Long before a couple joins together in marriage, they engage in an ancient ritual that has both brought joy and pain into the lives of many for centuries. Dating and courtship, the key to our succession and basic existence, has changed dramatically over the years. Dating practices vary across cultures and societies. This study examines dating within a small community known as Stonehill College. The purpose of this examination was to reveal dating trends amongst all college students. .
Summary of Previous Literature.
Recently researchers have been looking into the minds and hearts of college students across the country to spot dating trends. Largely they have found that traditional dating is dead on campus. It has been replaced with "group dating," in which men and women hang out together in unpaired packs. One student from the University of Northern Iowa explained, "Large groups are seen as low risk, making for a safer emotional environment- (Levine & Jeanette, 1998). Traditional courtship has been declining for years. Samuel Lowrie noted the decline in 1951 in his work Dating theories and student responses. Thus, the move away from traditional dating is nothing new. Alterations in society over time have shaped and continue to shape these changes. .
The rules of dating are constantly in flux, but the goal and drive seems to remain the same. Although there is no agreement in sociological writings about its exact meaning or social ends, it does seem to fulfill some need. The pursuit for finding a future partner and gaining experience may be what drives the individual to date. A continuing endeavor of sociologist has been that of identifying the patterns or norms that serve as guides and rules for behavior in the relationships among students relative to dating and courtship (Smith, 50). My goal was to examine the trends today that seem to govern the rules for dating with in the college community.