A NEW study into Irish mating rituals has revealed the exact time when the people of Ireland gave up their age-old traditions of just pairing off with each other and actively began engaging in the process of ‘dating’.
‘Dating’, imported from America, replaced the more commonly accepted practice of drunkenly ambling up to someone during the slow-set section of a night out and shifting the face off them there and then on the spot, which had been the preferred method of wooing a potential suitor for generations.
It is believed that the first instances of this ‘dating’ craic occurred at the August 2007 peak of the Celtic Tiger era, in conjunction with a burgeoning social media landscape and the peak of this country’s new-found notions.
“It is at this time that Irish people decided to try this ‘dating’ thing they’d heard about on Friends,” said relationship historian Dr. Margaret Fillagan.
“It was a curious notion to many; to meet someone, completely sober, at a pre-designated location at a specific time, with the intention of getting to know each other before deciding whether or not to move forward with a relationship. It was a complete 180 from the previous custom of pairing off with someone you went to school with or a ‘friend of a friend’ while on a night out, and staying with them for life because you weren’t sure how to break up with them without embarrassing yourself”.
Although the practice of dating has now become commonplace in Ireland, many of the old traditions are proving hard to get rid of, such as dropping the hand after 20 minutes and referring to the person you’re dating as someone you’re ‘doing a line with’.