That Dating vs. Hooking Up Study
He asked me out last night. We were at a party when he approached me and said, "Hey, Charlotte. Maybe we'll cross paths tomorrow night? After all, we are millennials and old-fashioned courtship no longer exists. At least not according to New York Times reporter Alex Williams, who argues in his article "The End of Courtship? Williams is not the only one thinking about millennials and our potentially hopeless futures for finding love.
I read with interest the numerous other articles, books, and blog posts about im dating a deaf guy "me, me, me generation" as Time's Joel Stein calls usour rejection of chivalry, and our hookup culture — which is supposedly the downfall of college dating.
I'm lured in by these trend pieces and their sexy headlines and consistently let down by their conclusions about my generation's moral depravity, narcissism, and distaste for true love. Not that it's all BS. College dating isn't all rainbows and sparkles. I didn't walk away from my conversation with Nate expecting a bouquet of roses to follow. At some point dinner-ish time?
He gave a feeble nod and winked. It's a date-ishI thought. Nate never wrote or called me that night, even after I texted him at 11 p. Overdressed for the nonoccasion, I quelled my frustration with Trader Joe's maple clusters and reruns of Mad Men. The next morning, I texted Nate again — this time to acknowledge our failed plan: When I saw him in class, he glanced away whenever we made eye contact. The avoidance — and occasional tight-lipped smiles — continued through the fall semester.
In March, I saw Nate at a party. He was drunk and apologized for hurting my feelings that night in the fall. As to why you got weird. Instead, he said that he thought I was "really attractive and bright" but he just hadn't been interested in dating me. Wait, dating or hooking up in college said anything about dating?! I thought to myself, annoyed.
I simply wanted to hang out. But I didn't have the energy to tell Nate that I was sick of his and many other guys' assumption that women spend their days plotting to pin down a man and that ignoring me wasn't the kindest way to tell me he didn't want to lead me on. So to avoid seeming too emotional, crazy, or any of the related stereotypes commonly pegged on women, I followed Nate's immature lead: I walked away to get a beer and dance with my friends.
This anecdote sums up a pattern I have experienced, observed, and heard about from almost all my college-age friends. The culture of campus dating is broken And I think it's because we are a generation frightened of letting ourselves be emotionally vulnerable, addicted to communicating by text, and as a result, neglecting to treat each other with respect.
So, how do we fix it? First, let me rule out the buzz phrase hookup culture as a cause of our broken social scene. Hookup dating or hooking up in college isn't new. College kids do it, have always done it, and will always do it, whether they're in relationships or not. Casual sex is not the evil root of all our problems. Unlike Caitlin Flanagan, author of Girl LandI don't yearn for the days of male chivalry. Then again, I'm disappointed by the other side of the hookup-culture debate, helmed by Hanna Rosin, author of The End of Men: And the Rise of Women.
Rosin argues that hookup culture marks the empowerment of career-minded college women. It does seem that, now more than ever, women are ruling the school. We account for 57 percent of college enrollment in the U. But I'm still not comfortable with Rosin's assertion that "feminist progress The career-focused and hyper-confident types of women upon whom Rosin focuses her argument reappeared in Kate Taylor's July New York Times feature "She Can Play That Game Too.
In theory, hookup culture empowers millennial women with the time and space to focus on our ambitious goals while still giving us the benefit of sexual experience, right? I'm not so sure. As Maddie, my year-old friend from Harvard who, FYI, graduated with highest honors and is now at Yale Law Schoolputs it: As someone who has done both the dating and the casual-sex thing, hookups are much more draining of my emotional faculties Sure, many women enjoy casual sex — and that's a valuable thing to point out given how old-fashioned society's attitudes on romance can still be.
The fact that women now invest in their ambitions rather than spend college looking for a husband the old MRS degree is a good thing. But Rosin doesn't acknowledge that there is still sexism lurking beneath her assertion that women are now able to "keep pace with the boys. In his book GuylandMichael Kimmel, PhD, explores the world of young men between adolescence and adulthood, including the college years.
The first rule of what he calls Guyland's culture of silence is that "you can express no dating or hooking up in college, no doubts, no vulnerabilities. Lisa Wade, PhD, a professor of sociology at Occidental College who studies gender roles in college dating, explains that we're now seeing a hookup culture in which young people exhibit a preference for behaviors coded masculine over ones that are coded feminine. Most of my peers would say "You go, girl" to a young woman who is career-focused, athletically competitive, or interested in casual sex.
Yet no one ever says "You go, boy! Men and women are both partaking in Guyland's culture of silence on college campuses, which results in what Wade calls the whoever-cares-less-wins dynamic. We all know it: When the person you hooked up with the night before walks toward you in the dining hall, you try not to look excited When it comes to dating, it always feels like the person who cares less ends up winning. When I asked my joplin hook up Alix, 22, also a recent Harvard grad, what the biggest struggle of college dating was for her, she didn't hesitate before saying: I'm scared of being totally honest.
I could've told Nate that I thought we had a plan Instead, we ignored each other, knowing that whoever cares less wins. As my guy friend Parker, dating or hooking up in college, explains, "I think people in college are embarrassed to want to be in a relationship, as though wanting commitment makes them some regressive '50s Stepford person.