The other night I got what was an extremely alarming text message from one of my best friends from home. “I got asked on a date this Friday.” I think my heart stopped. Could it be that this elusive out-dated myth suddenly decided to show itself in the world of college-relationships? Why now? What sparked this sudden appearance?
My friend goes to Boston College where her professor, Kerry Cronin, gives students extra credit to go on dates. Imagine, it takes a hopelessly romantic professor to inspire dating in the midst of a rabid hook up culture (take notes Lafayette professors). The main reason for his initiative is that he believes that our generation holds little to-no expectation for the “happily-ever-after” and that we don’t even know how to date.
This could not be closer to the truth. When the task was presented to my friend, this mythological being, the date, finally hit close enough to home for me to question its existence. So why are dates such a rare breed? I venture to say that it’s partly because of our over-consumption of technology and social media. I know, thanks for the lecture, Grandma.
We are all strapped to our cell phones 24/7. In fact, our main contact with our significant others has become text messages. Really people? Text messages. What happened to the old-fashioned FaceTime or phone calls. I know as a kid I dreamed of an evening when my equivalent of Greg Brady would say, “I’ll phone you after supper.”
Texting has made us hide behind our screens so much to the point that meeting someone face-to-face is actually daunting. We are so used to getting our answers, our messages, even porn instantly, that we’ve given up on the date. Why date when things are so much more efficient and organized in tiny word bubbles on a screen? Basically, because your coward if you don’t.
The other reason for the absence of the date is, as you may have guessed, the college hook-up culture. We can get each other almost instantly now, and we’ve become impatient. So, now the chase becomes a post-hookup thing where you wonder if this person could like you… This is not the chase. The chase involves dates. Taking it slow. Emotional foreplay. Does that sound hard? It’s like hooking up for lazy people. Sounds like my kind of game.
The art of getting to know someone face-to-face really is an art. And it requires courage because asking someone on a date isn’t the norm anymore. It is this fact that makes it so special now. You are literally given 10 bonus points before you even go on a date if you actually ask someone on a date. Not doing so becomes a turn-off because once in a while you’ll hear stories, like the one my friend told me, and you realize miracles can happen.