What Happened To Dating?

August 24th, 2011

In one of my classes, we talked about the breakdown of traditional dating in the world today. It seems like dating has become a very abstract idea nowadays. In our parents and grandparents generation, dating was common and well thought out. Dates were meant to allow the couple to spend time getting to know each other and was hoped to lead to a more serious relationship.

Now, dating seems to be a thing of the past. Hanging out or Hooking Up are the new norms with no clear boundaries (See StrongerMarriage.org under the Dating tab to read “Hanging Out vs Traditional Dating). Hanging out can lead to Hooking up, which is sex without any promise of a relationship. Sex then leads to more hanging out, maybe the possibility of a relationship, cohabitation, engagement then marriage. Dating has disappeared and is being replaced by ambiguous steps towards a possible relationship and marriage.

So what if we changed the expectation? What if we demanded more official dates and less of unclear hanging out situations? What if we actually pursued relationships and got to know the people we’re attracted to early on?

To help get started on bringing formal dating back, I’ve come up with 5 date ideas that are fun and easy on your wallet! Some of these are central to Utah residents but those readers outside of Utah could find similar activities.


Picnic date Spring 2008

Date #1: Pack a picnic dinner complete with vintage style glass bottled soda and chocolate covered strawberries and to see a free movie showing in Rock Canyon Park or other city parks in the state through the month of August.  First Things First sponsors great “Movies in the Park” in Chatanooga, TN.


My husband getting really into a game at Nickel City

Date #2: Head over to Nickel City or another arcade and challenge each other to video games and/or laser tag. Then head over to the Creamery on 9th for some famous BYU Creamery ice cream. (A child’s scoop is plenty!)


My husband next to a fort we made

Date #3: Put a spin on dinner and a movie. Instead of going to a regular theater, plan a movie and dinner date at home. To make it even more exciting, make dinner together and then help each other build a fort in the living room. This also gives you a lot more opportunities to talk without having to be shushed by other movie patrons.


Going to a dance Fall 2008

Date #4: Go dancing! A lot of cities have different dance nights at local community centers (Here’s a website for the Salt Lake and Provo areas). Check your local areas for dance classes and learn a thing or two. Afterwards, grab a milkshake at your favorite place (In N’ Out) and relax.


Hiking Mt. Timpanogas Summer 2008

Date #5: Take a hike! Some of the best dates (okay, one date cause I’m lazy) my husband and I went on when we were dating was hiking Mount Timpanogos. It was a great chance to talk and get to know each other especially in trying circumstances (Did I mention I’m kind of lazy?). It was definitely a date that brought us a lot closer since we had to rely on each other a lot (Did I also mention we hiked it at night? We’re crazy like that!).

I have a lot more ideas where that came from but this should help get you started. There are also date ideas on StrongerMarriage.org under the Dating tab. These dates are also great for already dating, engaged or married couples! Every couple can benefit from date nights. So go ask your partner out on a date (or someone you have been interested in for a while if you are not currently in a relationship) and have fun with it! Dating should be about fun, romance, and opportunities to get to know the person you’re with, even if you’ve been with them for 10 years. There’s always more to learn and love!

What are some of your great date ideas?? Share them in the comments below!