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17 College Women Get Real About The Lack of ‘Old-Fashioned Dating’ On Campus

Can you remember the last time a nice guy came up to you at a party and politely asked for your number without trying to grope you, ask you to come to his room to do shots, or do something else his mother certainly wouldn’t have approved of? And then not only did this fantasy guy take your number, but then he called the next day and asked if you’d like to go to dinner with him? Does this sound like nothing more than a fantasy? Well, we get it, it’s rare.

Old-fashioned dating – or simply dating as it used to be called—is uncommon these days. So we had 17 college women discuss the lack of ‘old-fashioned dating’ on their campus.

“People go on DHD (dining hall dates) here, but since that’s part of a meal plan no one’s really paying or ‘taking someone out.’ It’s on campus for Christ’s sake. Other than that, ‘Notre Dating’ doesn’t usually include real traditional dates. I like the idea just because it clarifies that someone likes you and it clarifies their intentions. Hooking up is a bit ambiguous.”

-Abby, University of Notre Dame Class of 2018

“I do think that there is a lack of ‘old-fashioned dating’ on my campus. It seems as if the hookup culture has taken over, although I do see a few people go out on dinner dates or movie dates. I wish that more people saw how important traditional dates are. I think that our generation doesn’t feel the need to settle down as quickly as people have in the past. College is about focusing on yourself and learning about yourself. Since many college kids want to focus on themselves, they don’t want a traditional relationship.”

-Victoria, Fairfield University Class of 2018

RELATED: A Freshman Girl’s Guide to College Dating

“I feel like there’s a bit of both on campus. You have those who are suckers for romance and feel the need to go on dates to develop a connection to someone. Then there are those who are perfectly fine with hooking up, those who find a meaningful connection through just hanging out with someone and just finding and doing things of common interest together. And then you have those who are just a mix of both of these, which is perfectly fine. Personally I love traditional dates, you know movies and dinner and the like, but I also enjoy just watching Doctor Who with a potential partner and realizing we have the same sense of humor. It’s not about what is traditional or what is expected, it’s about what works for you and your partner.”

-Amanda, Manhattanville College Class of 2019

“There is definitely a lack of ‘old-fashioned dating’ at Penn State. In the words of my roommate, people aren’t virgins anymore. So, they don’t want to spend the time getting to know someone when they can get what they want in a faster way. I know of maybe three people, including myself, who have actually gone on real dates. That is a very small amount. Most ‘dates’ are just hookups. If a guy is serious about a girl, then he usually takes her out on a date, but most guys are not serious in college. Most people I’ve known go out to dinner and pay for their own dinners because you know, food is expensive and we’re in college. That’s probably another reason why traditional dates are not as prevalent. On top of that, we have a heavy party scene here. That doesn’t really give people a lot of time to form relationships with someone they would date in an old fashioned sense. For example, when I think of old-fashioned dates, I think of a guy going to ask out a girl he just saw at a bar or something. At Penn State, people shrug that kind of behavior off by saying ‘You’re drunk’ or thinking that it’s weird to ask someone out that you just met. Most people only ‘date’ people they know, but they don’t actually go out on dates; they just hang out all the time. Personally, I think that’s better because that’s what a relationship is supposed to be; that’s the ultimate goal. The person is supposed to be a part of your life every day. You aren’t going to get that if you go through the old fashioned traditionally rigid dating scene. We as a society and a university are so much more relaxed with those kinds of things these days.”

-Katie, Penn State University Class of 2018

“There is definitely a lack of ‘old-fashioned dating’ on campus. Ever since Tinder and the ‘Netflix and chill’ phenomenon, going out on dates has become rare. It’s so easy for guys to DM you and invite you over just to ‘chill’ without taking you out on a proper date first. And what’s even scarier is that the girls are actually content with just ‘Netflix and chill’-ing. Of course I still wish people would still go on traditional dates. You can truly get to know a person and learn about their hobbies, families and interests on those kinds of dates. Back then if you liked a person, you would take them out on multiple dates and decide if you like them enough to hook up with. Nowadays, you hook up with a person for a couple of times, and try to figure out if you like him or her enough to take out on a date. Crazy how times have changed.”

-Rachel, Virginia Commonwealth University Class of 2016


“My boyfriend and I have only been on one ‘old-fashioned date,’ but I would like to go on more.”

