Is “Traditional” Dating a Thing of the Past?


Created by Ashlee Kothenbeutel

With the rise of “sliding into DMs” and “Netflix and chilling,” it seems that the traditional methods of dating are on the outs. While the specific aspects of dating are interpretive to each individual, there are some recent developments that have altered the entire concept. This has me asking: in the age of the internet, social media and dating apps, is “traditional” dating a thing of the past?

   Many young adults have turned to technology to meet others and to sustain these relationships. With the assumed shift away from “traditional” dating values comes new issues singles must face when trying these modern methods of meeting people.

   This isn’t to say that these values are gone, but because of the ease of the internet and normalization of hookup culture, priorities in the initial stages of a relationship have shifted, and the tell-tale signs of the courtships of days past have dissolved into antiquity, replaced by more modern methods of dating.

   With this new territory comes so many new terms and ideas that I still don’t fully comprehend. Dating apps, the impossibility of a blind date, “hanging out” rather than going on formal dates, “talking”, catfishing, ghosting, “DTR”, the list goes on. Many of these can be attributed to the pressure that comes alongside the more “traditional” ways of dating. 

   “Dating apps aren’t necessarily the best method for dating in the traditional sense, but they’re good for casual dating and hookup culture,” says SLU senior Katie Lienemann.

   But with these newer concepts, it can be hard to actually connect with the real person on a date, rather than the version they put of themselves online.

   The internet and social media also serve as research platforms for investigation into the life, likes and occasional selfies that may have been posted by a potential date, at times before ever even meeting them.

   It can be hard to form meaningful connections because dating app users continue to swipe with expectations of something greater to come along. But it’s important to keep in mind that these profiles only serve as a highlight reel, not necessarily the most genuine, all-encompassing version of the person.

   With all the ambiguity surrounding modern dating, the priorities of such have shifted. It is definitely still possible to date “traditionally,” but not as common. 

   So to answer my own question: I’m unconvinced that “traditional” dating is completely out, but I recognize the significant shift in the culture. Most of the time, whatever works will work. Love is love is love, no matter how you get to it.