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The Evolution of Dating The process of dating in a generation where relationships are complicated with societal pressure, social media, and long distance- By: GarretT Lewis

Dating is one of those things that changes its appearance with every generation. The formalities and courtship of the past are being replaced with much more relaxed views on dating, and the road to actually “dating” is less formal than it used to be. Social media has in a large part replaced the in-person communication.

Before the age of cell phones, couples could only talk in person or on the home phone. Nowadays it is like a constant stream of communication between the two love birds. So, what is this non-stop communication like?

Senior Zoe Velas stated, “Even when I Snapchat my boyfriend, we text more than just send pictures.” She said, “When you talk all day, you already know everything that happened in their day so when you get together later it can be hard to start conversation because everything that happened has already been talked about.”

Senior Jorge Gonzalez, another Senior, says he takes a more old-fashioned attitude towards dating, stating that, “Me and Kendall [Williams] like to go on real dates, but we also like to hang out.” He said, “When we hang out, we actually go out and do stuff like hike, or she likes to ride her horses. We kind of do everything.”

Relaxed dates seem to be the trend among young people today. Dating is much more informal than it used to be twenty, thirty, or fifty years ago. It is the norm for a couple today to spend much more time together, and to spend that time hanging out without an agenda or planning.

Another way that dating has changed is the way that young people court their would-be partners. The way it used to be was that one interested kid would ask another one on a date, and then after a few good dates that couple would be “dating”.

Nowadays, that process has taken on a few more steps, specifically in younger age groups. Before there even is a first date, two people are usually “just good friends” for a hefty amount of time. Given that one of the participants doesn’t get caught in the hopeless abyss that is the “friendzone”, the couple moves into the “talking” phase. This is when they are showing other people that they have an interest in the other. Finally, a few months later, and many dates later, that couple is now dating.

Freshman Spencer Margolis said, “Before me and Emma [Pollock] started dating, we hated each other. Eventually we became friends and two or three months later we had been done talking and started dating.”

So, how is the longevity and health of a relationship being affected by new dating rituals? Well, the assumption these days is that no high school relationships last past the first year of college. And for the most part, seniors choose to abstain from serious relationships in an effort to completely avoid heartache after graduation.

Senior Connor Kuerschen said, “I didn’t want to get tied down Senior year. I don’t mean that in a bad way, I just mean that I like to have fun and do my own thing. So, I don’t want to have to worry about if someone is gonna approve of that. Plus, we would both know it’s not going to last with college approaching fast.”

Someone who has the opposite way of thinking is Senior Valerie Monarrez. “Yeah, me and Chris [Arbuthnot] have a very healthy relationship.” said Monarrez. “We’ve been dating for two years now and I don’t see it slowing down. Yeah I get nervous because we aren’t going to the same college, but they aren’t too far apart. We will make it work.”

The scary thing to think about with this “No high school relationship lasts” mentality is not very old at all. It wasn’t too long ago that after high school was the time to get married and get started on a job and a family. It was not uncommon for people to get married as young as sixteen.

Of course, nowadays that is extremely strange, frowned upon, and in most states illegal. Dating now is much more casual for the facts that one doesn’t need to meet someone to talk thanks to cell phones. The formality surrounded the rules of dating have been laxed almost to the point of being rid of. And of course, the prime point of dating is no longer based on the pressure to find a husband or wife because people are getting married so much later now.
Yes, dating has changed a lot just in the past few decades. Is it for better or for worse? Only time will tell.

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