Hanna Rosin, in her recent book, “The End of Men,” argues that hooking up is a functional strategy for today’s hard-charging and ambitious young women, allowing them to have enjoyable sex lives while focusing most of their energy on academic and professional goals.
But others, like Susan Patton, the Princeton alumna and mother who in March wrote a letter to The Daily Princetonian urging female undergraduates not to squander the chance to hunt for a husband on campus, say that de-emphasizing relationships in college works against women.
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“And I know everyone says, ‘Make time, make time,’ ” said the woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity but agreed to be identified by her middle initial, which is A.
“But there are so many other things going on in my life that I find so important that I just, like, can’t make time, and I don’t want to make time.” It is by now pretty well understood that traditional dating in college has mostly gone the way of the landline, replaced by “hooking up” — an ambiguous term that can signify anything from making out to oral sex to intercourse — without the emotional entanglement of a relationship.
She texted her regular hookup — the guy she is sleeping with but not dating. “We don’t really like each other in person, sober,” she said, adding that “we literally can’t sit down and have coffee.” Ask her why she hasn’t had a relationship at Penn, and she won’t complain about the death of courtship or men who won’t commit.
At 11 on a weeknight earlier this year, her work finished, a slim, pretty junior at the University of Pennsylvania did what she often does when she has a little free time. Their relationship, she noted, is not about the meeting of two souls.Instead, she’ll talk about “cost-benefit” analyses and the “low risk and low investment costs” of hooking up.“I positioned myself in college in such a way that I can’t have a meaningful romantic relationship, because I’m always busy and the people that I am interested in are always busy, too,” she said.“For most of you, the cornerstone of your future and happiness will be inextricably linked to the man you marry, and you will never again have this concentration of men who are worthy of you,” advised Ms.Patton, who has two sons, one a Princeton graduate and the other a current student. Patton was derided for wanting to return to the days of the “Mrs.