Is Dating Really Obsolete?

I hope not.

I came across this interesting article on NPR about “hooking up”. Apparently, young adults are getting married later and later and choosing to “hook-up” instead of date. I talk about this trend all the time. The new dating has become: Hang Out, Hook Up, Sleep Over, Break Up.

Kathleen Bogle, a professor of sociology and criminal justice at La Salle University conducted research with college students on a small and a large campus, as well as recent college graduates, to find out what was going on.

“The idea used to be you are going to date someone that is going to lead to something sexual happening,” Bogle says. “In the hookup era, something sexual happens, even though it may be less than sexual intercourse, that may or may not ever lead to dating.”

“Going out on a date is a sort of ironic, obsolete type of thing,” says 25-year-old Elizabeth Welsh, who graduated from college in 2005 and now lives in Boston. She says that among her friends, dating is a joke. “Going out on a date to dinner and a movie? It’s so cliche — isn’t that funny?”

According to experts, the main reason hooking up is so popular among young people is that in the United States and other Western countries, the age at which people marry for the first time has been steadily creeping up. As of 2005, in the United States, men married for the first time around the age of 27, and women at about 25 years of age.

Bogle says the hookup is what happens when high school seniors and college freshmen suddenly begin to realize they won’t be marrying for five, 10 or 15 years.

The dilemma for this generation is how to learn about intimacy, she says: “How am I going to have a series of relationships that are going to be healthy for me and others, and going to prepare me” for settling down with one person?

Helping you find the answers to this dilemma is exactly what my practice and this website are all about. I’ve heard over and over again that people are tired of this cycle. My curriculum is designed to help you date differently. I believe it is important to know yourself and what you want, to learn how to fall in LIKE as opposed to falling in love, how to set the right pace for your relationships from the beginning and how to move forward to different phases – whether that is a deeper relationship or moving on.

— Karen