December 29, 2008

Apparently Dating is Dead and We're Supposed to Mourn Its Passing?

I don't date. Well, I shouldn't say I don't date. I should say that I hate dating and that I don't mind when relationships start by meeting someone at a party or a club or work or school, hanging out, and then organically becoming a couple. This process is also referred to disparagingly as "hook-up" culture by middle-aged women who write editorials for publications like Marie Claire. Instead, I call it "getting to know someone naturally." Dating is contrived. Everyone is on their best behaviour and feels freaked out. At a party, if you meet a good guy and it's not that awkward one-on-one situation, you can see how he/she interacts with other people. You can get away and have a break if you don't like the person, and your friends are there for surreptitious advice in the kitchen, too! Yeah, meeting people my way is way better than dating, in my opinion, but apparently that makes me a slut. Apparently, that's makes me akin to a drug addict according to This new documentary about hook-up culture.

What was really so great about dating? What do middle-aged people insist on harkening back to a time when it was supposedly de rigeur? If it really was so great, why don't we do it anymore? I don't date because I don't like dating. I like relationships, but dating is NOT a relationship. It doesn't necessarily lead to one and it's not the only way to get into one. In fact, I find myself dating more and more now that I'm in my twenties and dating slightly older guys than before (who seemingly didn't get the memo about the fact that with the new "hook-up culture" they don't need to take me to dinner. Apparently I'll just blow them in the bathroom of a bar after ten jello shooters). This dating, however, does not get any less awkward because I get older. Who wants to be stuck alone with someone you barely know for three hours at a stretch (if you're lucky. Some of my worst dates have lasted all day. Don't ask why I couldn't just leave. It's too long a story)?

Is it possible that we've just evolved past dating? That Gen Y isn't too immature to date, but we're smart enough to realize it's kind of unnecessary and often not very much fun? Is dating's passe status lamentable? I don't think it is. Do you?

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