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
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
“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,”
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
Brad Armstrong, CEO of Ramsingles.com, claims that
Ramsingles.com 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 Ramsingles.com, 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