It has been reacted to as a crisis in the media that dating rates are down. It’s not a crisis. Yet, the pundits react to any change as a crisis. When the birth rates were going up, there was a panic about overpopulation and when the birth rates began to reverse the pundits, again, panicked about underpopulation. Like, they didn’t wait until the population numbers actually started going down. They started panicking the moment people began having less kids shortly after they had screamed that parents needed to have less kids. They screamed people needed to do the very thing they said they shouldn’t do immediately after they screamed they shouldn’t do it. Of course, pundits are almost incapable of comprehending good news and the journalism degree they earned in college mostly consisted of being traumatized into a lifelong state of fear and panic and the inability to experience other emotions.
So, I’m not making a value judgment on whether or not the decrease in dating is or is not a good thing. It is a scientific phenomenon. Personally, I consider it neutral. The decline in dating is indicative of and related to other things which are concerning like the decrease in platonic friendships, general loneliness, and the ever increasing alienation people have toward each other. I really think marriage-like steady dating should be mostly replaced with bene-friendships for numerous reasons but foremost because it would foster more coed friendships and coed cliques since you could romantically date a platonic friend. Coed cliques do much to decrease machismo, mean girls, and sexual misconduct and increase positive, respectful, and kinder relations. It would also remove much of the animosity in breakups since in a platonic bene-friendship it would be the cessation of dates rather than a breakup.
However, a way of increasing dating, steady dating or bene-friend dating, would be to have adult proms. One of the issues of dating is that people are expected to commit to what is possibly a multi-month exclusive relationship if they agree to “date” which is a lot of pressure and a lot of commitment. A first date is tentatively the first date in a relationship. Asking someone to a dance is semi-romantic and carries with it no expectation of a first date. It’s having a partner for a single day with a lot less pressure. People are much more likely to experiment outside of their league or with a new subculture if it is ostensibly temporary. Currently, on the occasions people do experiment, if they don’t like a first date the response is to ghost one presumes to avoid the commitment of a relationship. That is less likely if there is no commitment. Ghosting is a vice that needs to go extinct as soon as society develops a means to kill it. As I’ve written in an earlier article, while society regurgitates the cliché that it is good to discard the human baggage you don’t like, that’s actually immoral and you should try to maintain positive acquaintanceships with everyone you part with.
It would also be a way for people outside of the fashion industry and who don’t regularly attend galas to show off formal fashion. As someone who likes dressing up and is a timeless romantic, I like the idea of having formal balls for middle-class people. This would also be a place to have period themes and where people could dress according to various historical periods which I would very much support. It could also be combined with a show such as music, comedy, performance cooking, magic, theater, and more in a cabaret. Cabarets have sadly gone out of style. Or include petting animals like bunnies or dogs. Or have a plot, recently, in the few plot-dinners that have happened a popular plot has been murder-mystery which I dislike greatly. Role-playing murder can be left to E.L. James fangirls, I want no such thing at my dinner. There are many ways it could be done.
Currently, the closest thing commonly to be had to adult proms are nightclubs which are usually very loud, filled with inebriated people, and with trashy music. That’s not conducive to romance or anything except a place to dull the pain of life by numbing the senses into an amorphous haze through sensory overload assisted by alcohol. That’s the purpose of nightclubs. To forget the world by getting shitfaced drunk and being unable to think due to the hammering high-decibel music not being played for its aesthetic qualities but for its ability to annihilate the cognizance that keeps the mind aware of the stresses of the day. Playtime should be when people partake the fruits of the world, not foreswear them. The time outside of work is when the arts should be appreciated not escaped from. There are many reasons to have adult proms and many ways to do them. I hope that they come into popularity while I am still young enough to reap their full benefits.