One blogger’s personal bridge to nowhere

What is this “dating” of which you speak?

Evidence of a shocking generational gap, courtesy of a New York Times op-ed by Charles Blow (who doesn’t even look that old):

heartThe paradigm has shifted. Dating is dated. Hooking up is here to stay.

(For those over 30 years old: hooking up is a casual sexual encounter with no expectation of future emotional commitment. Think of it as a one-night stand with someone you know.)

According to a report released this spring by Child Trends, a Washington research group, there are now more high school seniors saying that they never date than seniors who say that they date frequently. Apparently, it’s all about the hookup.

Apparently?  Today is December 13, 2008.  My only question is, how did it take adults, or the older generation, or maybe just the stodgy editorial pages of The Old Grey Lady this long to figure out that this “strange culture” of “hooking up” — a sort of bizarro-dating world for Blow, who “first heard about hooking up” a few years ago — is very much the norm?  Did anyone who at all interacts with youths, even who just watches television, seriously think that young men were still calling up gals (on landbound telephones, of course) and taking them out to drive-in movies (or whatever one did back in the days of dating?)

The fact that members of a generation just one notch above my own have no real understanding of “hooking up,” and that this idea is even more foreign to them as a world of serial “dating” is to those in my own generation, might just be an indication of how cloistered I have been within my own age group’s cultural norms.  Or, it might just mean that people over 35 or so are just incorrigibly unhip.

(image from flickr user Henry 8.0 under a Creative Commons license)


December 13, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,


  1. Well, it could be that kids just aren’t telling the “older generation” what’s going down. My parents certainly aren’t hearing it from me. They also frequently remark on how “unfortunate” it is that television portrays relationships the way it does because its “so unrealistic,” “purely sensational” and gives people “the wrong impression about how things really are.” But then my parents are immigrants who (I think) missed the sexual revolution back home and got here after it had passed, so they live in a twilight-zone in some respects.

    Comment by Estrella | December 13, 2008 | Reply

  2. […] Read more: What is this “dating” of which you speak? « Boondoggle […]

    Pingback by What is this “dating” of which you speak? « Boondoggle | Find Lover | December 13, 2008 | Reply

  3. […] Someone who actually remembers what the whole “dating” scene was really like opines on that brand new “hookup” culture: Having dated extensively before settling down, I don’t recall ever having a meaningful […]

    Pingback by Hookups: just like dating, except meaningful « Boondoggle | December 21, 2008 | Reply

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