By Shawn Potter
What do students, or anyone in general, typically feel about the word “dating?”
The same could be asked about the culture of hookups. With all of the questions that college students have about the topic of dating, there is always someone who can provide them with realistic, straight-to-the point answers.
Her name is Kerry Cronin, nicknamed the Guru of Dating for just that reason. As an adjunct professor at Boston College, she speaks to college students all around the region on the alternatives to the hook up culture. Her style was savvy and humorous, yet straight to the point.
On Thursday, Feb. 5, she spoke to nearly thirty BSU students and guests in the Conant Science and Math Auditorium.
Cronin asked the students one simple question: “Why can’t we have more casual dating?”
She began to describe three categories that she has personally classified pertaining to the specific relationship status of any college student.
She explained that the first group are pseudo-married couples, which “go out of their way to remind everyone who is single around them about how ‘miserable’ those individuals are being single.”
The second group is the hookup group, which is fairly self-explanatory. She explains that people who are active in a hookup culture engage in some form of sexual interaction while leaving all emotions at the front door.
The third group, she elaborated, are those who are opting out. Meaning, they get so frazzled by the thought of dating and relationships that they deliberately fill up their schedule. Some things might include joining a student run club, a sports team, or another activity that they feel would fit into their schedule.
Cronin said, “These people can choose to be the president of many of their school clubs, they are active in all school activities, and anything else that can keep their lives focus off of dating.” By laughter in the audience, it was clear that Cronin had made a connection.
She went on to describe that students she has sat down with in the past explain that after four years of undergraduate school, they had accomplished everything, except building at least one steady and solid emotional relationship to another individual.
Cronin explained what she had asked her past students to do for their assignments. Each student needed to find a person they felt attracted to, and then ask that individual out on a date. Her instructions made it clear that the date was meant to reveal if each person had romantic feeling for the other, not to simply harbor as friends.
They were to choose someone that they thought they felt some form of emotional attraction to, take that individual out for ice cream or coffee as an example, pay for the entire date, and spend no more that 75-90 minutes with that person on a first date. They also had only two weeks to do so.
Each of the criterion she had given were for a specific reason. Cronin emphasized that by spending no more than an hour with the individual, it would instill some form of interest in the air that would hopefully spark a second date.
It was also important, Cronin mentioned, that “the individual knew it was a date for purposes deeper than a casual friendship, not just a one time thing.”
She then challenged the audience to ask someone out on a date within two weeks. If an audience member was in a relationship, they were to match two people together that they thought could establish a solid emotional relationship with.
No matter what stage your relationship status is in, there is always time to casually ask someone out on a simple date. This implies to another person that you have an interest to know them on a deeper level. It also helps the individual to learn new things about him/herself.
To find out more about Cronin, read about her work online at the Boston Globe. For more information, contact Marlene J. DeLeon from BSU’s Catholic Center at 617-999-4594, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shawn Potter is the Opinion Editor of The Comment. Email him at email@example.com.