Dating is dead

IUS Horizon

Relationship, dating trends change for college students

With Valentine’s Day approaching, store fronts are displaying candy hearts, boxes of chocolates, red roses and gemstone jewelry, but when it is all said and done, does anyone have a date to partake in this romantic holiday?

Justin Garcia, evolutionary biologist and researcher at The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University Bloomington, said in an article written in IU Media Relations that ‘dating is nearly dead.’

According to a study published in the Review of General Psychology last year, it was found that more students are hooking up, which leads to sexual encounters, instead of dating.

Students are hooking up thinking it will lead to a first date, but instead, they are having more hook ups than first dates.

“If we’re going to take college health seriously, we have to think of the context in which dating, love and sex occur,” Garcia said. “This is the context college students are experiencing—hookups first and then, maybe, relationships. We need to understand the physical and psychological consequences, both positive and negative.”

College students are no longer dating to find a partner, Garcia said.

“They go to movies together only after they’ve had a sexual encounter,” Garcia said. “It is not until the college student moves out of college campuses and into adulthood that more traditional dating occurs.”

Philip Zimbardo, psychologist and a professor emeritus at Stanford University, said on TED talks, “Guys are flaming out academically and wiping out socially with girls and sexually with women.” TED talk is a conference that is held annually to unite opinionated speakers.

Intimacy is a fear, not only associated in boys, but in girls also, Zimbardo said.

“Excessive internet use, along with excessive video gaming and ‘porning’ arousals have become addictive resulting in social awkwardness,” Zimbardo said. “They don’t know what to say to the opposite sex.”

With this in mind, Bernardo Carducci, professor of psychology and director of the Shyness Research Institute at IU Southeast, said, “Every great relationship, romantic or business or otherwise, begins with small talk.”

The structure of communication is not random, Carducci said. When people learn the structure they will have the skill.

Carducci is the author of “The Pocket Guide to Making Successful Small Talk: How to Talk to Anyone Anytime Anywhere about Anything.”

“Students or people in general don’t know how to get started,” Carducci said. “They think to get started they have to have this fabulous line, when all they really need to do is just be nice.”

Shyness does not just disappear, Carducci said. The person just changes their focus.

“The number one issue for shyness is meeting people and making friends,” Carducci said. “Once you are in a relationship your shyness disappears, because your focus is no longer on their self, but the focus is on the other person.”

People who are shy focus on their faults and limitations, Carducci said.
“Shy people walk around with a mirror in front of them, because once they get in front of a mirror they start adjusting their glasses, their hair and their make-up,” Carducci said.

Thirty percent of students say they do not know how to make friends or talk to people, Dahlgren said.

The Pathways class is being taught to students for them to learn how to interact with professionals in their field of choice.

There is a Pathways networking event where the students pick the professionals who are to attend, Dahlgren said.

“The professionals are set up as panels in front of the classroom and each speaker gets 10 minutes to talk to the students,” Dahlgren said.
“The students will have a half an hour to ask each person on the panel any questions they may have.”

These events are open to any student at IU Southeast, Dahlgren said.
“Students at the end of the event will be able to introduce themselves and shake hands with the professionals,” Dahlgren said.

Brigette Adams, faculty secretary of the School of Social Sciences, said she proofread Carducci’s “Pocket Guide to Making Successful Small Talk.”
“The small talk book helped me to know how to talk to strangers in a lot of social situations,” Adams said. “I met my husband Dave, because of the suggestions that are in that book.”

Adams said her husband was her tour guide on the island of Maui.

“Because of my familiarity of Carducci’s work and of being able to talk with people, I was able to strike up a conversation with him and I actually asked him out on a date and he said yes,” Adams said.

Adams and her husband have been married since 2008.

“Before I read the small talk book, I would have never been on vacation by myself, let alone start up a conversation with a stranger,” Adams said. “It has really helped me socially.”