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The Blue & Gray Press | September 23, 2018

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Dating culture at Mary Washington

Dating culture at Mary Washington

By ADDIE HINTON

Staff Writer

Dating in college or in your early twenties is said to be one of the best times of your life. You’ve finally broken away from the constant surveillance of mom and dad and can be with who you want when you want. All this new-found freedom comes rushing in with each school year. We all know what college dating looks like in the movies, but are these grand romantic gestures the norm? Or has the hookup culture taken over?

Dating in college seems to involve many factors. Social media, in particular, has become a popular way to meet people.

“I only know like three people who have been asked out on sit down dates and two of them were through Tinder,” said senior Hayley Tuck. Apps like Tinder and Bumble are some of the most popular dating apps for college students to use. With this technology, a rise in casual, short-term dating has emerged in the college scene. And even better, you can date without even leaving your dorm.

“I know a lot of people who got in relationships freshman year, but they usually seem to break up junior year. I have never seen a relationship make it through all of college,” said senior Danielle Mirabella. Her reasoning for why couples can never make it through college is that “[People are] changing but also realizing they want the full college experience and not to be with one person all the time.”

This idea of what college should be like influences many people’s relationships but, as it turns out, how students have been viewing their college lifestyle here may not be too accurate with how students around the country are actually living.

It seems like most students here on campus put value in being social, in dating apps and in living out their college years while they still can. Then why are studies showing different conclusions?

According to The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, which collected data from over 22 universities around the United States, “College students have essentially equal rates of hooking up and dating. Since beginning college, approximately 62 percent reported having hooked up, while 61 percent said they had gone out on a date.” Even more shocking, “Only 8 percent of all students had hooked up without ever going on a date or being in a long-term relationship. More than 3 times as many students – 26.5 percent — had never hooked up at all, but instead had dated and/or formed a long-term relationship.”

This raises the question of why college students think that hooking up has replaced dating and that all college relationships are doomed to fail? The answer may be simpler than we think.

Being too busy for a steady relationship, not knowing quite yet what they want, simply enjoying being single or just focusing on being independent were some of the reasons given for why students have opted out of dating. Many also believe that the right person will eventually come around. For others, the dating world here is just fun to be a part of.

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