Dating: Then (1980s) vs. Now (2018)
Dating today is a ramped up hyper-speed version of relationship starting that no one
envisioned on a regular basis only 40 years ago. While the early 1980s, for example, were a
decade of prosperity, new independence rules and success for anyone who really wanted
it, there were still a lot of rules and expectations when it came to connecting with someone
else. The speed at which people get together today wasn’t even expected socially back then
except for maybe grittier parts of the inner big cities. Today, one can date, connect, become
intimate, and breakup in the space of 72 hours if not less, depending how fast the
relationship can be posted to social media.
Starting with the basics, dating always began with conversation. Whether it was a casual passing or actual direct discussion, a date didn’t happen unless folks actual met in-person, talked a bit, and decided to go further. And further meant an actual evening out or a weekend day to the beach, movie or local county fair. Today, a date can be set and even halfway occur between digital apps, texting, phone calls, and even Facetime video while mobile. In some respects, life may even be imitating art as dating today occurs on a computer first, like a bad skit on the futuristic cartoon, The Jetsons.
Back in the 1980s, if you wanted to go on a date, a car was essential.
It was your means of independence and it meant you had enough status to actually take somebody out, usually the guy picking up the girl. If you didn’t have your own car, you didn’t count, period.
Granted, there were a few goths and skateboarders who managed to skirt the car rule, but for the most part, everyone eventually needed a car to really be an independent young person and ready for full dating. Today, if you need car for a connection, there’s app for that. Everything from car rides to actually renting a car through an app exists. So this dating barrier has effectively dropped wherever there’s a robust Internet network and supporting transportation vendors providing custom needs in cars. And far more folks are getting around for leisure and social connections now than ever before.
Anything a date in the 1980s meant literally meeting in a public place, maybe going for a meal,
entertainment and then an eventual goodbye at the end of the night. Any reasonable
person expected at least a couple of dates, maybe even weeks of them before
serious happened. Today, a date could literally mean an intimate connection and moving in
together by the end of the week. This dynamic simply depends on passion and raw
interest. No surprise, however, breakups happen a lot faster too as a reality eventually
sinks in about whom one is actually dating in modern times.
What is a Serious Dating?
Regardless of the 1980s versus now, serious dating and long-term relationship seems to happen once folks pass the one-year mark. However, modern long-term dating could mean a decade of limbo versus moving closer and closer to a wedding proposal in a few years as
in the 1980s. So, the idea of serious dating has obviously blurred, and could outright stall into the equivalent of a civil union but no actual ceremony.
Again, things have speeded up considerably but dating is also easier to initiate today than it
was 40 years ago. And, at the end of the day, no matter how high-tech we get, dating still
comes down to people becoming personal with each other, at least for now. If robots get in
the mix in the future, all bets are off.