Dating: time for a culture change

Zara DeGroot

Zara DeGroot

There is no doubt that our dating culture is completely different than it was for our parents. Look around you — chances are you, or one of your friends, are confused with where you stand with your love interest, and the fear of being cheated on is more common than it should be. Our dating culture is a mess, and the problem stems from the lack of respect we have for those we are interested in.

In the olden days, we would look to men to pursue women, but our societal standards of relationships have changed through the years. Chivalry may be outdated, but respectable, genuine relationships should not be.


As a society, we are not looking for relationships: We want intimacy and we want it fast. Nearly everything is available within a few seconds since the Internet sits at our fingertips, so naturally intimacy should be easily accessible too, right? Ding-dong, you’re wrong. The hook-up culture we are living in is detrimental to how we conduct our relationships with one another. It’s unhealthy to have your emotions toyed with.

What I don’t understand is why very few of us are actually dating anymore. You know, like putting on our best garb and maybe washing our hair to go to dinner with that individual we are interested in. Rather, we are “hanging out” with someone who we “have a thing with”. What a lame way to get to know someone. Dating doesn’t mean you are automatically in a relationships. You date someone you are interested in to see if you two are compatible for one another.

The way that our generation is maneuvering complacent relationships is disturbing, to say the least. Instead of calling sitting on a couch watching Netflix and perusing Instagram a date, go out for a nice meal. Iron your shirt, curl you hair, show each other that you are interested. We are in college, so we can be adults about this.

The fear of rejection runs rampant in all of us. It is easy and comfortable to stand in the corner with shaking knees, silently sobbing because we think we stand no chance with our crush. But that is no way to live. You could miss out on meeting a fantastic person if you cannot bring yourself to speak with them face-to-face. What do you have to lose? Self-esteem? Sure, but you will find a way to get that back. Gentlemen, do not be afraid to approach a girl and ask her out. Even if she is unavailable, there is no doubt that she will be flattered you asked. If she is rude about it, that’s her deal. Ladies, do not be rude when pursued, and do not be afraid to demand the respect you deserve. Sometimes men need to be hit over the head with a baseball bat in order to see the goddess you are.

As a new generation rises up, the culture around them changes. The more we trivialize relationships, the farther we are going to be from creating honorable ones. We need to stop chickening out and start to pursue one another with respect and intention. 

Collegian columnist Zara DeGroot can be reached at or on Twitter @Zar_degroot.