RCL #9

Topic: paradigm shift in dating since the late twentieth century

Purpose: to explain that dating is different now, and the expectations should not be the same; also that the change is generational

Thesis: Since the late twentieth century, dating has changed. As a result of increasing technology usage, feminism, and pop culture, the symbols, strategies, and expectations of dating have changed, and that’s okay.


  1. Attention grabber
    1. Story about Kiki’s experience with her mother
    2. Explain the time period of the shift I am analyzing, 1980s-today
    3. Thesis


  1. Symbols
    1. In dating, symbols are used to announce a relationship status and to show appreciation/love
      1. In the late twentieth century, people relied on material items such as letterman jackets, class rings, and various pieces of jewelry to symbolize their relationship
        1. Doing so showed
          1. A relationship existed
          2. Appreciation for the significant other
          3. That both people were unavailable
      2. Today people use social media to symbolize their relationship
        1. Facebook relationship status “Facebook official”
          1. Literally announces your relationship status to your friends
        2. Instagram bios (boyfriend or girlfriend’s’ initials or anniversary date)
        3. #MCM or #WCW posts
        4. Other platforms (VSCO, Snapchat, Twitter)
      3. This shift is primarily due to the increase in technology use and the introduction of social media
  2. Strategies
    1. In dating, people use different methods to meet people, ask people on dates, and to get to know a potential date
      1. Asking people out
        1. In the late twentieth century: face to face, or to avoid rejection notes or through a friend
        2. Today people often ask others out over text because they have more courage behind a screen
      2. Meeting people
        1. In the late twentieth century people met people at school, at restaurants, at work, at bars, etc.
        2. Today, people still meet at those places, but many people also rely on online dating services
          1. Since Match.com was created in 1995, online dating usage has increased significantly
          2. 40 million people now use online dating services
          3. When Tinder was created in 2012 the online dating world became more focused on looks than compatability
            1. The world accepted this though– about 60% of Americans believe online dating is a good way to meet people
      3. Getting to know each other
        1. In the late twentieth century, people often got to know each other over a coffee date, dinner, or even phone calls
        2. Today, people often get to know each other over texting, Snapchat, or various other messengers
      4. This shift is primarily due to the creation of online dating services and the increase in technology usage
  3. Expectations
    1. When dating, people have expectations about their dates behavior and what the date will amount to
      1. Dates behavior
        1. Traditionally, men were intended to ask women out on dates and to pay for dates
          1. “Don’t go dutch on a date”
        2. Now, more women ask men on dates
          1. 65% of men have been asked out by a woman and 91% are supportive of women initiating a date
        3. Also, women are more supportive of “going Dutch on a date”
          1. 73% of women don’t expect men to pay
      2. What the date will amount to
        1. Traditionally, people dated to marry
          1. They also dated for entertainment, companionship, and socialization, but the manifest function of dating was marriage
        2. Now, many people date with other intentions, hence they do not expect to marry every person they date
          1. Some people today date for the purpose of intimacy
            1. Especially in college, where hookup culture is prominent


  1. Restate thesis
  2. Explain significance of the shift
    1. Although the dating world has changed, this does not mean our love lives are doomed, it just means things are different
    2. So when your mom questions you about your relationship (or lack thereof) don’t panic, rest assured knowing that things are different now, and you will be alright


  1. Gif about nagging parents?
  2. Photos of a couple in 1980s versus a couple today
  3. Photo of class rings and letterman jackets
  4. Examples of Facebook relationship status, and Instagram bios
  5. Examples of #MCM and #WCW posts
  6. Love notes
  7. Example of asking someone out over text
  8. Chart about online dating sites
  9. Joke about going dutch on a date
  10. Photos of people on dates
  11. Chart saying something about marriage
  12. Funny gif reassuring the audience that their love lives aren’t doomed

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