Dating is constantly evolving and changing. At one time it involved meeting someone at a social event, such as a dance, courting, writing love letters, falling in love and getting married. Then dating became talking on the phone, making mixtapes for one another, spending hours in the amusement arcades and finishing off with a make-out session. By the 1990s, dating had become more technology based with text messages, emails and MSN commonly used for interacting. Now, online dating is huge and many relationships are more casual, with no strings attached. Due to their brief relationships and informal approach to dating, millennials have become known as the ‘hook-up generation’, despite having less sex than their predecessors. Here are some of the main reasons why our generation is so obsessed with casual dating:
1. The popularity of dating apps
Using a dating app is an easy and convenient way to meet new people without even leaving your home. It is estimated that there are currently around 50 million people using Tinder worldwide. As a location-based social app, it enables users to search for people in their area and allows them to like or dislike other users. If both users swipe right to like each other’s photo, the app lets them chat to each other. Dating apps are mostly good for casual dating, as people are more likely to flirt online than in person, but the problem with communicating this way is that it often gives people a false sense of familiarity. Then when you meet each other, you’ll feel as though you know them better than you actually do and you’ll often realise that you don’t actually have that much in common. As such, online dating doesn’t often work out long-term, but it is good for those who enjoy casual dating or are looking for a quick fling!
2. Free from commitment
Unlike traditional relationships, casual dating removes the need for such commitment and exclusivity. It can therefore be good for someone who has recently come out of a long-term relationship and isn’t interested in something more serious straight away. Casual dating is also suitable for those with a busy lifestyle and little spare time for relationships, as it’s far less demanding than a committed relationship. You can even enjoy someone’s company, while being free to date other people if you wish. This kind of carefree approach to relationships is fun and exciting for those who enjoy the thrill of the chase and want to keep their options open. This is just one the reasons why our generation is so obsessed with casual dating!
3. Marriage is less important now
Nowadays, cohabiting and having sex before marriage, is widely accepted. Dating has therefore become more relaxed and unlike previous generations, it is no longer just about finding someone to marry and have children with. In fact, with so many people going to University in their 20s, a lot of young adults are not looking for a serious relationship just yet. Instead, they are focusing on their careers and are choosing to settle down and have children later in life. As such, casual dating can be a good way for young adults to explore different kinds of relationships and personalities, before choosing their life partner and with around 42% of UK marriages now ending in divorce, it is a good idea not to rush in! This is one of the benefits of casual dating for our generation!
4. Traditional dating is on the decline
With the increased use of social media and dating apps, our generation is so obsessed with casual dating, because they spend far less time socialising with one another and more time online. Due to this, real one-on-one dates are on the decline, as people can now message each other through their phones and chat easily without having to meet. Younger guys are inviting girls to social events like parties and spending time with them as part of a group, rather than going on a date and getting to know them one-to-one. Nowadays, people expect sex before the dating has even started! Dates are also becoming less formal, with many people hanging out together at home, instead of going out. The more laidback nature of this type of dating, is therefore appealing to young adults who love to Netflix and chill – hence why our generation is so obsessed with casual dating!
5. Sex is more readily available than it ever has been
Unlike past generations, there is no longer a need to go through the formalities of courting and committed dating, especially if you’re only looking for a fling. With ‘hook-up apps’ and pornography easily accessible on the internet, sex is becoming a less taboo topic and is now more readily available than it ever has been before. Young adults are also more sexually adventurous than their predecessors and they are waiting less time to have some form of sexual intercourse. As such, sex isn’t really a big deal anymore and there isn’t as much value placed on it. This could be down to exposure to sexual content or due to a decrease in judgement around sexual experimentation. Either way, carefree sex is becoming increasingly popular, hence why our generation is so obsessed with casual dating!
6. Casual dating helps you decide what you want
Another reason our generation is so obsessed with casual dating is that you can experience sex with different people and experiment with someone who isn’t your life partner. This enables you to practice and become more confident when it comes to dating. You’ll also come to understand what attributes you like and dislike in a partner and you’ll learn what matters most to you in terms of a relationship. Casual dating also helps you develop better communication skills, as you’ll often need to adapt to each person you go out with. Being flexible and able to communicate effectively, is an important skill needed for more serious, long-term relationships and will help you become more comfortable on dates in the future!