Where Did Dating Go?

Dating?  You may even be asking “What is dating?”

According to Wikipedia “dating” is a form of courtship consisting of social activities done by two persons with the aim of each assessing the other’s suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or a spouse.

While the term has several senses, it usually refers to the act of meeting and engaging in some mutually agreed upon social activity in public, together, as a couple.

Long gone are the days of dating and courtship.  Males no longer have to ask parent’s permission or provide a dowry (an amount of gold or an item given to a girl’s father or family) to court their daughter.  Guys don’t bring flowers or walk the girl to the door at the end of a date-unless of course they are of an unusual breed.

So, how do people date nowadays?  People don’t date, they “hook up.”  Especially young people.  What does “hooking up” mean?

To hook up is to do anything from make-out (kiss) to having sex, with someone you are not in a relationship with. (Urban Dictionary)  Teens and younger college students say “hooking up” can mean a lot of things and is very common.  Teens and young adults don’t want a commitment.

There is a declining desire to be in a long-term or committed relationship. Instead, they want to hook up with people with no-strings-attached relationships.  These types of relationships are brief and often result in sexual activity.

According to the College Social Life Study conducted by Stanford University hooking up results in:

35%  Kiss, touch

12%  Hand-to-genital stimulation

12%  Oral sex

40%  Intercourse

This is also where the term “friends with benefits” comes in.  Teens are curious and want to see what sex is all about but don’t necessarily want to go through the hassle of developing a relationship.  With the general lack of dating means many young people don’t even know how to get a relationship started.

What about group dates? And again, you ask, what about group dates?  Do they still exist?  Group dates used to be suggested long ago as a way to keep from being alone with someone you were romantically interested in and avoid “going too far”.  But do young people go on group dates anymore?

So, if dating is a thing of the past and hooking up is the current trend, how about bringing both of the concepts together and hooking up to date?  With unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV in our world, we all need to do what we can to keep ourselves healthy and safe.  Here are some suggestions about taking the hook up a bit further:

  • Know the person’s first and last name
  • Know their phone number or a way to contact them
  • Know where the person goes to school
  • Find out where the person likes to hang out
  • Find out who some of their friends are
  • Ask yourself, “Am I ready to deal with just a “hook up” or do I want more?

And if you want to take it even just a bit further:

  • Ask the person if they would be willing to go with you and get tested for STDs