  14. Anonymous

    It’s easy… really the only way to accurately gauge date interest is by survey. An easy 13 or 17 questions should fill you in on mutual interest, whether seeing anchorman is date material, the implications of this problematic “date” term, and whether or not they would like to be kissed by you, and whether or not they would like to be asked first. You could forgo this last step, if you remembered to conduct your initial pre-date survey regarding spontaneity preference.

  15. Ben

    @7:36 – I’m inclined to agree with most of what you say. The question becomes, does “date” necessarily imply that you hope it will lead to more? If I get ice cream with someone I’ve just met and really want to talk to–and don’t go into it with the expectation that it will lead to sex–is that a date? If I get dinner at Summerfields with a very close friend I haven’t seen all semester, is that a date? I agree that a date is more than just asking someone to dinner and a movie, but then how do you make the distinction between just going to something with someone else and going to something with the hope that it will lead to more? Do I have to kiss the girl as we part ways to make it a “real” date? Therein lies the problem. If I ask a girl to see Anchorman with me and we hang out for a while afterwards, is that a date? Are we officially then going out? If I’m interested in a girl and ask her to see Anchorman, but we don’t do anything afterwards, is that then not a date? The problem is that a date implies that you’re interested in a relationship with someone, and if there’s such a broad definition of what constitutes a “date,” how do you truly let someone know you’re interested in hir?

  16. Ben

    @7:36 – I’m inclined to agree with most of what you say. The question becomes, does “date” necessarily imply that you hope it will lead to more? If I get ice cream with someone I’ve just met and really want to talk to–and don’t go into it with the expectation that it will lead to sex–is that a date? If I get dinner at Summerfields with a very close friend I haven’t seen all semester, is that a date? I agree that a date is more than just asking someone to dinner and a movie, but then how do you make the distinction between just going to something with someone else and going to something with the hope that it will lead to more? Do I have to kiss the girl as we part ways to make it a “real” date? Therein lies the problem. If I ask a girl to see Anchorman with me and we hang out for a while afterwards, is that a date? Are we officially then going out? If I’m interested in a girl and ask her to see Anchorman, but we don’t do anything afterwards, is that then not a date? The problem is that a date implies that you’re interested in a relationship with someone, and if there’s such a broad definition of what constitutes a “date,” how do you truly let someone know you’re interested in hir?

  17. Anonymous

    Honestly, I think the article is full of shit. Jesus. There is definitely a “dating” scene here — we’re college students, you know; dinner at weswings, coffee at pi, meeting on the steps of olin to chat for a bit while studying – all can be dates, even student events, performances, movie screenings… Believe it or not, there are people in a relationship out there, and they didn’t meet by randomly hooking up. I’ve gone on “dates” before – if you don’t require a date to be dinner and a movie, but rather a fun mutual activity with someone I like that doesn’t necessarily end in sex. It stands to reason that someone who hasn’t ever been “asked out” would say there is no dating scene – why not TRY ASKING for once?? I guarantee that (given there is at least some mutual attraction) no-one would be upset or taken aback at the proposal.Also! “It seems like in the old days everything was alot simpler…” – it never was; whenever people say that the old days were better, or less complicated, or less promiscuous, or whatever – I highly, highly doubt it. Stop making excuses. Create your own damn dating scene and stop bitching about it; no one ever said you have to go fuck random people, but if you don’t actually step up to the plate, get out there, and talk to people you might be interested in, I PROMISE there will never be a “dating scene” for you.ps. The author, Charles M. Blow, is AN OLD. guy has no idea what’s up.

  18. Anonymous

    Honestly, I think the article is full of shit. Jesus. There is definitely a “dating” scene here — we’re college students, you know; dinner at weswings, coffee at pi, meeting on the steps of olin to chat for a bit while studying – all can be dates, even student events, performances, movie screenings… Believe it or not, there are people in a relationship out there, and they didn’t meet by randomly hooking up. I’ve gone on “dates” before – if you don’t require a date to be dinner and a movie, but rather a fun mutual activity with someone I like that doesn’t necessarily end in sex. It stands to reason that someone who hasn’t ever been “asked out” would say there is no dating scene – why not TRY ASKING for once?? I guarantee that (given there is at least some mutual attraction) no-one would be upset or taken aback at the proposal.

