Study: Traditional dating thing of past as 20-somethings focus on career, independence

Internet, casual sex contribute to trend

INDIANAPOLIS - A study out of Ball State University found that traditional dating has practically disappeared while young people focus on building careers over families.

Professor Scott Hall, a family studies expert from BSU, said research shows people are more focused on independence than settling down.

BSU student Kyle Basedan said dating is not at the top of his priority list.

"I would say getting my degree is first, finding a job is a close second and dating is third," Basedan said

Student Quinton Stewart said his generation is more focused on independence than on coupling up.

“There’s just this huge push for independence," Stewart said. "Everybody wants to be successful, on their own, doing their own thing."

Numbers show the average woman gets married at 26; the number was 20 in the 1950s. It's not just women; men are putting off marriage for nearly a decade, compared to their grandfathers.

For the young adults focusing on individualistic pursuits, Hall question their ability to adjust to monogamy once they're finally ready to settle down.

Studies show the increase in life experiences prior to settling down makes young people more picky about who they date.

The methods of dating have changed greatly too.

Internet dating  and casual sexual encounters give young people a chance  to explore more options outside of marriage, Hall said.

BSU students Kristen Windstrom and Emily Carpenter both said they can see the Internet's effects on dating.

"Like, no guys have the courage anymore to come up to a girl and be like, 'Do you want to come out on a date with me?'" Windstrom said.

"There are people like who are online dating for years and they've never even met each other," Carpenter said. "That's not dating. Go out one-on-one. Get to know the person in person."

There are still some young people going against the trend and sticking to tradition.

"It's not my kind of thing, I don't like to date around," said BSU student Felecia Alderman, holding hands with her longtime boyfriend.

Print this article Back to Top