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Blame the much-documented rise of the “hookup culture” among young people, characterized by spontaneous, commitment-free (and often, alcohol-fueled) romantic flings. That may explain why “dates” among 20-somethings resemble college hookups, only without the dorms.Many students today have never been on a traditional date, said Donna Freitas, who has taught religion and gender studies at Boston University and Hofstra and is the author of the forthcoming book, “The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy.” Hookups may be fine for college students, but what about after, when they start to build an adult life? Lindsay, a 25-year-old online marketing manager in Manhattan, recalled a recent non-date that had all the elegance of a keg stand (her last name is not used here to avoid professional embarrassment).
But when the dark-eyed musician with artfully disheveled hair asked Shani Silver, a social media and blog manager in Philadelphia, out on a “date” Friday night, she was expecting at least a drink, one on one. Silver, 30, who wore her favorite skinny black jeans. “Hey, I’m at Pub & Kitchen, want to meet up for a drink or whatever?
The problem is that “young people today don’t know how to get out of hookup culture,” Ms. In interviews with students, many graduating seniors did not know the first thing about the basic mechanics of a traditional date. After an evening when she exchanged flirtatious glances with a bouncer at a Williamsburg nightclub, the bouncer invited her and her friends back to his apartment for whiskey and boxed macaroni and cheese.
“They’re wondering, ‘If you like someone, how would you walk up to them? When she agreed, he gamely hoisted her over his shoulders, and, she recalled, “carried me home, my girlfriends and his bros in tow, where we danced around a tiny apartment to some MGMT and Ratatat remixes.” She spent the night at the apartment, which kicked off a cycle of weekly hookups, invariably preceded by a Thursday night text message from him saying, ‘hey babe, what are you up to this weekend?
If something happens and we break up, my heart is just going to shrivel up and die.
Most relationships I can take or leave and it never takes me very long to get over them when they end, but not this one. We got to know each other really well without the pressure of dating, and I think that’s really helped us.