A nice break from politics, as we look at dating today

Today’s young people don’t date.  They hang out.  A relationship is lasting if the couple is still together after a week or two.  Hook-ups (i.e., casual sex) are normative.

Is this a good thing or a bad thing for long-term relationships?  Do people know each other better than they did before or less well?  And where does the wedding fit in when it comes to these New Age lead-ins to marriage?

Good questions all and the Anchoress points to some answers.  As for me, I’ll say only that I think that it’s impossible to have a happy marriage unless it is premised upon mutual respect.  I further believe that, while traditional dating doesn’t guarantee mutual respect, a hook-up, hang-out culture makes that respect even less likely.

Be Sociable, Share!
  • Beth

    The hook-up culture doesn’t lead to anything remotely intimate or giving, but sheer personal-pleasure seeking. IMO, the high divorce rates point to this as both men and women are more concerned with their own personal comfort rather than that of another.  Why get married at all?–well, it sure is a neat party and all, great pictures, an abundance of I-can-top-that stories….  A marriage that starts at the hook-up level has little chance of survival.  Granted, in the olden days, folks had relations before marriage but not necessarily in the first 24 to 48 hours.
    I do believe there was a great deal more mutual respect in our culture as a whole just a few decades ago.  And as ‘old fashioned’ as it sounds, I think the mystery of not knowing your spouse physically prior to marriage truly helps get through the mystery of not knowing what the future holds for the couple day in and day out.  Marriage is about trusting, learning and growing together.  The hook-up scene is all about me, me, me.

  • Mike Devx

    There’s nothing intimate or deep about an endless string of sexual hook-ups.  I don’t think there’s anything *wrong* with it. For most people, I don’t think it works.

    I suspect that for the vast majority of people, it becomes a dead end.  After years of playing the game, they’re left with little self-respect.  Most of us require something deeper in our lives to thrive.  I’m sure there are people out there who are very strongly grounded, who understand themselves very well, who can enjoy an endless string of nearly anonymous sexual partners, and end up richly rewarded personally and psychologically.  But I don’t think there are many of those people out there.

  • Caped Crusader

    Becoming a frontline soldier, and at the same time a recently “commissioned officer”, having received my M.D. degree in 1960, I can tell you without fear of hesitation that romantic love, as it had been known for centuries began its slow and ever accelerating death on July 1, 1960 with the release of the first oral contraceptive for women. If I had been present at the great San Francisco earthquake it would not made any greater impression on my memory bank. The entire relationship between the sexes radically changed and it is still going on. This relationship has evolved into an entirely physical and ever more casual one, with little thought given to the value, respect, and love for, the other person and establishing a loving and caring and emotionally fulfilling lifetime mutual commitment. It has become ever more casual and meaningless to the parties involved and is viewed only as a fun time activity, which it surely is, and in which I am fully in favor and enjoy as much as anyone; but the romantic aura has gone. I feel very fortunate to have found the one I have loved for a lifetime, and with whom I still have a stellar physical relationship, and at the same time hit the timeline at just the right time to take advantage of the medical advances for both male and female. I feel sad that young people today do not have this advantage; and it may never return.
    As an addendum I might add this is when the music began to change drastically, becoming ever more crude, crass, and bereft of any semblance of melody. Compare Elvis, Chopin and Beethoven to the Sex Pistols.

  • Caped Crusader

    “Dating, dating, dating??????” What dating? Gee Bookworm, you are beginning to sound as old and out of touch as an “old fart” such as I!