Has Our Generation Ruined Dating?

Relationships are always the topic of hot gossip. Who’s dating who? Did he dump her? Did she drop him? Were they really in love? With the conditions nowadays, one may never know. Through the years, society continues to spawn baffling ways to claim someone as their significant other. Whether it be by texting every minute of every day, or classifying two people as a “thing”, it all comes down to one final question: is it dating?

With numerous questions always hanging overhead, a group of Eagle River students were quite eager to answer. When those who identified as single were asked if they preferred being alone, their answers were not clarified as a complete yes or no. “I don’t prefer being single one-hundred and ten percent,” stated senior Analisa Cederberg. “I don’t need someone else to be content with life. It’d be fun, but I’m okay with being single.” Whereas junior Ashton McClaskey agrees with Cederberg, phrasing she, “isn’t worried about commitment”, senior Ethen Arwood disagreed with his peers. “It’s more fun when you’re dating someone,” he said. Never going to public affairs alone, always having that one person to call when you’re lonely are reasons given as perks to being in a relationship.

The three friends went on to express the importance of labels, and the impact they have on two individuals who have feelings for one another. “[Labels] don’t make things complicated, you know? They don’t have boundaries,” says Cederberg. Nevertheless, when asked to define the difference between a “thing” and “talking”, the three found their tongues tied. Ashton McClaskey explains that a “thing” is, “where two people are committed, but not officially [committed].” While the question was still up for debate, senior Joseph Adams chimed in on the matter, trying to put an end to the circling discussion. “Talking is before you become a “thing”, Adams conveyed. “It’s learning someone’s qualities and finding out if you like those characteristics or not. A “thing” is when you stop talking to everyone else – it’s the beginning of a connection that could turn into a label of a relationship.” As declared by the four upperclassmen, the steps to being in a relationship are as follows:

  1. Talking
  2. A “thing”
  3. Relationship

Whether these steps are agreeable among most high schoolers remains unanswered.

As absurd as some might find it, many high schoolers simply agree on dating, however the same cannot be said for couples juniors Tia Gore and Sterlling Retzlaff, and seniors Brianne Blount and Angel Raymundo. Though the two relationships are not a match for time, they certainly have similar opinions on such affairs. Both girls of their relationship informed that their boyfriends formally asked them to become their girlfriends. Putting a label on things was a definite must for these two pairs. Tia Gore feels that labels are a significant. “- [it’s] important to be clear about the relationship and what it is to each partner and others around them.” Boyfriend, Sterling Retzlaff, agrees with his better half, however recognizes a downside. “People [are] giving [others] labels with rumors and assumptions,” Retzlaff professed. Though high schoolers tend to be known to have an ear for the 4-1-1, seniors Brianne Blount and Angel Raymundo still have faith in their generation. Blount stated that, though she believes their age group hasn’t necessarily ruined dating, she does admit it may have downgraded during their time. “[Dating’s] not romanticized enough,” she said with a slight frown. Both couples state that going on dates before two people are officially committed isn’t too cliché, it merely isn’t common these days.

What is dating? What is a “thing”? What is talking? Are talking and being labeled as a “thing” considered the same concept? Is being classified as a “thing” still considered being labeled? Questions upon questions, curiosity still reigns, and perception remains a key detail in the answer to these concerns. Eagle River, check that Facebook relationship status box to “it’s complicated.”


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