“What are we doing wrong?” This question was a serious concern for the multitude of students present at in the Gentile Gallery on Wednesday night. The gallery was filled up to standing room only for the event titled “Under Pressure: On the Tensions and Challenges of Dating at Franciscan” on April 18. Prayer time in Christ the King Chapel was offered near the end of the evening.
Utilizing small group discussion and helpful suggestions, Women’s and Men’s Ministries laid out the various challenges faced by Franciscan students regarding dating. First date ideas, friends with their roles in relationships and discernment of vocation were all elaborated upon during the evening.
“Ultimately, just pray about it; follow God, and He will guide you.” This was the resounding lesson to be learned from the night. Students were encouraged to take personal time to discern where they should look for their vocation, including the possibility of dating.
The talk claimed that one issue with dating here is the pressure to say yes to every date. Women especially may feel obligated to give every man a chance despite no mutual interest, cited one student aloud. The solution proposed was to be direct in your intentions with others and give answers with honesty.
If a date is secured, another issue mentioned was what to do or where to go. Organizers proposed a list of creative date ideas off campus, which included St. Anthony’s Chapel and Raccoon Creek State Park. As for indoor or on-campus date ideas, a list is planned to be released soon.
A campus myth known as the “senior scramble” was mentioned. With the pressure of graduation, many may feel further pressure to enter a relationship before leaving.
“I believe that Franciscan has this stigma that women come here for their ‘M-R-S degree,’” explained junior sociology major Sandra Victoria.
“I agree, and guys know that girls think that way,” said freshman theology and communications major Anna Gontis.
The speakers said that students at the university are in a unique situation; the same values, religion and ideals are present among the vast student body at Franciscan. This in turn causes various pressures to be raised.
A free raffle comprising of “dates in a jar” was sponsored by Fishers of Men, Redemptoris Mater and Magnifica Amorem Christi households. Included in the baskets were popcorn, dry cookie ingredients and a picnic blanket.
The speakers encouraged students to move at their own rate as opposed to letting friends or others dictate where feelings end up.
Sophomore psychology major Kerian Federoff agreed that oftentimes, “friends can seem a bit zealous when it comes to dating.”