    Also! “It seems like in the old days everything was alot simpler…” – it never was; whenever people say that the old days were better, or less complicated, or less promiscuous, or whatever – I highly, highly doubt it. Stop making excuses. Create your own damn dating scene and stop bitching about it; no one ever said you have to go fuck random people, but if you don’t actually step up to the plate, get out there, and talk to people you might be interested in, I PROMISE there will never be a “dating scene” for you.

    ps. The author, Charles M. Blow, is AN OLD. guy has no idea what’s up.

  19. Anonymous

    I think that this is a topic that needs to be discussed more. As a student here, I am well aware of the hook up scene and the diminished dating scene. In fact, I will venture out to say that the dating scene here is almost non-existent. How many of us have actually been asked out on a date? So then that leaves us with many hookups and therefore alot of confusion. I look on the acb and see a bunch of post from people expressing how they wish they didn’t fall for someone when they knew it was a bad idea, where as, others just wish that the person would simply call or text them so that they knew where this “relationship” was at. And I say relationship, because in the simplest definition of the word the two people who have hooked up establish some sort of relationship if only for one night. So the confusion lies in the fact that the two people who have hooked up have two different views on what actually occurred that night and thats where the trouble begins.It seems like the only conclusion is to go into hookups without any expectations what so ever and even better to go with the expectation that nothing will happen afterwards so that you can protect yourself from unnecessary heartbreak. Because honestly, you may not know this person very well, and who says that they are even worth your time. In fact, its can be worse if you don’t know them because then you have an skewed view of what type of person you think they are.Everyone should be aware that each hook up may or may not come with consequences. Personally, I don’t even know what I want. I think what I want is someone with mutual feelings. Like at the end of the day we know that we would want to spend the night with each other. Not necessarily in a stated relationship. Then again I think I might be a little bit of a commitment-phobe. But that could be because i haven’t had a real, solid relationship, and I can’t help but think that I won’t have one for a long time.So basically thats just whats been going through my mind. It seems like in the old days everything was alot simpler. You knew who was interested and who wasn’t. Now a days, the unspoken rules we make or assume, make it much more complicated. Yes, it is more fun and we have more options, but its only fun until you get hurt.

  20. Anonymous

    I think that this is a topic that needs to be discussed more. As a student here, I am well aware of the hook up scene and the diminished dating scene. In fact, I will venture out to say that the dating scene here is almost non-existent. How many of us have actually been asked out on a date? So then that leaves us with many hookups and therefore alot of confusion. I look on the acb and see a bunch of post from people expressing how they wish they didn’t fall for someone when they knew it was a bad idea, where as, others just wish that the person would simply call or text them so that they knew where this “relationship” was at. And I say relationship, because in the simplest definition of the word the two people who have hooked up establish some sort of relationship if only for one night. So the confusion lies in the fact that the two people who have hooked up have two different views on what actually occurred that night and thats where the trouble begins.

    It seems like the only conclusion is to go into hookups without any expectations what so ever and even better to go with the expectation that nothing will happen afterwards so that you can protect yourself from unnecessary heartbreak. Because honestly, you may not know this person very well, and who says that they are even worth your time. In fact, its can be worse if you don’t know them because then you have an skewed view of what type of person you think they are.

    Everyone should be aware that each hook up may or may not come with consequences. Personally, I don’t even know what I want. I think what I want is someone with mutual feelings. Like at the end of the day we know that we would want to spend the night with each other. Not necessarily in a stated relationship. Then again I think I might be a little bit of a commitment-phobe. But that could be because i haven’t had a real, solid relationship, and I can’t help but think that I won’t have one for a long time.

    So basically thats just whats been going through my mind. It seems like in the old days everything was alot simpler. You knew who was interested and who wasn’t. Now a days, the unspoken rules we make or assume, make it much more complicated. Yes, it is more fun and we have more options, but its only fun until you get hurt.

  21. Anonymous

    Yo dating is not “dead” – this piece is way too sensational. Yeah, it’s probably harder to find someone to date than it used to be, because more people just hook up. But I have friends at Wes who’ve dated here without being Wesmarried. It’s not so common for people to do so because they’re anxious or whatever, but you’ve got to be clear about what you want to potential prospects.

  22. Anonymous

    Yo dating is not “dead” – this piece is way too sensational. Yeah, it’s probably harder to find someone to date than it used to be, because more people just hook up. But I have friends at Wes who’ve dated here without being Wesmarried. It’s not so common for people to do so because they’re anxious or whatever, but you’ve got to be clear about what you want to potential prospects.

