“Dating now should be just like how it was in the '50s.” I hear and read this statement often, and each time I cringe slightly for a variety of reasons.

“Back in the day dating was easier and more romantic.” First of all, no. Dating has been and will continue to be relative to the culture in which it is occurring. Not to mention that although romantic things may have occurred in the 1950s, just as many romantic things may occur in any decade, the 1950s was a decade notorious for sexism and racism -- both of which manifested in a variety of forms.

Second of all, just as our culture has changed dramatically, dating culture has followed suit. Sure, people didn’t considering “texting” to be a phase in a relationship thirty years ago. People also didn’t have cellphones. Maybe people didn’t “Netflix and chill,” but they also didn’t have thousands of movies and TV shows at their fingertips. Dating culture is heavily influenced by technology because the world is heavily influenced by technology.

Although I do agree that speaking to someone face to face is an incredibly genuine experience and texting “just isn’t the same,” how incredible is it that you can have an on-going conversation with someone you’re interested in while being separated by a wall, a few buildings, or a time zone? How awesome is it that you can send a video capturing what you’re experiencing to someone instantaneously? Technology doesn’t have to be the demise of human connection, but rather it can broaden it.

Is courtship dying? Yes, thank goodness. Believe it or not I would be offended if someone asked my dad for my hand in marriage before me. Women are no longer waiting around to be “wooed” by a good-looking gentleman. People have more choices. Are people hooking up more? Maybe. There are also fewer people getting married at the age of fifteen. Things are changing.

Change can be scary, but change also can be good. Dating culture is evolving and will continue to do so. Maybe you see something appealing about the 1950s. Maybe it was James Dean (what a hottie). But it is about time that we all accept the fact that we are all products of the culture that we live in.

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Published by Jenna Finnis