The Hook-Up Culture: How An Entire Generation Forgot How To Actually Date Someone

by Miranda Kulp

Your early 20s are some of the most exciting and confusing times of your life. From when you first leave home for college to the day you accept your first grown-up job, these are the years most vital for creating the future you’ve always wanted.

The world is at your feet and you’ve been preparing for the last four years; however, the lesson college doesn’t teach is how to date. Getting your degree doesn’t make you a master of dating.

It’s no secret that the college crowd isn’t the best when it comes to dating, but after graduation, it might be time to not only reinvent yourself, but also to upgrade your dating skills (or lack thereof).

“Being in college” is the classic excuse for a lot of questionable life choices, including drinking a little too much, wearing sweatpants repeatedly and being unable to date.

While in college, a person might struggle with time management and feel consumed by academic commitments. So, needless to say, dating tends to fall to the wayside.

Dating in college can be described as a slew of carefree hookups. The traditional idea of dating and getting to know someone simply doesn’t apply.

The harsh reality, though, is that these poor dating habits don’t magically improve once a person graduates. In fact, your college dating tendencies can easily follow you into the real world.

In college, it tends to be more common to meet at a party for a date rather than the traditional dinner and a movie. Tinder becomes the norm for meeting other singles (or sometimes, not so singles) on campus.

After graduation, people depend more on Internet dating to meet people. Going on dates to get to know someone seems too old fashioned and too time consuming.

In light of people’s hectic lives, we tend to favor the quicker, easier options, especially when it comes to dating. However, typically the easier option doesn’t end up being the most satisfying option. Love interests simply turn into a flings or even just another one-night stand.

Besides our time, people in our generation love independence so much that the idea of having any commitment to another person makes many of us feel nervous.

With no desire to commit, the awkward stage of being together without being together is born. This not-quite-dating phase may work in college, due to the unique lifestyle of a student. However, that’s no excuse to carry this dating purgatory into the real world.

Post-graduation life will be your first steps into the real world and the time to become the adult you always envisioned being. Growing up is all about reinventing yourself and it is important to include good dating skills in that transformation.

Back in our parents’ college days, young people would go out to eat and take each other out on weekend dates, maybe going to a party or bar together afterward. Then, they marry their college sweethearts and start families.

This scenario is now considered to be old-fashioned and unrealistic. Nowadays, frat formals might be the fanciest of dates you could land. The associated fear of commitment that hook-up culture supports has coerced our generation not to understand how to date.

It’s time for young people to stop being lazy when it comes to dating. We need to break our poor dating habits and realize that if we want to meet The One, we have to act like it.

Our generation needs to go back in time, put down the iPhone and get to know people by conversation instead of text. Delete Tinder and go out to meet people in your own town. If you find someone attractive, take him or her out for coffee instead of quietly stalking on social media.

Once we dump our college dating habits and reinvent ourselves for the real world, our generation may find that under our heartless exteriors, the hopeless romantics we’re afraid to show do, indeed, exist.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It