A recent New York Times article focused on courtship said personal, one-on-one dates may become a thing of the past, and group hangouts are slowly becoming a new trend.
However, according to Kyle Strand, a senior at UW-Eau Claire, one-on-one dates are still prevalent in today’s society — at least among college students here at Eau Claire.
Strand said dating is a fun way to meet people that you wouldn’t meet on a normal occasion.
“I’d say personally I would classify it more as a one-on-one,” Strand said. “I think there are definitely situations for a group but I would not consider that a date, I would consider that ‘getting to know you’ phase.”
The article also pointed out that technology has had a great impact on how men and women communicate with each other regarding dates. Instead of the typical dinner and movie, people turn to technology to get to know each other, according to the article.
Strand said technology has an impact on students and their dating lives but it’s not like the art of one-on-one dates is dead.
Assistant professor in psychology at Eau Claire, Angela Pirlott said that technology functions as a way for students to communicate with each other in a casual way.
“It’s just sort of a lower investment, it facilitates this more passive way of communicating,” Pirlott said.
Regardless of how technology is affecting student’s dating lives, Strand said dating is important and, to a certain extent, keeps people sane. He said it gives people a social outlet outside of the bars that is more conducive to meeting people and forming relationships regardless if it turns into something serious or just friends.
In college, going to the bars is a way to meet other people, but Strand said that it is not the best way to find a significant other.
“I think it is the most typical place to meet people in college, as far as dating goes,” Strand said. “I don’t think it is … the most worth-while place to meet someone.”
Strand said while he believes one-on-one dating is a great way to get to know someone, some people may be more comfortable with group dates or group hangouts to start out with. He said group dates are a way for people to easily get together and get to know one another is a situation that is less stressful or less intimidating.
Senior Katrina Leonard said dating is a fun activity, but that the idea has evolved. She said that even 10 years ago, dating was very different where people actually went out to dinner or a movie and had more one-on-one time.
She said that the idea of dating can also be regional and the idea of what a date is can differ from one place to another.
“People don’t necessarily go out on dates anymore. It’s a little more relaxed more I think the idea of what a date is,” Leonard said.
Pirlott said that dating has changed over the years. Grabbing coffee and meeting at a bar has turned into a new type of dating instead of going out to dinner and having the man pay for the date, she said. She said that dating has taken a more simple approach where students are seeing dating as a relaxed affair.
“I think that over time in the United States, it’s definitely shifted,” Pirlott said. “It used to be more of a formal dating situation or formal dating norms, I think it has definitely shifted more towards a casual dating environment.”
According to both Strand and Leonard, dating in college is a way to meet people and interact with other social groups and should be seen as a fun activity that can be a part of a student’s college life if they so choose.