Dating generations

by Briana DeTuro

Let’s face it, dating over generations has changed, but how? Ernestina Acosta, a baby boomer, Frances DeTuro a Generation X (A.K.A. my grandmother and my mother) and me, a millennial, sat down and talked about first date experiences, how to meet a man, and slang words.

Meeting guys between these generations are very different, but also do have some similarities. Acosta, DeTuro and I have met guys in person at places like parties, or stores. The biggest difference though is the dating apps. With the numerous dating apps like Plenty of Fish, Tinder, and Bumble, the dating life has expanded to the internet.

“I don’t like them,” said DeTuro. “I feel like they are dangerous, impersonal and honestly corny.”  DeTuro met her boyfriends in person first.

“There wasn’t texting to get to know each other,” said DeTuro. “We would talk for hours on the phone and hear each other’s voices. That way our messages wouldn’t be misconstrued like it can be in texts.”

When asking Acosta about dating apps, her puzzled look shows how much she doesn’t understand it. So, I decided to let her try mine. I hand over my Tinder and explain to her how to use it. She picks the guys she thinks I would like and gets excited when I match a few. Although it might look like she’s having fun, she’s just happy it’s not her.

Acosta expresses how she feels bad for the Millennial generation due to the fact that there are so many factors when it comes to finding a potential suitor. “You have to look at a bio, distance and their pictures,” said Acosta. “When I was younger, all I had to think about if they are cute and if my mother would allow me to go out with him.”

Now when it comes to the actual date, there are some similarities. For example, popular dating spots like dinner, drinks, movies and activities like bowling or go karting are things all three generations agreed are great date spots.

“How do you feel about going to someone’s house as a date?” I say.

“What? That’s not a date. That’s when you’re in a relationship,” says DeTuro.

“What would you do at someone’s house for a date?” says Acosta.

I feel my face getting hot. “Well grandma, you could watch a movie and cuddle. But, to me, that does give a lot of pressure to have sex with that person.”

She lets out a big laugh. “On a date? Before you are officially dating!?” says Acosta.


With the realization that dates do have some similarities, it has changed much between generations. So, I decided to ask Acosta and DeTuro what the term hookup meant to them.

 For DeTuro and I, hookup in our generations generally mean the same thing, two people had sex. This could mean a one-night stand, or continuously over time without commitment attached, although this isn’t too common in DeTuro’s generation.

 Acosta on the other hand had a hard time understanding what this meant, since this word wasn’t used at all. When they wanted to be with a boy, they would all get together and have “make out” parties. All of the girls would find a house that they could invite boy to, and they would spend time there and make out with boys for about 20 minutes or until they got caught. That’s as far as it went for them. They even got scared that they would get pregnant if they made out too much.

Acosta tried to date her first boyfriend, so she went home to tell her dad and mom that she had a boyfriend.  They were very disappointed in her and told her that she was now required to get married and she had to drop out of school and get married. Acosta had to obey her father’s orders and was married one year later at the age of 17.  

DeTuro, on the other hand, said she had a lot of fun dating without the pressure of having to get married and this is what is similar to my generation.  She left home and got married at the age of 24 and divorced a year and a half later and remarried two years later.  

Although the generations were from different times, there were many similarities when you compare them against each other. In the end, the main goal, the ultimate goal is to find LOVE. 

Briana DeTuro can be reached at

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