The Demise of Dating?

The other day my friend sent me a link to Charles M. Blow’s  op-ed column in the New York Times entitled, “The Demise of Dating.”  The gist is that dating is essentially dead and hooking up is here to stay.  Ugh.

While the article focus’s on a study conducted on high school students, I can say, in my experience, that hooking up is here to stay for young adults as well.  To gain more insight on hooking up vs. dating, Blow consulted La Salle University professor, Kathleen Bogle.  Bogle broke it down and said hooking up takes the pressure off as it promotes groups of friends going out and it takes the stigma off the one person who can’t get a date.  Fine, that sounds good in principle.  But the consL

The cons center on the issues of gender inequity. Girls get tired of hooking up because they want it to lead to a relationship (the guys don’t), and, as they get older, they start to realize that it’s not a good way to find a spouse.

Enter double edged sword stage left.  And this is what I see happening to my peers.  Women hook up to get a boyfriend, while men hook up to avoid having a girlfriend.  You see, everyone enjoys consistent sex but the ways men and women view the future of such relationships are very different.  Women view consistent sex as a first step in a committed relationship.  Men view consistent sex as the end result – that’s all they wanted, the sex without the commitment (read: drama and work).

In talking about this with some friends a while back, some women decided that they were not going to have sex unless they were in a committed relationship.  That is, they would withold sex from the man they wanted more from, but would still hookup with guys they knew had no relationship potential. This way, they would avoid the “I don’t date girls who are easy” tactic.  However, this plan backfired as the guys who were relationship material resented the fact that they had to wait for sex with a woman when she was having sex with other guys easily.

They, like myself, could not find a way to win.

That’s not good. 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.

Aw man – we have to work against the collapse of advanced planning (I personally do not think she’s talking about women’s advanced planning), lopsided gender ratios on college campuses (that’s not going to be easy (or quick) to solve), delaying marriage (I could write a million posts about this) and sheer momentum (I get it, why would these men give up all this non-committal sex and freedom if they don’t have to?)

So it looks like hooking up is here to stay, and I for one am not happy about it.


3 Comments on The Demise of Dating?

  1. Jose
    December 19, 2008 at 6:09 pm (6 years ago)

    It’s not here to stay. It all comes and goes in cycles. That’s how we need to think about this. In a time when everything and everyone has much easier access to one another, it only makes sense that we’d have this “hookup nation” if you will. But when people get older, they’ll become a little more conservative (at least in their older age), especially when they realize their foods are making them less “potent” and up for the run-around. We may be increasing life expectancy, but it doesn’t mean the urge for a family won’t resonate with many of these men. I know enough dudes who are already getting married, and they came from families when the father didn’t marry their mother. I understand the nervousness about the trend, but I think we both are at an age when we’re too deep into it to see any further than where we are.

  2. e.
    December 23, 2008 at 11:52 pm (6 years ago)

    i wouldn’t call it a cycle, i think it’s more of a when men get ready, then all will be fine in the world, til then, hookups galore. whomp.

    but i agree we are too deep, but in three years, i’d better be married.

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