Documentary on dating challenges hookup culture


On Friday, April 5, at 7 p.m., students gathered in Pugliese Auditorium to watch a documentary that addressed the cultural discrepancy between modern dating and “traditional dates.”

“The Dating Project” is a Pure Flix film that follows five single individuals as they discover intentional relationships. The project stemmed from an extra credit assignment given by Kerry Cronin, who holds a doctorate in education from Boston College, to her students in which they must ask a person out on a date face-to-face and then plan and go on said date.

Cronin explained in the film, “Dating is a social script no longer supported by the culture.” She coaches her students on how to actually date versus merely hook up and gives them the guidance to proceed from a simple date to an exclusive relationship if that is the path they choose.

Two of the participants in Cronin’s class, a male and a female both 19 years old, responded positively to the assignment. Both students confessed to being victims of the hookup culture and wanting to escape its grasp. After asking someone to go on a date, they mentioned how it felt good to finally “get the words out.”

Participants of the project were not only college students. Three older participants from around the country voiced their frustration with their singleness. A man mentioned his aversion to dating websites, saying it felt like “window shopping,” and he complained of too many choices. Another woman also described online dating as scary since people risk disappointment.

The fifth member of the project, a woman from Chicago, said she felt afraid of being wanted as just a physical object. In a past relationship, she felt used as only a means of obtaining sex.

The documentary concluded by announcing the resulting relationships of two of the participants and the decision of the other three to continue to intentionally date.

One of the few men at the screening, Grady Stuckman, a senior philosophy and theology student, declared, “Dating doesn’t have to be as complicated as many people think of it. Honestly, I was disappointed that more guys weren’t there to see. You don’t have to overly rack your brain to ask someone out. Just do it.”

Emily Reuwer, a freshman pre-nursing student, supported the film saying, “I thought it was important that everyone should watch a film like this.” However, Reuwer mentioned the difference between the mindset of those in the film and those at Franciscan. “It’s hard being at Franciscan. We don’t date the way the rest of the world dates.”

This event was organized by Lauren Carmona, a sophomore humanities and Catholic culture student and resident assistant in St. Thomas More Hall.

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