Kerry Cronin, a professor at Boston College, has figured out something that most of us have known for a while: dating, as in actually going on REAL dates, is becoming a lost art, particularly during the college years. Cronin told The Boston Globe, “Dating has been supplanted on campuses by a hookup culture that can entail anything from kissing to having sex with strangers or acquaintances rather than committed partners.” And while she doesn’t think hookup culture is necessarily damaging in the long run, she does believe that, combined with the virtual world we live in, it can create “a part of life that is unnecessarily chaotic and lonely” for college students because of the lack of one-on-one, in-person connections. And she’s doing something about it.
As part of her philosophy class for freshmen and sophomores–which includes discussion on personal, ethical, and moral choices–her students have the opportunity to go on a date for extra credit. The date, however, must fall into the guidelines provided for the assignment:
- You must ask the person out in person.
- The person must be someone you’ve never dated.
- Arrange the date within three days of asking.
- This person must be someone who is a legitimate romantic interest.
- The date should be 45-90 minutes long.
- You need to have a definite and simple plan for the date.
- You must pay for the date yourself.
- The date should involve no physical interaction.
- No group dating, third wheels, or “wingmen” allowed.
The purpose of these guidelines is to provide what Cronin describes as a “social script,” which has been lost somewhere along the way. In terms of dating, Cronin told The Boston Globe, “Students don’t know where to begin or what to say.” She goes on to state that one-on-one dating “is so rare, it feels strange and even creepy.” Therefore, the dating assignment she gives students provides a framework so students are more comfortable and know what to expect while entering the scary, scary world of actual one-on-one dating.
While all of the things that comprise today’s dating world–from texting to group dates to hooking up–are here to stay, Cronin’s theory is that bringing old school dating back into the mix can help all of us lessen the confusion that happens when we search for a significant other. She states in the article, “When my parents and grandparents went on dates they knew what to expect. That’s what a social script is, that’s why manners work–not because they’re truths but because they make things easier.” And shouldn’t we all be in favor of anything that makes finding a relationship easier? .
Via The Boston Globe