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Have Hookups Triumphed Over Dating?

The hookup is spreading! First high school students were too cool to attach a relationship to sex. Then college students followed the trend. And now— working single people can't give up their friends with benefits. NPR reports: Young people can tell you all about the rules of casual sexual encounters, but they're hard pressed to describe a conventional date they've been on lately.

One 25-year-old woman told NPR:

"Going out on a date is a sort of ironic, obsolete thing."

Call me old fashioned, but I still love being invited to get to know a potential lover in a more formal context. That doesn't mean dinner and movie is the only way I will spend time with a romantic interest, but I still think it's a nice way to get to know someone first.

NPR says that perhaps because young people are more focused on their careers and friendships and less interested in starting families until much later, hooking up has more appeal for them than traditional dating.

While new priorities might encourage young people to put off marriage for a while, what's your experience? Is the date really dead?


Join The Conversation
KateLynn2011 KateLynn2011 8 years
I love dating! The hookup will never surpass traditional dating in my mind. AND I'm not trying to start a family. Random hookups are okay for college, but most adults are too wise for this.
mnxygrl mnxygrl 8 years
There was a submission from that I thought was surprisingly fitting and almost profound (516): Dating is not our generation's strong point. We're an era that's good at getting laid.
Fixe Fixe 8 years
A date is how it's supposed to be. I don't know if i'm old fashion or what, but don't really hook up with guys that i really don't know. You have to date somebody to get to them and grow emotionally with that person. as in the Kelly Clarkson song "I Don't Not Hook Up" lol i'm such a dork...
karlotta karlotta 8 years
I forgot to add the hanging out factor. Many relationships started that way for me - I'd have a crush on a guy, we'd hang out casually, and one thing would lead to the next - and we'd end up together. But dates... yuck. It makes me feel so stuck up, and it's so cliché.
karlotta karlotta 8 years
I have always found dates to be contrived and unnatural. Therefore, every single one of my relationships started either with a hookup, either in a very unconventional manner (chance meetings or parties, lots of flirting, and usually a kiss before the end of that first day.) I've gone on a few dates. Nothing ever came out of those. I think that a guy who'd take me on a date would be too conventional to be attractive to me in the first place.
Louie Louie 8 years
I'm for dates and relationships, not hookups.
itsme3683 itsme3683 8 years
I totally agree with a million suns. Me and my boyfriend didn't once go on a conventional date until we were already well-established, and at that point it's not really the same because you already know each other and have stuff to talk about. And, for the record, my boyfriend and I started dating after we hooked up at a party (by hooked up I mean made out). That said, I still agree with R&R, and I completely think that it's important to develop an emotional connection before you can start any meaningful relationship, it's just that in my case, the hookup introduced us, and then we were free to start back at square one at that adorable awkward, "I wonder if he's going to walk me to my door/kiss me goodnight/text me back" stage.
Rebecca14916991 Rebecca14916991 8 years
I third that. I think R&R and dm8bri have said all that needs saying.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
I can't hook up with a person to whom I have not formed an emotional bond. Period. Therefore, dating first is necessary.
Thank you, this is as succinct as it needed to be. I'll cosign 3 times on this. Furthermore, the only thing the hookup culture can bring is to break down actual bonds and keep us all(pun intended) disconnected. For every 1 person that boasts about starting a relationship that way, 20 will come back empty handed because they never had a steady foundation for something real.
a-million-suns a-million-suns 8 years
I agree with margokhal that the terms have changed. I think sometimes the word "date" is seen as a sort of formal thing, and people hesitate to label what they do as a date because of that. I think there's more "hanging out," which could very well be considered dating; I just think not as many people call it that. It seems that some people are jumping to conclusions. Just because the conventional date has become a less common activity doesn't mean that everyone is replacing them with hookups. Many people still get to know each other first, just in ways other than conventional dating. Not many people would call hanging out with a love interest and a bunch of friends at an apartment a "date," (even without the friends there, I don't think many would call it a date) but it's still a form of getting to know the person. It's just more casual. I also agree with spacekatgal about the media blowing things out of proportion. People are always very interested in hearing about young people acting naughty and sinful for a variety of reasons. Sure, some people hook up--and some don't. And quite a few of the people who have hooked up have only done it once or twice. It seems the media sometimes likes to make it sound as though most young people have crazy orgy lifestyles.
nancita nancita 8 years
I am guilty of nondating relationships myself, but I think it's sort of a shame because dates are an awkward but very valuable way to get to know each other. When I got together with my boyfriend — definitely a hookup, since he was my roommate and friend at the time — we made an effort to start going on dates, since we knew we'd sort of done things backwards. I ended up learning a lot about him I didn't know before.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
I don't know if hookups have triumphed over dating. I just think that the terms have changed. For me, I would like to at least know a person first before getting intimate with them. I think nowadays people do get to know people...but not in a traditional "dating" setting, where the intention is to know somebody to evaluate them as a romantic interest. Many couples I know [some are married now, some aren't] simply were friends before they started being romantically involved, or knew the other person on some level of acquaintance/friendship. Possibly that could be considered "dating"....
dm8bri dm8bri 8 years
I can't hook up with a person to whom I have not formed an emotional bond. Period. Therefore, dating first is necessary.
xxstardust xxstardust 8 years
I'm in college right now, and have never been into the hook-up thing at all. The majority of my friends are not, either - I deserve to be treated nicely and to go out on dates! Sorry, I'm just not interested in doing the walk of shame - especially for someone I don't care about/know! I've been with my boyfriend a year and a half and we'll still go on dates - and yes, he even still asks me. Dinner and a movie tomorrow. =] It's silly but cute, and helps keep the spark alive.
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 8 years
I didn't really enjoy the whole hookup thing, I had them, but loved going out on dates.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
No. I don't even understand what this article is talking about. Sure, there are people who will hookup because they're not looking for a relationship, but all of my friends still go out on dates and get asked out on dates and like dating.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 8 years
nope! I'm traditional! I had my fair share of "hook ups" in college, but when I really decided that I wanted to 'settle' a little and develop something meaningful, I pumped the brakes and set some boundaries and I'm in a loving, happy relationship
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