When I was a young girl in the 1960s, my concept of dating came from television shows like My Three Sons, and motion pictures, where boys met girls at the malt shop, took them to a movie, or met friends on the beach. As a teen in the 1970s, dating meant a young lady eagerly awaited a young man to knock on her door and take her to the drive in, out for dinner, or the prom.
When someone asked you who you were dating, the question was referring to who you were in love with or going steady with. It was always understood that “dating” for the majority, meant a romantic relationship with someone of the opposite sex. The same has held true with younger generations, that is until now.
About a year ago, I saw a young man post on Facebook that he was having a date night with his daughter. When a family friend in her late 30s posted recently, on Facebook, that her husband was about to take his daughter on a date, so she could see how it was done. I pointed out that for most people a date meant a romantic evening out, and that for those my age it sounded creepy to say you were dating your daughter.
When I added that a young girl’s father could not show her how to react if a boy wanted to hold hands of kiss, my friend and her Facebook friends became belligerent. I explained that I was not accusing this father of anything inappropriate, but the idea of a daughter dating her father sounded creepy to me, and probably many of my generation would agree.
One of my friend’s Facebook friends said some nasty thing about me and ended with, “It’s only a word.”I did not reply, but I thought of the word making love, which for many means the sexual act between married couples or consenting adults.
The term is also used in Hollywood, At times it is said that an actress made love to the camera, meaning that the camera loved her, and she lit up the screen. I would hope there would never come a time in society where anyone would say that a father made love to his daughter, no matter what they were inferring.
Today there is also a set up called speed dating. This is where people go to a location, and spend 4 minutes at a table trying to get to know someone. Once the time is up, they go to another table to meet someone new. This is vastly different from the days when young couples courted.
This meant that a young man came to see a young lady, spending time with her at her home with her family around. There often were long courtships before an engagement and eventually marriage. This gave the young folks time to get to know each other.
There was a time in society, when for many dating was like an old poem, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes (insert name) with the baby carriage?” Today, based on what I have been told, and have seen play out on television, many couples go in the opposite direction,
An increasing number of young men and women go for the honey moon first, having one night stands and hookups. Should there later be a pregnancy, they may or may not desire to tie the knot. Times and the concept of dating have changed, but I am sure I am not alone when I say that within my heart I prefer the way it once was done.