Dating in the 21st Century

ID-10034257By Rachael Smith, Student at Radford University

It’s no secret that things have changed since the 1950s.

That is just the way of life — trends evolve and people evolve with them. However, those of us who commonly daydream catch ourselves wondering how life may have been different for us if we had lived in the 20s or maybe the 70s or 80s. When we look back at movies, home videos of our parents and pictures, we always think it was better then and much simpler.

One big thing that has changed is the way young people see dating. My dad always says to me, “Why doesn’t anyone your age court anymore?”

Courting is an ancient word by now pretty much used solely by people like my father and his parents. After a bit of amateur investigating (AKA Google), I found that to court someone was to date them, but not in the way we think of boyfriends and girlfriends.

Once upon a time, boys used to see a cute girl and might talk to her a little while and then ask her out on date. Maybe they would go to the movies, play mini golf, and he would walk her to her door and give her a kiss if he liked her. This still happens but not as often as us girls may like.

Why can’t anyone just go on old-fashioned dates anymore?

Here is my theory. One reason may be the increased legal drinking age. When teenagers could drink at 18, they drank their beer, partied, etc. In four years, at the age of 22, this kind of partying and hooking up is stale and everyone has graduated. In the 1980s you were pretty much guaranteed a job after graduation, so you go into the working world and then were ready to settle down. With the drinking age being 21, young people now have to get their partying lifestyle out by an older age. In four years, they are 25, finally have a job and are ready to date like adults.

Until 2004, no one had even heard of Facebook or being “Facebook official.” So that annoying drama didn’t even exist until recently! Sometimes us girls look too deep into a date with a boy and think we will now be their exclusive girlfriend. But at our age, it’s OK for guys and girls to just date around casually — it’s healthy to find out what kind of person we really want to be with.

We are so young, we don’t have to start planning our weddings yet … let’s just graduate first!

So, yes, things have undoubtedly changed since our parents’ and grandparents’ days, but we should embrace our generation. But going out and looking for the next guy that passes you on the street and taking them home will only make you feel less lonely for a while.

If you hold out a little while longer, these boys will mature and be ready to legitimately date a career-driven, classy girl like yourself!

Image courtesy of photostock /

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