The Hook-up culture: Dating is out

After many conversations with her students, Cronin was surprised by their comments on dating and relationships. She found the popular trend these days is to hook up, not date. (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON – Kids these days don’t date, they hook up. And that fact is what propelled Boston College Adjunct Professor Kerry Cronin to YouTube fame.

After many conversations with her students, Cronin was surprised by their comments on dating and relationships. She found the popular trend these days is to hook up, not date.

“Here were these beautiful, charming, outgoing, successful young people who had no clue about forming relationships,” Cronin says.

Cronin, who teaches philosophy, started lecturing about her findings and her classes started to fill up the lecture halls. She asked some blunt questions of her students and decided her classes would focus on successful social interactions, hence “The Art of Dating.” Her lectures soon found their way to YouTube.

“Our kids hook up,” Cronin says. “It’s a physical or sexual encounter with no perceived emotional content or intention of follow up.”

This works for college kids who may want to test the waters. A get-together without any emotion or commitment on both sides seems to be the best way to interact.

Cronin says those who are more inclined to hook-up may want a relationship, but the idea of that scares them. Many college-aged adults don’t want the “drama” or emotional upheaval they think a relationship brings.

Cronin also thinks students are handicapped to a degree by social media. Technology, she says, slows them down. Many conversations are stunted and unclear because it is had over texts.

According to Cronin, college pressure, time constraints and party mentalities also hamper relationships. Those who take Cronin’s classes should be prepared for homework. One item often assigned: Asking someone for a date, face-to-face.

“I get a lot of push back on that one,” Cronin says “But the dating assignment ends up being much more about courage than it does about romance.”

Watch Cronin’s lecture, “Rules of the first date”

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