  23. Anonymous

    @1:07, 1:30, 2:47: I’d much prefer a relationship to a hookup. And I know I’m not alone. People (both genders) need to be more open about wanting that in order for it to happen and become socially ok again.–Girl

  24. Anonymous

    @1:07, 1:30, 2:47: I’d much prefer a relationship to a hookup. And I know I’m not alone. People (both genders) need to be more open about wanting that in order for it to happen and become socially ok again.

    –Girl

  25. Susan

    I’m struck by how insightful these comments are, and especially by how guys are as affected by the hookup culture as girls are. Research shows that girls don’t object to hooking up per se, only that it so rarely leads to relationships. A return to traditional dating would be a terrible idea (many disadvantages there too), and will never happen anyway. What we need is more options, where it’s cool to be in a relationship instead of hooking up all the time.www.HookingUpSmart.com

  26. Susan

    I’m struck by how insightful these comments are, and especially by how guys are as affected by the hookup culture as girls are. Research shows that girls don’t object to hooking up per se, only that it so rarely leads to relationships. A return to traditional dating would be a terrible idea (many disadvantages there too), and will never happen anyway. What we need is more options, where it’s cool to be in a relationship instead of hooking up all the time.

    http://www.HookingUpSmart.com

  27. Anonymous

    This is a society where intention behind male/female interaction is no longer predetermined. Now if you want a hook up, you go to a party drunk. If you want a friend, you say hi or talk to people on a normal day. If you want a date, or to scope out people romantically, then you have to be up front about it. Which is hard. So dating is bypassed for simpler/easier/less scary options and real connections aren’t made. We are a generation scared of rejection- just like any other generation in our position would be. We’re just the ones that found another way to interact. Physically. Bypassing the emotional stuff. Or maybe we’re just college kids, and what happens in coed colleges is more well-known now and the parents are starting to get worried about their kids doing what they did earlier than college. Or they think writing about this will stop the inevitable “I’m gonna do what my older sibling does” in this era or disillusion with over-35 adults and older ideals.Either way, I still wish I could find a boyfriend without someone mistaking my flirting as “we’re going to end up in bed soon” messages. ’11

  28. Anonymous

    This is a society where intention behind male/female interaction is no longer predetermined. Now if you want a hook up, you go to a party drunk. If you want a friend, you say hi or talk to people on a normal day. If you want a date, or to scope out people romantically, then you have to be up front about it. Which is hard. So dating is bypassed for simpler/easier/less scary options and real connections aren’t made. We are a generation scared of rejection- just like any other generation in our position would be. We’re just the ones that found another way to interact. Physically. Bypassing the emotional stuff.

    Or maybe we’re just college kids, and what happens in coed colleges is more well-known now and the parents are starting to get worried about their kids doing what they did earlier than college. Or they think writing about this will stop the inevitable “I’m gonna do what my older sibling does” in this era or disillusion with over-35 adults and older ideals.

    Either way, I still wish I could find a boyfriend without someone mistaking my flirting as “we’re going to end up in bed soon” messages.

    ’11

  29. Anonymous

    I don’t think it is about what is more preferable, as to what is more convenient. I think everyone would prefer a date, but that seems to be too much of a hassle, and takes too much time.

  30. Anonymous

    I don’t think it is about what is more preferable, as to what is more convenient. I think everyone would prefer a date, but that seems to be too much of a hassle, and takes too much time.

  31. Anonymous

    It’s incredibly fucking annoying. If there’s a girl I like and want to spend some time with, I’m a social awkward fuck for trying to do something date-like, because who knows that. So my romantic options are limited to whoever I was drunk enough to make out with / was drunk enough to make out with me on a Saturday night? That sucks.

  32. Anonymous

    It’s incredibly fucking annoying. If there’s a girl I like and want to spend some time with, I’m a social awkward fuck for trying to do something date-like, because who knows that. So my romantic options are limited to whoever I was drunk enough to make out with / was drunk enough to make out with me on a Saturday night? That sucks.

  33. Anonymous

    It seems to be a logical continuation of the loosening of society’s mores in the matter. But why are we going in this direction?

  34. Anonymous

    It seems to be a logical continuation of the loosening of society’s mores in the matter. But why are we going in this direction?

  35. Anonymous

    He laments that society has lost the mentality where “you were trained your whole life to date”?? That’s pathetic.

  36. Anonymous

    He laments that society has lost the mentality where “you were trained your whole life to date”?? That’s pathetic.

  37. Ben

    Not to mention the benefit of having someone who can confirm one’s mid-July prediction that Obama would win North Carolina… :D

  38. Ben

    Not to mention the benefit of having someone who can confirm one’s mid-July prediction that Obama would win North Carolina… :D

Comments are closed.