So, what is "dating?"

This blog is written by Casey Funtal.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, a lot of people are probably wondering whether they are celebrating this year. In college, it is hard to pin down exactly what dating even is. Is it meeting up at parties, going on coffee dates, or somewhere in between?

There are so many ways to meet someone on a college campus that would have never happened in high school. Once you meet someone, there are even more ways to keep in touch or find out more about someone and if there is any interest in getting to know them. It is no longer normal to just call someone up and ask them out. Texting plays a huge role in casual flirting and hook ups.

Once you have connected with someone, there is gaging how much you text, tweet, or Snapchat. This can sometimes determine if the conversations will escalade to something more, or it could just be a flirty interaction with no follow up.

To make things even more confusing, there is a range of new terminology that is associated with flirting. Talking is commonly thought of as the stage before a couple moves to dating. The catch is that someone can be “talking” to multiple people but dating none of them.

If I were to tell someone a few generations ago that I was “talking” to someone, they would think that I meant I was having a conversation with them. They would never think that it meant potentially dating the person. How are we supposed to know when to text only one person exclusively? We all know how easy it is to fall for someone that we are talking to daily over text and other social media, but when does it escalate?

Even though there are blurred lines with texting and social media it is generally not as confusing as it is when physical intimacy is involved. College is a time when there are thousands of adults the same age with no parents around, also known as a free-for-all.

When we came from high school the general question was, “How long do you date before you hook up?” Now that we are in college the question has changed to, “How many times do we hook up before we date?”