Dating 101: Film takes aim at America’s hookup culture and the death of courtship

Dating-101-Film-takes-aim-at-Americas-hookup-culture-and-the-death-of-courtshipThis article was originally published at Fox News.

The shock of reading Laura Sessions Stepp’s 2007 book, “Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love and Lose at Both,” hadn’t worn off when I was offered the opportunity to view an advanced screening of “The Dating Project,” a film about modern relationships that will be released nationwide—for one night only—on April 17. Both are a wake-up call for Americans, many of whom are in the dark about how dramatically dating has changed.

So dramatically, in fact, that it no longer exists. Dating is officially dead.

“Dating is a drain on energy and intellect,” a young woman named Alicia tells Stepp. “We are overworked, over-programmed and overcommitted just trying to get into grad school, let alone get married. I don’t even know that relationships are seen as an integrated part of this whole ‘future’ idea.

Enter “The Dating Project,” which conveniently picks up where Stepp’s book left off. “Our premise was to follow five single people trying to figure out dating in the age of social media, texting, hanging out, and hooking up,” writes Catherine Sample, one of the film’s producers.

Those five people include Matt and Shanzi, two college students; Cecilia, a twenty-something woman who’d been single for years; Rasheeda, a thirty-something television producer who put work before relationships; and Chris, a forty-something actor who felt commitment “limited” him.

The social environment young people inhabit feels akin to a brothel. What they seem to know how to do best is have sex, or some version thereof. What they don’t know is Courtship 101, or how to develop an actual romantic relationship. They just skip to the end and wonder why they’re dissatisfied.

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Suzanne Venker

Suzanne is an author, a coach, and a podcast host committed to helping women let go of cultural beliefs that undermine their happiness in life and in love.