Is The First Date Dead?

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It’s 7:25 on a Saturday night; you’re only minutes away from a first date. You watch the clock anxiously, counting the seconds until you date arrives. You’re wearing your daring new fire engine red Seven skinnies that your girlfriends helped you pick out earlier. Your hair is perfectly imperfect, and your makeup looks as if you were about to do a cover shoot for MAC Cosmetics. In short, you’re totally ready to rock this date. Or, at least, you would be if the butterflies in your stomach would chill out already. Suddenly, you hear a knock at the door…

The stress and excitement of a first date is something most of us know well. However, as college students, a first date may not be something we have experienced in the last few years. How often do you hear about college couples meeting through blind dates and set ups? Not many. These days, our first interaction with a date is almost always at a party or other social function. And while this seems to be the natural way to meet new people in college, I have to wonder: can you really find romance by hooking up at a party?

Jason Peterson, a senior at the George Washington University, says that most college students actually rely on partying to find dates. “The social life of most college students consists mostly of parties, bars, and clubs,” Peterson says. “The problem is, while college students are more than capable of finding dates, they just arn't looking in the right places.”

Sure, parties are a great way to scope out date prospects. But the next time you catch someone's eye at a party, stop and ask yourself if you're being fueled by genuine interest or alcohol. 

Peterson suggests that students who only pursue dates at parties will have a much harder time finding a lasting and solid relationship.  “It’s immature to believe that you aren’t going to find someone special at our age,” Peterson says. “But it’s also immature to assume you will find them at a frat party at one in the morning.” Instead, Peterson suggests looking for dates in your everyday routine: at your favorite coffee shop, in the study lunge, in your classes. “This way, you are actually holding a conversation, rather than shouting at them over party music. It’s the only way to find a real spark.”

Romance may change in practice from generation to generation; however, it is no excuse to abandon romance all together. Instead of relying solely on parties to shop for partners, keep things casual. Look for someone who shares interest with you, then take the reigns and ask your love interest to grab a cup of coffee or lunch. Who knows? It may be a disaster, but at least you won’t be wasting your time. Allow yourself to plan classy and interesting dates, even if they seem old fashioned and mushy at first. Going out is usually a blast, but allow yourself to look for dates in other settings. Without the beer goggles, loud music, and dim lighting, you’ll have a much better chance of finding someone worth dating.

Photo by the UK Telegraph

George Washington University

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