On dating.

Is dating ever not-stupid? I mean dating as in “we had a couple of dates,” not as a synonym for having relationships. All the worthwhile couples I know either became a full fledged couple (whether monogamous or not) pretty much on the week that they met, or just hung out in the same social circles.

Every generation has its own unique set of courtship rituals. In our corner of the world, the formal dating ritual is on the cusp of becoming an anachronism. That doesn’t mean dating is stupid. It’s just no longer the dominant paradigm.

There will always be a process by which we choose mates, but the equalization of gender roles and shifting cultural values no longer make it necessary to follow a scripted, rules-based model of the get-to-know-you game. Courtship hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s just more casual.

If you’re asking this question because you’d prefer dating to today’s amorphous style of courtship, don’t get frustrated. You can still date. The world is full of people who prefer antiques. Just because dating is outdated, that doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant.

On the other hand, if you were just confirming what you already felt to be true about dating, then yes. You can ignore your mother’s rules.

Either way, just enjoy yourself. We’re lucky to live in an era where our livelihoods no longer depend on it.


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