The Courting Conundrum



United States Census data reports the average age that male and female Americans decide to tie the knot is 28 years old and 27 years old, respectively. These numbers mean that most college freshmen can expect to be married less than ten years from the time they start school. For current Jaspers, the matrimonial clock may already be ticking.

Statistically speaking, nuptials may be knocking, but in a society that has accepted a so-called “hookup culture” as the norm, a wedding is the furthest thing from any college student’s mind. In an era where “hanging out” has been accepted as standard for getting to know someone you might be interested in, going on a real-life date seems old-fashioned.

“Dating as we know it has gone the way of dinosaurs, eight-track players, and stirrup pants,” Andrea Lavinthal, wrote in the 2005 book “The Hookup Handbook.” “Hooking up is what happens between two people who don’t necessarily have any foreseeable future or even a hint of commitment.”

Kerry Cronin, professor of philosophy at Boston College, offers a standing extra credit assignment to those students of hers who will brave the college-dating scene, according to an article in The Boston Globe published in May of 2014. The rules: the student must extend the invitation face to face, pay for the date, and no alcohol, kissing or sex can be involved.

Manhattan College sophomore education majors Klaudia Maslowska and Diana Boyadjian both say they would be up for the challenge.

“I think that would be awesome, actually,” Maslowska said. “Going on a date with someone gives you a chance to find out more about them as a person. Hanging out could be you and them, or anyone could join. It’s less personal.”

“Hanging out is probably watching a movie in a dorm room,” Boyadjian weighs in. “When I think of a date, that would be more like going out to a restaurant or the movies or somewhere and it’s just the two of you.”

If college-aged students know they are missing out, what is stopping them from dating?

Christopher Pecorini, a junior civil engineering major, thinks technology has something to do with this. “Since everyone texts and uses social media, they want instant gratification. They don’t want to take the time to go on a date to see if someone likes them, they want to hang out with them to see if they’re interested first,” Pecorini said.

In a survey published via Facebook and Twitter, 77.14 percent of Manhattan College students who responded say they would prefer going on a date rather than hanging out with someone they’re interested in being in a relationship with. Despite the overwhelming acknowledgement that hookup culture has put a generally negative air about courting in college, only 30.56 percent of students say they have asked someone on a date before.

When asked if they wished dating were ‘a thing’ again, the results were unanimous. So the question remains: if 100 percent of students want to bring back dating, what are they waiting for?




Have you asked someone to hang out before? 75% 25%
Have you been asked to hang out before? 88.89% 11.11%
Have you ever asked someone on a date? 30.56% 69.44%
Have you ever been asked on a date? 77.78% 22.22%
Do you think hanging out implies a different set of expectations than going on a date? 94.44% 5.56%
Do you think people your age are missing out on something that they would have experienced in a past generation? 91.18% 8.82%
Do you think young people should go on more dates? 94.29% 2.86%
Would you prefer to go on a date with someone (rather than hang out with them)? 77.14% 22.86%
Do you wish dating were a thing again? 100% 0%

Note: The above results come from a survey published by Kayli McTague through Facebook and Twitter. A total of 37 Manhattan College students responded.