September 4 2013
Vidette Online: Casual dating in college is on the rise
By Matt Johnson
With the pressures of work and school, college students increasingly prefer to not go on dates than in previous years.
According to a psychology study at James Madison University, college-age students are twice as likely to “hook-up” as they are to be in an actual relationship.
Although when asked if students prefer dating versus hooking-up, the majority of students from both genders said that given the choice, they preferred traditional dating.
About 77 percent of males said they would pick dating over a casual hook-up and 95 percent of the females surveyed said the same.
This concept in psychology is known as pluralistic ignorance. Essentially, if everybody is doing it, it must be good. The main question is whether or not this applies to ISU students too.
“I’d say for me it is a mixture of both,” mass media major Ashley Taylor said. “You have this newfound freedom in college and with that, you want to experience more and only have to look out for yourself. But also, you are entering a serious time in your life where most people do find their significant other.”
From the study, both genders said the potential for a broken heart is one of the biggest drawbacks to traditional dating. The idea of going on an actual date appears to be too risky of an option compared to a casual relationship.
“I don’t feel the pressure of traditional dating,” athletic training major Ryan Darko said. “I’d rather be one-on-one and be able to talk, rather than have other people around you to determine the situation.”
Compared to the past, dating is now further complicated by ambiguous language. Some of these examples include just talking, hooking-up, friends with benefits and open relationships.
These phrases and words are used to try and avoid the commitment of being in a relationship, according to the article “The Complexities of the Casual Date.” These semi-relationships alleviate the pressure of a real relationship by allowing both parties to leave their options open.
According to a study sponsored by the Independent Women’s Forum, the average college student was raised to believe in equality between the sexes. This has resulted in blurring gender roles when it comes to dating etiquette.
The Women’s Forum report suggested the burden of asking and paying for a date is no longer expected of the guy.
“I would say in this respect dating is more casual now,” mass media major Peter Hansen said. “It depends on the girl, but for the most part I casually prefer to hang out.”
Dating may have become more casual, but it has not become less complicated.