Is Dating Still the Trend? (Reboot)

It's interesting enough that in the 21st century, I have to even wonder if dating is still a thing? The common trend, especially amongst millennials, seems to be to text for a few days (maybe even a week), hook-up maybe once or twice, and then both people sort of fade away. Has monogamous dating become a thing of the past? Do we consider the thought of marriage as something that we seen our grandparents be apart of for 20+ years, but not something that we aim for? How exactly do we define dating in the 21st century?

I have to be honest, my perception of dating used to be when two people are exclusively talking to each other, and no outside parties are involved. Now realize that I said that used to be my perception of dating until I actually went through a relationship and seen what one of the biggest flaws was; going behind each other's back to talk to people of the opposite sex. Now in the grand scheme of things, there's absolutely nothing wrong with talking to other people, unless you're a millennial that's in an exclusive relationship. I feel like we've gotten so far from the actual meaning of dating that we're finding more and more millennial couples ditching the thought of being in a monogamous relationship, for this polygamy type lifestyle. So that brings up my point, how exactly do we define dating?

The word "dating" originally was meant as a courtship between two individuals. You're probably like, okay, that's what I know, my boo and I have been together for 6 months and no ones cheating.. so what's your point? My point is, that courtship was not exclusively between two people, but rather both people were allowed to have other people that they were dating outside of this courtship. Dating, in its original context, was meant as a way to "explore all of your options," however, today this has become the complete opposite. Which in my opinion, say what you want, has been the cause of so many break-ups. Before I make this next point, let me be very clear that not everyone's situation is the same! Some people can meet their soul mate and know right away that they're going to be together forever, but for the vast majority of us, this isn't true. So here goes nothing... For the sake of being respectful, let's use my relationship, for example, we got together our senior year of high school. It was sort of a, "you like me, I like you. let's go to homecoming together. Well now we're in a relationship" and from there we were together for just about 4-years; however, those weren't 4 years of bliss, sis! Now, had we actually DATED, meaning we went out on dates for a while, got to know each other, kept our options open and went out with other people, then maybe we would have been able to tell early on if this was something we wanted to make "exclusive," but because we skipped the phase of "let's just be friends and get to know each other, beyond the surface" we both got curious. We got curious about whether or not old crushes were still single, or if the guy/girl we used to text would still be open to hook-up. Or even better, we started seeing our single friends out enjoying themselves, while we were "stuck" with each other, forcing ourselves to be happy with just our company. I mean come on now, can we really be honest with ourselves? How many times does that cross your mind while in your "relationship?" And don't you dare lie to yourselves, because if it didn't happen then everyone would remain happy in relationships with no cheating involved.

All I'm saying is, dating was intended for you to explore other options before deciding to be exclusive with someone. You have to also understand that this can only work if both parties are on the same page, we are not exclusive, we are both able to talk to/hook-up with (safe sex is great sex) whomever we so choose. I personally believe that when you date to get to know someone, instead of only dating to become exclusive, you learn people and how they really are. That way, if you so choose to become exclusive you can say, "Hey, I tried, I kept my options open, and I realize that it wasn't the lifestyle for me. I'm ready to be exclusive with someone." Additionally, I would hope that we're not out here exclusive with everyone that we meet because when I think of being exclusive I think of getting married in the long run. And let me tell you, there is only one "ex" of mine that I had the intention of marrying. See where I'm going with this? If we dated to get to know someone, rather than dating to be exclusive right away the rate of divorce would probably significantly decrease, and we would see more successful relationships even among young people. Just think about it...

I'm apart of the group of young adults that still believes in marriage. I don't think that it's a thing of the past, but I certainly think that it's something that's not as common. Especially for single people, we watch how even those who are married will get divorced like it's nothing. It can sometimes become discouraging because it's like "is that what I have to look forward to?" However, I can ensure you that most marriages end because they did not know their partner. Had they actually dated, kept their options open, and dated to get to know the person then the signs that they missed would have been caught early on.

I don't want this to discourage anyone from staying with their boo, my only goal is to make sure that as Millenials we understand the true meaning of dating. Understand that just because you're young, and life is starting to happen for you, and you see those around you getting engaged and having babies doesn't mean that you have to rush into something that a) you're not ready for and b) you're not even sure who you're rushing into it with. Enjoy your singleness and being able to date whomever, and don't ever let someone tell you that because you date multiple people you're a "hoe" or a "slut." You are simply exploring your options...

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