The New York Times Says "Courtship" is Dead: Millennials Disagree

In the car I just can't wait,
to pick you up on our very first date
Is it cool if I hold your hand?
Is it wrong if I think it's lame to dance?

In case you don't recognize them, these are the lyrics to a great song by Blink-182, “First Date,” which encompasses nervousness and anticipation of a first date. According to the New York Times, millennials do not date anymore, and thus have no idea what the significance of these lyrics is; instead, we are only privy to hooking up. We do not seek companionship and love anymore. All we want is a good f*ck. But the New York Times errs in numerous ways.

First of all, the idea of hooking up has been apparent throughout numerous generations and is not pertinent to the 2010s. Generations of Americans have been hooking up, from the flappers to the 1970s. Have most people not forgotten the 1960s and the sexual revolution?

Another thing is that the idea of romantic love has not been lost. The ideas of dating and courtship may change with the time, but overall, the general view of romantic have been stable and continues to be idealistic. Studies have shown that romantic love may be defined in “positive (e.g. trust, honesty, happiness, companionship, happiness and respect).” Moreover, researchers have found that romantic love continues to be a main staple in human’s lives. (One thing to note about these studies is that the demographic is limited to mostly heterosexual, college students and may not encompass different sexualities.) So, New York Times, romantic love is still not dead.

The evidence that the author utilizes is anecdotes from Manhattan millennials. Obviously, this does not encompass the whole population of millennial dating, nor do anecdotes serve as the most viable source for making such blanket statements about a whole generation. Anecdotes serve a great way prove a point, but doe not provide empirical evidence that completely convinces me we are a generation that does not date.

The author uses a gender studies scholar to speak about hook up culture. One scholar’s point of view is not the end all, be all point of view on dating. The scholar also states that we do not know how to understand the mechanics of a first date. I would hope that our generation would know how to take an individual out on a date. I know this anecdotal evidence isn’t the best evidence, but I have been out on many real dates and other people I know have been, as well.

Previously, I wrote an article claiming we are a hook-up generation, but isn’t it always fun to prove yourself wrong? I’m not going to say we don’t hook up or casually date, but saying that this is the end on courtship all together is going too far. I mean, don’t you still want to get those butterflies from your very first date?


Note: If you cannot view the articles or studies in PDF form, inform me and I can send you the actual studies.

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Michelle Adams

Currently serving as an AmeriCorps member at the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness with the Campaign to End Homelessness program, Michelle is passionate about ending homelessness. She graduated with a B.A. in Communication and a specialization in public relations and a minor in sexuality and conflict/management from Michigan State University. Her interests lie in writing about culture, sexuality/gender and homelessness. Offline she enjoys quoting How I Met Your Mother, volunteering, swinging at parks and stargazing.

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