Teenagers Apparently Don’t Know What a Date Is Anymore Because of Texting, USA Today Says

Is it a date? Is it not a date? It's a question people have probably been struggling with since traditional "courting" rituals went by the wayside, and it seems teenagers and young adults are having a particularly difficult time figuring it out. Why? If this survey is to be believed, teens don't know what dates are because of texting.

According to USA Today, a new survey of 2,647 singles revealed (perhaps unsurprisingly) that there’s a stupidly large amount of confusion in the dating world today. The biggest culprit is the type of quick communication on which we rely so heavily: Over half — 57 percent, to be exact — of singles age 18 to 24 said yes, texting makes it more difficult to determine whether an outing is a date. It likely has to do with how relaxed today’s dating rules are (insofar as we even have dating rules, that is), as compared to the more formal courtship behavior that has marked so much of history.

Interestingly, older generations don’t seem to be having the same problem; when you hit the 35-and-up age brackets, roughly two-thirds of adults responded, "Are you nuts? Of course texting doesn’t make it harder to figure out if you’re on a date." (Okay, so maybe those weren't their exact words... but you get the point.) It remains to be seen whether this is because these older folks didn’t grow up with texting, the Internet, and so on at their fingertips, or if it’s just because we get better at communicating as we age.

To be fair, back when I was a wee young whippersnapper, I ended up on a fair number of dates that I didn’t think were actually dates when the invitations first came up; and hey, who hasn’t deployed the purposefully ambiguous, “Hey, you wanna hang out sometime?” in an effort not to sound like you’re trying too hard? That said, though, I’m still kind of having trouble understanding why we have such an aversion to clarifying whether or not something is a date. Are we so afraid of rejection that we’re willing to sacrifice knowing definitively whether or not someone is interested in us for a tiny bit of possibly false hope? I mean, I’m as guilty of doing this as the next gal — but still. It’s weird, no?

Is it too late to make a New Year’s resolution? If it’s not, maybe it’s worth trying to get over this whole purposeful ambiguity thing. As much as rejection can hurt, I still think it beats false hope any day.

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