In a world of ever-changing technology and apps such as Tinder, is traditional dating strong enough to survive?
When comparing the current dating climate to that of our parents, the landscape thirty years ago looks wildly foreign. The long-established dinner date has been swapped out with group hangouts or Instagram direct messages. The entire approach to courting someone has taken on a new life, leaving those coming of age in the twenty-first century in a post-dating society.
The dorm halls and classroom walls reek of students anxiously navigating the tortuous new scope of intimacy. Young adults no longer want to define a relationship, and being the one to send the first text message is viewed as borderline self-destruction. Everybody wants someone, however, nobody wants to admit that. The idea of sitting at the drive-in like Danny and Sandy in Grease just simply isn’t the case anymore. With technology, a dinner date is not necessary to get to know someone; a few days of texting will do the job. Not only has texting reinvented the realm of dating, but it has birthed the concept of ghosting. By dictionary definition, ghosting is “the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.” In present-day society, ghosting is as normalized as washing your hands after you go to the bathroom. According to NBC, experts say that, in comparison to past generations, individuals now have less of a drive to couple up right out of college and settle down by their mid-twenties. Unfortunately, the notion of getting picked up at 8 p.m. for dinner and a movie is not the objective anymore.
Dating apps like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge have sculpted a new terrain as well when it comes to meeting someone, pushing looks and hookups at the forefront. When defining the generation it can be primarily categorized under the concept of hookup culture. The mindset that romantic interactions should be brief and fleeting has convinced young adults to shy away from true commitment or at least suppress their desire for it. Donna Freitas, author of “The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy”, states that “People tend to think of a hookup as this very liberating thing. It’s a brief sexually intimate encounter, anything from kissing to sex, as most students will say. But a culture of hooking up is where hookups become the norm to the point where people don’t see any other options.” However, all hope is not lost yet. According to Dr. Ish Major, a psychiatrist and relationship therapist, there are three key steps an individual can take to help establish a solid partnership amidst hookup culture. He believes that setting boundaries, being a bit selfish and very transparent with what you want with your significant other is crucial to make sure both parties are on the same page.
So, is dating truly dead? No. I do not conclude that dating is, in fact, dead, rather it has morphed into something new in order to keep up with the vast, ever-changing world.