Dating a whole new world

Oct 152003
Authors: Elizabeth Kerrigan

When you are looking for that hot date for this weekend, chances

are you will go about it in different ways than your parents or

grandparents did.

The dating process has changed a great deal over the past 50

years. Today, we can have cyber dates, phone dates, or even speed

dates, a new concept where you can date a number of different

people for a few minutes each. And, if you are really talented, you

can go on national television and have dates with 20 different

people and in six weeks find The One.

Sarah Laribee, a teacher at Poudre High School and CSU alumna,

is one person who has had success with online dating. She suggested

finding a Web site that focuses on matching people with similar

core values, rather than a random match based on geography.

“My faith is really important to me and I wanted to find someone

who felt the same way,” Laribee said. “I was successful because we

were matched on similar personalities and beliefs.”

Technological advancements like the Internet have had a definite

impact on how we conduct our relationships. Our world of mobile

communication and array of transportation makes staying in constant

contact with potential mates easier than ever.

“People simply have more opportunities to date more people with

the constant contact that is available through the use of cell

phones and e-mail,” said Charles, Davidshofer, director of the

Colorado State University Counseling Center.

Long before all of our modern day technology was a time when

dating was truly starting to become a part of American popular

culture. Television shows like “Happy Days” and movies like

“Grease” are the first things that come to mind when thinking about

dating norms of the 1950s. It was the era of “going steady” and

drive-in movies.

“The most significant change in dating is that it is much less

formalized than it was 50 years ago,” Davidshofer said.

Some may even say that it was the last generation of innocence

before sex, drugs and rock’n’roll.

“It seems that dating used to be much more formal and innocent,”

said Melissa Kuhrt, a CSU junior majoring in speech communication.

“Today, people seem to be in too much of a hurry.”

Succeeding the innocence of the ’50s came the “make love, not

war” ideals of the ’60s followed by the sex, drugs and rock’n’roll

of the ’70s. This was a time of rebellion against the typical

ideology of the ’50s, as well as a time of advancement in

communications and contraceptives. All of these issues created a

society more accepting of premarital sex.

“Technological advancements in communication and contraceptives

have greatly increased sexual intimacy in the realm of dating,”

Davidshofer said.

The ’80s brought about an entirely new popular culture that

focused on what no decade ever had, sexual awareness, especially

about sexually transmitted diseases, including the AIDS


Brian Harrison, a CSU junior majoring in business finance,

believes this awareness, which was brought by the backlash of

reality in the ’80s, has been helpful for society.

“People need to be informed about the repercussions (of sexual

relationships). The June Cleaver era when sex was put on the back

burner is over,” Harrison said.

A more aware generation emerged in the ’90s along with the

biggest technological advance in communication since the telephone

— the Internet.

The Internet has led to one of the newest trends in dating known

as cyber-dating. Today, if you type in the word “date” on the Web,

in seconds you will be able to “jump start your love life,” or even

have a “date with fate.” At the touch of a button you can get any

information you may want about your love life.

CSU students Kuhrt and Harrison agree that they would not be

likely to try things like online dating. But CSU alumna Laribee

claims that while many services either have a bad reputation or run

a poor service, the services that are truly first-class can bring

dating success.

Brad Armstrong, CEO of, claims that is a reliable Web site dedicated to helping CSU

students find lasting relationships. The Web site started in July,

and according to Armstrong, is projected to reach one thousand

members within the next couple of months.

“Our website is safe, secure, anonymous and serious,” Armstrong

said. “On, you can find someone with shared values

and hobbies and get a chance to interact with that person on

intellectual levels that are more sustainable than what you can

accomplish in a bar or at a party.”

Another new dating trend that is an alternative to cyber-dating

is speed-dating, which can be found in every major city across the

United States. The speed dates are usually held in a private, and

depending on the program, a speed dater can meet eight to 12 people

during a time span of three to 12 minutes per date. At the end of

the session the participants turn in a paper stating which people

they would like to get to know better. Within 24 hours the

participants get an e-mail with the results of what matches they

made, and then it is up to them to pursue a second date or

possibly, a relationship.

“Speed dating seems like another way that we are always in a

hurry, but could also be a good way to get to know a lot of new

people,” Kuhrt said.

No matter what dating trend a person may choose to follow, the

options are far from limited.

“Students should have a good time,” Davidshofer said. “But

always be aware about exactly what you are looking for in a





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