It would prove beneficial to understand the current dating culture and how it came to be, as well as the reason the average age at which Americans are marrying is increasing, and the potential consequences of the evolving dating culture. The different stages of a relationship in American society have been evolving over time; however, the stages seem to have more variables now than ever. Psychological theories such as Arnett’s Emerging Adulthood, Le and Agnew’s Investment Model Theory, and Barry Schwartz’s Paradox of Choice help to explain why and how relationships have evolved. Primary research in the form of a survey was conducted to understand Millennials’ attitudes toward dating and marriage. Findings of the research showed that many Millennials disagree with the “hookup culture” and prefer more traditional relationships. One reason for this general disagreement may be that Millennials are more career-focused than their predecessors at this stage in life and are focusing on building a stable foundation for later in life. However, interpersonal relationships are still a basic human need, and thus emerged the idea of the hookup culture and less serious romantic relationships. Millennials may be waiting to be in serious relationships headed toward marriage until they feel comfortable in their future as an individual.
Balbi, Amanda, "Finding Love in a Hopeless Place: Dating Patterns of American Millennials" (2016). Honors Theses - Providence Campus. 21.