Writing a total of 365 letters to your loved one: one for every day of a year, waiting to have sex with someone until you are in love with them, claiming the person you are dating as your “boyfriend” or considering yourselves “going steady”… all of this seems like such a foreign concept to us, doesn’t it? Such romantic gestures, yet we don’t really see them take place anymore. In the age of hooking up and college flings, do we even really know the meaning of dating?
In today’s society we are so consumed with who’s hooking up, we almost forget how dating even originated. As I was watching The Notebook and admiring a relationship between two fictional characters, I realized how much times have changed between then and now. What happened to the old fashioned calling on the telephone or act of “going steady”? In Kathleen Bogles’, “Hooking Up”, she touches upon the different eras of relationships. From the “Calling Era” to the “Dating Era” to the era of “Going Steady”, Bogle captures the evolution of relationships from this to the “Hook-Up Culture” we know today. Having sex because you are in love seems to be and old past-time and casual sex and one night stands seem to be more prevalent than ever.
In “Hooking Up”, Bogle highlights three sexual scripts that have occurred throughout history. The first is the “calling era”. For the first decade of the twentieth century “respectable” young men would “call” on respectable young women at their home. The object of the call was to spend time with the woman of interest as well as her family, especially her mother. Her mom had all the power to say who is allowed to come into their home and “court” the girl. The second script after calling culture was dating culture. Dating culture lasted throughout the 1920s-1960s. Surprisingly, dating culture in this time was used in the lower class, or it was considered rebellion of the upper class. Dating culture was beginning to become more prevalent when it became more common for young people to leave their houses and go on “dates”. As for hook-up culture, it began around the 1960s and it was especially prevalent on college campuses. Ever since then, dating has become harder to find and relationships like The Notebook almost seem fairy-tale like and unrealistic.
Will the era of “hooking up” ever end and will chivalry become a thing again? Or is modern day hook-up culture here to stay?