What Happened to Courtship?

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Courtship is being redefined.  Is it for the better?

Young 20-somethings “hang out,” opting for group socializing over personal one-on-one encounters and often engage in casual “hook-up” sex.  Texting, e-mail, Twitter or other forms of “asynchronous communication” have replaced more personal introductions. According to a recent New York Times article about courtship today:

“In the context of dating, it removes much of the need for charm; it’s more like dropping a line in the water and hoping for a nibble.”

“We’re all Ph.D.’s in Internet stalking these days,” said Andrea Lavinthal, an author of the 2005 book “The Hookup Handbook.” “Online research makes the first date feel unnecessary, because it creates a false sense of intimacy. You think you know all the important stuff, when in reality, all you know is that they watch ‘Homeland.’ ”

According to the article:

“Online dating services, which have gained mainstream acceptance, reinforce the hyper-casual approach by greatly expanding the number of potential dates. Faced with a never-ending stream of singles to choose from, many feel a sense of “FOMO” (fear of missing out), so they opt for a speed-dating approach — cycle through lots of suitors quickly.

That also means that suitors need to keep dates cheap and casual. A fancy dinner? You’re lucky to get a drink.”

Also cited in the article are the changing economic power dynamic between the genders. This means that younger generations are expecting and accepting something very different in their relationships, much different from previous generations.  Witnessing the divorce rates of their parents, reliance on technological communications, and more casual encounters…   Does this help them find a match or hurt them?  What do you think?

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