The start of a relationship is thrilling, enjoyable and fun. The excitement of a new partner can make your stomach churn until you finally get comfortable with each other, and that's when all the cute text messages and frequent telephone calls force many girls to put a label on the relationship.
These girls may be jumping the gun and expecting a relationship before the other party is ready.
Unfortunately, girls put a lot of pressure on each other to label and define relationships, even during the first few weeks of dating. A friend of mine use to ask me daily, ""Is he your boyfriend yet? Do you want him to be your boyfriend? Where do you see your relationship going? Do you think he wants you to be his girlfriend?""
This desperation to label our relationships isn't just a college thing. It all started in grade school, when we labeled who our best friend was by swapping ""best friend"" jewelry. If the ""best friends"" bracelet didn't define the relationship enough, the ""best friends forever"" heart necklace did.
It seems as though we have carried the same need to define our relationships over into the dating world, but it looks as though girls are finally starting to do themselves a favor by following the classic KISS rule. ""Keep it simple, stupid;"" having sex with no strings attached.
Many young adults are altogether avoiding relationships and dating. Having a casual hookup with no strings attached is becoming the new ""relationship."" After all, who has time for a serious relationship in between all the beer bongs and keg stands?
For the many who are delaying the thought of marriage and creating families, hooking up has virtually replaced dating.
Kathleen Bogle, a professor of sociology and criminal justice at La Salle University, conducted a recent study and found a major culture shift over the past few decades. Bogle interviewed college students on small and a large campuses, as well as recent college graduates.
Based on the interviews conducted, the hooking-up phenomena traced back to the 1960s and the 1970s, when male and female students were thrown together in apartment-style dormitories. Students rebelled and fought against the strict rules on having a member of the opposite sex in your dorm, lights out and curfews.
Forbidding members of the opposite sex in your dorm room seems like a crazy rule to enforce on a bunch of college students during the prime, sexual times of their lives.
Now, we've learned to altogether avoid romance and head straight for the sheets. Many experts believe the main reason hooking up is so popular among young people in the United States is the age at which people marry for the first time slowly increased over the years. According to the 2007 U.S. Census Bureau, men in the United States marry for the first time around the age of 27, and women at about 25. Back in the 60s, records show couples exchanged vows between 20 and 23 years old.
Even though many girls these days strive to show off their most prized designer labels, whether it be a Louis Vuitton handbag or $300 jeans, labeling a relationship too soon only makes it appear more valuable than what it's actually worth.
It's pretty hard to have any kind of relationship these days without stating the parameters on Facebook or Myspace.
Even so, it's important to avoid that urge to have ""the talk"" hoping to change your relationship status on Facebook. Soon ""keep it simple, stupid"" or having a relationship with ""no strings attached"" will be more socially accepted.
For now, just KISS.
— Tiffany Kimmell is a journalism senior.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.