In yet another bout of Gen X-ers not approving of millennial practices, and hipsters yearning for experiences of yesteryear (see barbershops, rooting through junk sales, craft products), I'm not exactly breaking news to you that many people love to bemoan the death of dating, and lament over the rise of... THE HOOKUP CULTURE *dramatic music plays/lightening crashes*
Yes, some people -- many among our own rank -- seem to be under the impression that all we hip kids are stumbling into bed each night with a brand new Tinder match, after we get back from whatever food truck we choose to eat at that night, and that an entire generation has forgotten how to date. Now while I'm skeptical of the sweeping pandemic "The hookup culture" would suggest we're in, I do have a couple of things to say on the matter. Firstly, it's simply not true. And secondly, even if it were, who cares?
Now while I'm not exactly a fan of the increasingly popular phrase "hanging out" (say what you mean, people. If it's any kind of date, ask them on a date) it's up to people to do what makes them happy. If that's lots of casual sex, so be it. Friends with benefits, go for it. A committed relationship that evolved from multiple hookups, so what? They're not hurting anybody. And if a nice date to them is relaxing, watching Netflix with some Ben and Jerry's, more power to them.
Likewise, if what you genuinely want is to be asked out on dates, then you're going to have to find like minded people, who will ask you out on dates. Which isn't really difficult, but know you're unlikely to find them at the house party you pre-gamed at the weekend. That's just common sense. Know what you want, and be honest with yourself, but there's nothing wrong with either option.
But like I said before, it really doesn't matter. There's no real difference between the relationship of people whose evolved from friends with benefits, met on Tinder, or went on traditional, increasingly serious dates for a few months. What's the difference between falling into a relationship as you gradually get to know the person you've been casually fooling around with, than getting a number at a bar and getting to know them afterwards? As long as the relationship they're in is making them happy, why does it matter what the state of dating is?
We've all watched movies where handsome, attractive guy shows up in moderately nice car with pretty bouquet of flowers and everything planned out from dinner at the hot new restaurant to chocolate covered strawberries on a picnic blanket under the stars afterwards. And that's great. But while I'm a fan of a good date, there are even some upsides to casual, new era relationship forming over traditional "dating," which deserve to be given their due.
Firstly, dinners and the like can get expensive, and thanks to everyone proceeding us' tanking of the economy, it certainly doesn't hurt Gen-Y to be a little financially conservative. And while I loathe to call it such, a "hanging out" date can be way more fun than a traditional dinner date, with an atmosphere that doesn't exactly inspire conversation (side note: thank god people are realizing what a terrible first date a movie is) Something along the lines of going to the grocery store, a stroll in the park, or going for a run together, and the like, allows you to find mutual interests straight off the bat, and conversation and chemistry creates itself.
Gone are the days of wondering if you're going to hit it off with a person, and wasted time on dates that from the first five minutes are a countdown to never having to speak to them again. Even the "traditional" dating that many people are bemoaning the death of has morphed into many text messages back and forth, in a new "getting to know you," phase, or "talking," that previous blossoming relationships simply didn't have the technology for.
And we can't ignore the fact that some people do just enjoy being single. And as long as they're open and honest about their intentions, then there's nothing wrong with casual sex too. Lots of it, if you so desire.
But perhaps, most importantly, you're not limited to one way or the other. You can go on dates during the week, have a causal fling over the weekend, make a friend with benefits, talk to Tinder matches, whatever floats your boat. What I'm saying is, we're lucky that we're afforded the option to choose our relationships. Most of us aren't in any sort of arranged marriage, and so frankly can do as we damn well please when it comes to dating. And thanks to the sexual revolution that's a great many things. The only thing we're worried about is what other people think.
Bottom line is we have enough to worry about in this world as Millennials, with financial worries, a shortage of kale, and now Ebola. So let's stop fearmongering over something that should be inherently enjoyable, and instead, get out there and have some fun, in whatever form that may take, while we still have our looks.
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