Moran: Chivalry died last century

Ben Moran

Have you ever seen the movie “Crazy, Stupid, Love? Steve Carell plays Cal Weaver, a middle-aged man who was recently divorced because his wife cheated on him. Weaver is thrust back into the dating world, and after meeting Jacob Palmer, played by Ryan Gosling, he becomes accustomed to the modern dating culture.

Head to the bar, have a few drinks, hook up with someone for the night and repeat. That’s what the movie portrayed as modern dating culture, and when you look at it, it’s pretty true.

I was reminded of this movie when I was talking to a friend about dating.

My friend is from Puerto Rico, and we started discussing the differences between dating in Puerto Rico and dating in the United States. She believes there are numerous differences between the two cultures, and I have to agree.

The more we touched on the subject, the more I realized I don’t fit in with the current “dating culture.” How we meet our significant others, the way we interact with them while we’re dating and after we’ve dated is all different.

When I look at dating today, I wonder, when did chivalry die? Maybe it’s just me and maybe I’m old fashioned, but there’s definitely been a shift in the way our society views relationships.

Today, dating has transformed into a hookup culture. The New York Times released an article in 2008 titled “The Demise of Dating.” In the column, the author initially thought that hookup culture was a fad, but admitted it was becoming the norm. Nine years later, it’s become a standard.

When we look at it, the reasoning is clear as day. Our society endorses it through movies, music and advertisements. Sex and casual hookups aren’t taboo like they used to be. They are at the center of our society. Movies such as “No Strings Attached and “American Pie and music such as Marvin Gaye encourage the current dating culture.

On top of that, the technological advances we’ve made further enforces the culture. Tinder and Zoosk are among the most prominent dating and hookup apps. Dating has become hanging out, Netflix and chill and partying. It’s nowhere near as formal as it used to be.

Additionally, pornography is far more easily accessible and prevalent in today’s society. In a study by CyberPsychology and Behavior, the average median age for both boys and girls to first be exposed to porn was about 14 years old, but the earliest record for first exposure was about 8 years old for boys and 10 years old for girls.

Sex is more common, and rightfully so. A survey by the General Social Survey revealed the growth and acceptance of more sexual behaviors among age groups. In the 1970s, about 29 percent of adults believed premarital sex was “not wrong at all.” This number grew to 42 percent around the 80s and 90s and hit 58 percent around 2010.

The dating scene has shifted to a hookup culture, and it has had a number of effects on society. Sex, along with other values, aren’t as serious as they used to be. The marriage age is being pushed back, and the sense of dating is just more lax.

I’m not saying this is a bad or a good thing. I’m just wondering where the chivalry went? Holding the door open for your significant other, walking them home or at least to their door, planning an actual first date instead of hanging out are all different.

Granted, a large part of this has to do with the change in times. With the hookup culture, it’s just simple and easy.

For our age group, we’re busy. We have classes, we’re trying to find jobs, we don’t have loads of extra income to blow. The reason hookup culture is so popular and relevant nowadays is because it isn’t as serious and you don’t have to plan ahead.

Asking someone out on a date doesn’t have to be in person. You don’t have to spend a lot or any money on a first date, or the second or third for that matter. Relationships don’t have to be serious; they can be casual. If things get too hard, forget about them. Times have changed.

I don’t understand the benefits in this shift, aside from being more “convenient”.

You get a sense of nostalgia when asking someone out in person, which means more to me. A first date can set the tone for an entire relationship, so why just throw it together or “hang out”? Walking her home or even to her door shows another level of respect.

For a large majority of people our age, we don’t want a serious relationship because we have other things to focus on. But I believe chivalry doesn’t have to disappear. Yes, the dating culture has changed, but that doesn’t mean we have to conform to it.

In the long run, it’s the little things that can make the biggest difference. I’m not saying we go back to the dating style of the 1980s, but I do believe there are aspects of that dating culture that should still be around today.