It is Friday night and you are getting dressed up for a night out with this new guy or girl. You are wearing a nice outfit and your hair is done to perfection. You check your phone to see if your Uber is here to take you to your date and you walk outside to meet the driver. While you are in the car, you message your best friend to remind them of where you are going and who you are meeting as a safety precaution. You’ve never met the person you are about to go out with, but you have read all about them on their dating profile.
You walk into the restaurant you both agreed on over messaging and you find a seat and wait patiently for your date to arrive. He or she finally shows up and you meet for the very first time on your very first date. This is what today's college generation has determined to be ‘dating’.
There are still some people out there who date in a more classical way by meeting potential dates through mutual friends or even in their work or school environment, but as a whole teens and young adults in the current social climate use dating apps to find their match.
According to the study conducted by ABODO, around 91 percent of college-aged adults are using dating apps not only for hookups but also for a means to find a more serious relationship. This means that around 91 percent of college-aged adults have given up on classic dating and moved into the more modern form of dating via internet meetups.
While ‘classic dating’ can be defined differently by different people, for the purpose of this column I am going to describe classic dating as dating before dating apps became a large influence. Classic dating is when one party picks the other up and drives them to dinner and a movie, a picnic in the park, or whatever other dates you can imagine. Classic dating is getting to know a person in a new light, outside of the internet’s influence, and determining if you would like to start a relationship with them.
When it comes to dating from a dating app, many times the dates are set up solely on the person’s dating profile. This profile only shows the side of the person that they want to be seen. Anyone can say that they like poetry and long walks on the beach to show others that they are sensitive and caring, but this could be completely opposite from who they really are. We have no way of knowing before a date how these people truly are, and even after a few dates with this person, you may not truly know if they are who they say they are on the internet.
In today's time, this is a very scary thing to think about. What if the person you set up to meet is not that person at all? Basing your interest in a person on a dating profile is almost a dangerous thing to do in today's society.
A date should not be something you are nervous to go to because you have never met the other person. A date should make you nervous because you have never seen this person in this atmosphere or because they make you feel special. A date should not be something that is set up via text message or SnapChat, but a plan that is made face to face or over a phone call at least. But all of these things listed above are things that today's idea of dating no longer has. When it comes to dating today, oftentimes a date is set up almost anonymously.
Even when a date is not with someone you met on the internet, dating in today's society is so different from dating 20 years ago. When you went on a date back in my parents’ day, you went on a date with only you and your significant other. If there were more people, it was not a date, but a hangout with friends.
Today, people go on “group hangs” and call them dates. College students would rather take their date out and hang out with their friends at the same time instead of spending time with just their date. This is not as intimate as a date and should not be labeled as one.
A date should be a time when you are able to get to know your partner in a way that you have not had the chance to in the past. A date is time that should be used to get to know your date before entering into a relationship with them. How can you determine your connection with someone if you cannot focus on them when you are out? How will you determine if you would be able to form a healthy relationship with a person if the only atmosphere you have seen them in is a ‘group hang’.
The bottom line is that dating has changed. Dating is no longer the act of getting to know a person before entering a commitment like a relationship. Dating is many different things depending on which road you take. Sometimes, dating in today's time is finally meeting the person you are physically attracted to from their pictures on their dating profile, and sometimes it is hanging out in a group setting. Either way, it needs to change.
We need to form healthy relationships with our partners and this can not happen until we return to classic dating. Take time to get to know the person you chose to date in a new way. Find someone organically and not through a dating profile. Swipe left on the modern thoughts of dating and return to a classic dating style.