Gone are the days when a man would come to a woman’s door, flowers in hand, and take her out to dinner and a movie.
Young college students still go out on dates, but for this generation, it is more of a casual thing. Most students consider a date to be two people together in the same room at the same time. It does not matter what they are doing as long as they are doing it together.
According to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, the largest segment of 18- to 23-year-olds who have never been married – 66.4 percent of women and 52.5 percent of men – can be classified as “dating and having sex.”
Nadine Benjamin, a senior English student from Miramar, belongs to that group of women. According to Benjamin, a date is something two people coordinate ahead of time and follow through with. She has been on a few while attending Florida A&M.
“His definition of a date is, ‘Yeah, come over and watch a movie,’” Benjamin said of a guy she is casually dating.
Benjamin said her dates were not always nights spent at home. She was once asked out and went to Harry’s, a restaurant in Tallahassee.
She said it was going OK until she tried to order. Much to her date’s dismay, Benjamin ordered something that he could not afford. Her date persuaded her to get a less expensive meal, and then he ordered the cheapest thing on the menu. Her girlfriends in the booth behind them began to snicker.
When the bill came, his wallet fell short.
“He pulled out ones, change and my girlfriends were sitting in the back cracking up,” Benjamin said.
She did not have a second date with him.
Christian Sanchez, a fourth-year sociology student from Miami, also believes that dates should be a casual thing. When Sanchez is interested in a girl and wants to get to know her better, he invites her to spend time with him.
“I like to go to the movies,” Sanchez said. “Something simple. It does not have to be extravagant.”
Sanchez’s aim is to get to know a young woman better and see if a relationship is something he wants to pursue.
Dating is not limited to two people who are just getting to know each other. Even couples that have been together for a long time still go out on dates.
Cameron Askew, a senior computer information science student from Snellville, Ga., goes to breakfast with his boyfriend from time to time after picking him up from work. It has almost become a ritual for them – a time that they can spend alone together before their busy days start.
“It’s us wanting to spend time together,” Askew said.