We live in a new era of dating

By Collin Bryant | Sports Writer

The art of dating, like many other pastimes people take part in, has changed significantly over time, divulging into a new school of dating.

Old school or new school, dating is difficult. There are things to be said about both eras having their positives and their drawbacks. For instance, both parties in the new school era seem to be more OK with the grey area that is neither dating or not dating. However, is there a problem with people spending more time competing to see who can maintain the most control by playing games to see who can chase who?

Sentiments of “going steady,” have been replaced with Tinder and Bumble dates. Getting to know someone before being in relationship has been replaced by this “talking” phase that seems to confuse more people than not. So why this shift? Technology, gender role reversal and a generational lack of patience all may be to blame.

Getting to know someone through communication has become a passive activity compared to the way people had to communicate before smartphones. Texting, for instance, is something that can be done throughout the day absent-mindedly. This is far different from the time people had to set aside to literally call the person and talk when they have interest. Dating apps such as Bumble and Tinder have attempted to streamline the process only to dilute overarching purposes of getting out into the dating pool.

A friend of mine, for example, said he doesn’t use Tinder for its original purposes. He only uses “Tinder to see who thinks he’s attractive” and never has intentions of messaging anyone.

His sentiments signal the fading of ideals that come with meeting and courting another individual. Time magazine wrote an article a few years ago that suggests a possible reason for the emphasis people seem to be placing on doing things for themselves.

“The incidence of narcissistic personality disorder is nearly three times as high for people in their 20s as for the generation that’s now 65 or older, according to the National Institutes of Health; 58 percent more college students scored higher on a narcissism scale in 2009 than in 1982,” the article said.

This narcissism leads to the “we want now” versus “what’s best for me or the other person.” People would be hurt regardless if it’s the year 2017 or 1970. However, the emphasis on the need to have everything “now” changes the way dating is being conducted. Social media also plays a role in this narcissism and in this impatient dating as well. The new age has ushered in people chasing followers and collecting the most attention. It has also brought in people trying to adhere to the status quo. Seeing different people on social media with their visually successful relationships illicit certain feelings in people that make them think they want a relationship passionately.

Instead of forming friendships and seeing how things take shape, we want instant gratification. We seem to skip steps in our process. In the past, there was meeting, speaking, dating and relationships. Today it’s swiping, talking and potentially making it out of the grey talking area to start a relationship. What was once taking months to years, is now taking weeks to months and with the direction seems to be going in, days to weeks.

Reversal of gender roles is also playing a part in these shifts. The feminist movement, for instance, has empowered a whole generation of women, encouraging them to change gender stereotypes. While nothing objectively is wrong with the cause, it has changed the way women operate when it comes to dating. Women in today’s age tend to want all of the traditional chivalries without all of the traditional negatives.

One positive that has come with the movement is the fact that women are more likely to simply initiate things on their own. However, even this positive has a drawback. A female friend said “Men are subjugated by the feminism movement,” making them more averse to initiating clear and concise interests toward females with intentions on forming a relationship.

With that I leave you with this thought –– dating will continue to change whether one prefers it or not. However, in this state of change, we need to continue to pay attention to what is deemed important, or else we may just lose the fabric and purpose behind dating in the first place.

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