-Hannah, Kenyon College Class of 2019

“In the past year I’ve seen a reemergence of the real date. Usually a real date consists of going to the movies or just off campus to eat. I would even consider a dining hall date to be a step in the right direction. I think that going on a real date means you have to talk to someone for more than just a flirty conversation on Tinder and for some people, the idea of talking to someone they like without the scripted-ness a phone provides is terrifying to the point of paralysis.”

Mercy, University of Notre Dame Class of 2017

“It just feels like relationships are sexual tension with cell phones. I think traditional dates are so rare, because people focus on getting intimate too fast. So the fun of getting to know the person is lost.”

-Katherine, Indiana University of Pennsylvania Class of 2017

“From a freshman’s perspective, I definitely feel that there is a lack of ‘old-fashioned dating.’ It seems as if majority of the guys my friends or I have met or hung out with aren’t really looking for anything serious; everyone, especially guys, just seem to want a hookup. This is difficult for me because I personally am not all that interested in conforming to the hookup culture associated with dating. So I absolutely wish people still went on traditional dates, but I do understand that money, as a college student, can be extremely tight. However, I do think that if a guy is truly interested in making things work with a girl he is interested in, he will recognize that ‘Netflix and Chill’ is not acceptable nor is it appropriate.”

-Gabriella, University of North Carolina Wilmington Class of 2019

RELATED: Opinion: Why Dating Isn’t Dead

“People’s dates consist of going to someone’s apartment and eating like leftover pizza or something. It’s never consisting of actually going out. I still want traditional dates but Drexel is such a hookup school.”

-Mae, Drexel University Class of 2019

“It’s kind of pathetic that the idea of ‘old-fashioned dating’ is dying. First off it should be just called dating. Dating can mean many things such as romantic dinner, movie night at your partner’s place, adventuring, clubbing, hanging at the bar, etc. There’s so many things you and your partner can do where you can have a balance of being romantic and silly.”

-Rachel, Temple University Class of 2018

“I would rather not go on an old-fashioned date. I don’t believe in it and I don’t believe it is healthy, either.”

-Melanie, Emerson College Class of 2019

“I don’t know the dating habits of most of my peers on campus, but I am sick of the hookup culture. Dating is a commitment to someone you see yourself possibly getting married to in the future. Sex should be saved for marriage, and even if you don’t really believe that, the new ideas of ‘dating’ and hooking up are much less satisfying in the long run and you end up hurting yourself a lot.”

-Victoria, Siena College Class of 2017


“On my campus, I’d say it’s 50/50. I am actually surprised at how many people go on real dates. From what I’ve heard, many dates occur downtown in restaurants, bars, the park, festivals, on-campus events and the movies. Of course there are many who just like to hookup or not go out. Personally, I am very old-fashioned when it comes to dating so I like the fact that ‘old-fashioned dating’ is prominent on my campus.”

-Alexandria, Kent State University Class of 2017

“I honestly feel like ‘old-fashioned dating’ is out the window. Many people tend to go right into sex without getting to know the other person’s last name. Sadly, there are no more dates to the movies or dates to the museum. I see less and less of that and more of a hook up, where after sex, it turns out the two people like each other and they start a relationship.”

-Michelle, Manhattanville College Class of 2016

RELATED: How to Determine Who Should Pay on Your Next Date

“For me, normally I always do a dinner and a movie at the house for a first date. I cook for the dinner and we can watch a movie from a DVD or Netflix. I think this way is better than going out on a real date because it is cheaper. That way I don’t have to worry about paying and neither does the guy.”

-Nicole, Ivy Tech Community College Class of 2019

“Everything these days is all about that ‘Netflix and chill.’ How are we supposed to get to know any guys if all we do is chill and get sexual right away? Where is the sexual build up? It’s not there. The fiery chemistry that grows between people who go on real dates is missing. Traditional dating is great, and I wish more guys would take initiative and ask girls out. If it doesn’t go well, you don’t go out again, it’s simple. I think traditional dates are rare on campus because people are afraid. We have a really messed up vision of what is considered socially acceptable these days. I wish we could go back to old-fashioned dating and chivalrous men.”

-Alixandria, Franklin and Marshall College Class of 2019

Cara Sprunk has been the Managing Editor of Her Campus since fall 2009. She is a 2010 graduate of Cornell University where she majored in American Studies with a concentration in cultural studies. At Cornell Cara served as the Assistant Editor of Red Letter Daze, the weekend supplement to the Cornell Daily Sun where she also wrote for the news and arts section and blogged about pop culture. In her free time Cara enjoys reading, shopping, going to the movies, exploring and writing.  
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