Opinion: Traditional dating … does it still exist?

Kara Taylor

Kara Taylor

Kara Taylor is a freshman journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. She can be reached at [email protected]

Our modern world is constantly changing. Some might say for the worse and others for the better. In a country where texting and email are more effective than talking on the phone, the dating scene is also rapidly changing. The traditional gender roles are constantly changing as well. An increasing number of women prefer paying for their own food on a dinner date to eliminate the man wanting anything in return. Other women believe in driving and meeting their date at the destination to establish independence, according to an article from Pantheronline.com. As I read this article, I wondered why young women felt this way. I personally have never thought that deeply into the subject.

I enjoyed being driven to the destination and not picking up the meal. When I first started dating, my mother always told me to keep money with me during the date in case anything sketchy happened. So, I understand the importance of being financially prepared, but is it completely belittling for a young man to pay the bill?

Until recently, I always thought it was traditional for the man to drive and pay. I am now learning traditional dating either has various meanings or is becoming extinct. Everyone nowadays usually has their own way of handling the dating process. Some women will drive themselves and their male date to the dinner and pay with no hesitation. Some men will expect the woman to split the bill of the date on occasion. I guess neither of these concepts is wrong, but it feels as though we are crossing our traditional gender roles in dating. This can become confusing in dating.

I have female friends who ridicule me for thinking traditionally and say they are willing to make the first move, pay for the date or provide transportation to the date. Although after doing any of those things, they mostly feel as if they did not attend a “real date.” Times have changed, and women certainly have more rights and power in this country than in past decades. We, as women, have the opportunity to express our independence and power through several aspects of life; do we need to establish absolute independence on casual dates?

Being courted used to be a privilege, and a way for men to express their like and appreciation for a woman. It was a special time to sweep the woman off of her feet and establish a relationship. I understand that it is not 1952 and it is 2013, but gender roles have become so intertwined most men and women do not realize the simple things required of them in dating. Nothing is written in stone, and people do not have to adhere to these roles. We now live in a generation that promotes individual couples to establish a set of rules that works for them. This method is probably accommodating for most people. People have various opinions on how to approach dating, and women as well as men should bring something positive to the table.