Dating may be different, but it’s defi nitely not dead

Dating’s not dead – just different.
In a recent Op-Ed piece in the New York
Times by Charles M. Blow titled “The Demise
of Dating,” he goes on to say that research
report from Child Trends shows that dating is
dated and that hooking up is the new norm.
But at least from my experience, hooking
up might be popular, but it is defi nitely not
the norm. Dating, with all its expected rules,
norms and expectations is still a large part of
college life.
Do some of us have a hook-up once in a
while? Or maybe even have a friend with
benefi ts? Yes, on both counts, and it would
be absurd to count that social aspect out of
the dating spectrum. But do we also have
quiet little sparks of attraction that end up
as conversations over an Avalanche pizza at
Moose’s Tooth? If not, I’m not sure what kind
of business the pub would have (OK, maybe
not too much, but enough).
Of course, the days of asking permission
to go on a date are far-gone. Instead of
exchanging fl owers and love notes, we
exchange YouTube videos over work e-mails
instead of playing solitaire. While our parents
may not understand, it’s fl irting for the 21st
century.
Admittedly, I’m a huge fan of dating. It
might be that I’m a talker who loves getting to
know people, or that I’m explorer who loves
getting out and experiencing new things –
especially if that might mean experiencing
something with an attractive member of the
opposite sex.
Have I had less-formal hook-ups? A couple,
which really weren’t anything to count. At the
end of the night I didn’t feel used, but I didn’t
feel anything either. I don’t like the idea of
being with someone I don’t know. Frankly,
there was no connection – even if there was
some sort of physical one.
But I think about some of the fi rst kisses
I’ve had with guys I’ve dated and been
attracted to on both a physical and personal
level. Even if they’re awkward and foreign,
there’s this warmth that engulfs you that’s
exciting and makes you wonder about all
kinds of things – getting to know them,
experiencing new places, and of course more
kissing. It’s completely overwhelming but
completely beautiful, and with a hook-up,
completely missing.
But even through it all – the complications,
the wasted energy and time of a relationship
that doesn’t go anywhere -there’s something
in the chase that is so exciting I wouldn’t give
it up for anything.
People may be hooking up, and I respect
that. But I’m going to take it at a softer pace.
I just want to get wooed, damn it, not just
sexed up. That can come later.