July 18, 2019

A Generation Which Doesn't Know How to Date

“Peter Huynh, a 19-year-old college freshman, panicked when he learned the details of an unusual class assignment. As part of a lesson in “social courage,” his professor instructed her students to ask someone of “legitimate romantic interest” out on a date. “I retched,” says Mr. Huynh, who attends Boston College.

He drew up a list of 10 fellow freshmen, with pros and cons for why he should ask each one out. He solicited advice from a teaching assistant. Then he decided on a cute girl in one of his classes whom he hardly knew.

One evening after class, he pumped himself up. “I can do this. Just ask her. The worst thing she can say is no,” he told himself. Quickly, he walked up to the young woman, tapped her on her shoulder, and blurted out: “Hey, do you want to go on a date?”

Welcome to Gen Z dating. Educators say the current generation in college is uniquely bad at romance. Online dating has created a (false) feeling of an endless buffet of romantic choices. And mobile technology—which this generation has never lived without—has been a security blanket of sorts that has kept them from developing solid in-person communication skills.”

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