BY DANIEL KIM
With Valentine’s Day approaching, Franciscan University’s student life department tackled the topic of dating in a two-part workshop called “Truths About Dating: How to Follow Your Heart Without Losing Your Mind” on Feb. 4 and 11.
Primary speakers at the workshop were Matthew Burris, Franciscan University graduate and Student Wellness Center counselor; Joseph Loizzo, social worker; and Mary Recznik, household adviser.
Burris talked about the significance of a romantic and healthy relationship. He emphasized key factors that contribute to building a secure foundation for dating as well as the importance of recognizing abusive behavior that calls for an active response.
The workshop introduced Relationship Attachment Model (R.A.M.) that focuses on five bonding links: know, trust, rely, commit and touch. These links interact in a developing relationship.
The idea was that each link should not exceed its previous link’s level. For example, a person in a relationship should know his/her partner’s personality and traits well before trusting.
Each of the five sessions of the workshop focused on those five bonding links and how to develop them over time. The workshop explored some key areas to come to know about one’s partner, including family background, attitudes of the partner and compatibility potential.
The interaction between trust and reliance was covered through clear definition of two relatable case studies. In her talk, Recznik explained why commitment comes before physical touch in R.A.M.
Students who attended the event each received a workbook titled “How to Avoid Falling in Love With a Jerk” to help them follow along and to keep for future reference.
Ultimately, a crucial fact of which the students were reminded during the workshop was that they are made in the image of God, and it takes time and serious discernment to find a right partner and maintain a good relationship.
Burris said, “A strong relationship comprises of both reason and faith, and one cannot do without the another.”
The Rev. Shawn Roberson who planned to give a talk about spiritual aspects of dating could not be there due to illness.