How drastically has dating changed over the years?

MaKenna Walsh, Staff Writer

Whether or not dating is a thing of the past heavily depends upon the standards and expectations you have set for yourself and for the partner you’re searching for.

If you prefer to settle down take things slow, then by all means do that.

Sometimes you’ll hear people refer to themselves as old-fashioned with regards to dating. By that they’re usually referring to something along the lines of picking their date up at the door, greeting the parents, driving to the date they planned for the night and then walking you back to the door.

On the other hand, which is also completely acceptable, are those who don’t want to settle down. In fact, commitment phobia and relationship anxiety are real and more prominent than ever before.

I suspect it could have something to do with the divorce rates in the generations before us; many of our parents, guardians and other role models are considered part of the baby boomer generation. According to Pew Research Center, “Among U.S. adults ages 50 and older, the divorce rate has roughly doubled since the 1990s.”

Considering those are the relationships we grew up seeing, it makes sense that our generation struggles to commit. In our eyes, it doesn’t necessarily work out.

I mentioned earlier how commitment phobia and relationship anxiety are quite common. On PsychCentral, it’s mentioned that these aversions may be caused by fear of a relationship ending suddenly, or not being the right relationship—unhealthy relationships are definitely something to be fearful of.

In addition to fearing what “might happen,” many individuals experience anxious feelings due to childhood trauma or abuse, or simply feel paranoid due to past relationships that didn’t work out.

Regardless of someone’s reason to be apprehensive toward relationships, the way social media and technology impact every aspect of our lives makes avoiding relationships easy. Not only is it easy, but it is viewed as normal.

No one questions someone’s choice to be single or to be a part of the dating scene, which can barely be considered dating.

Over the past couple of years, the term “talking” became very popular and the term was just as confusing to me as it was to my mother.

My older brother, Austin and I would vent to her constantly about relationships; she could never wrap her head around the concept. When we were forced to explain the meaning of “talking,” the only words we could conjure up were: ‘its dating without the title,’ or its ‘dating without committing.’

How the heck can you be dating but not dating with no title, but the title “talking?”

Social media and technology controls most of our everyday lives, including our relationships.

Apps like Tinder, Bumble, Zoosk, Match, OkCupid, are a few of the many available dating apps and websites offering a seemingly endless plethora of profiles to scroll through. Swipe left, swipe right and matching are now commonly used verbs.

After matching with someone, comes the goofy dating trends. From ‘ghosting’ to ‘cuffing,’ people avoid dating by any means possible. More often than not, one of the parties involved in a modern relationship is left questioning the status; then comes the dreaded “so…like, what are we?”

Then they hightail it in the opposite direction, right back to the drawing board, a.k.a, whichever dating site you met on.

For some it may be something as simple as FOMO—fear of missing out—which is holding them back.

Something thing we tend to do a lot is think about the possibility that there may be a better match for you out there somewhere, or ponder the possibility of the single life being the more desirable lifestyle.

There are exceptions; many still value all of the ups and downs and pros and cons of dating. For the most part, nobody sees it as an issue to be a part of the unorthodox modern-day dating game.

Similar to style changing as time progresses, other aspects of life change, too.

The fear failure and rejection holds people back from many opportunites. Some wind up wondering what could have been; just put yourself out there.`

Regardless of if you want to be picked up at the door, or send the “I’m here” text from the end of the driveway, don’t settle for less.