First, let’s begin by lowering our expectations of what it means to date someone.Level One Dating (as described by Kerry Cronin when she visited our campus) is an opportunity for you to have a conversation with your date which will do one of two things.Some claim that there just isn’t enough time in the week to develop a meaningful relationship, others point to parietals as the source of our consternation and still others claim that the single sex residence hall system is to blame for the poor state of relationships on campus.Regardless of what might be the mechanism driving our inability to create an environment where healthy relationships can flourish, my conversations with members of this community have convinced me that there is a desire to explore something other than the microwave relating that permeates our culture.The title of this editorial could be accurately described as a misnomer.I have heard from every corner of campus that dating does not occur at Notre Dame.Although many agree that the general state of relationship building on campus is generally unhealthy and inauthentic, in the same breath they acknowledge that “it is the only game in town.” There is a belief that if they do not play this game as defined by popular culture and those within the circle of coolness, they will become bystanders and second-class citizens in their own college experience.Given this alternative, some claim that the current condition is not so bad.
The reasons for this state of affairs is as varied as the people you talk with.
So how do we begin to carve out the time necessary to foster and develop relationships that are affirming, respectful and authentic?
Foundationally, if we are honest with ourselves, this is what most of us are looking for.
After all, the omnipresent hookup does offer some fun and emotional release from the mountain of academic obligations.
Unfortunately, there are no free lunches and frequently those involved pay either a physical or emotional cost; a cost that few are willing to discuss honestly.At the conclusion of the conversation you will know that a) there may be potential here and you would like to have another conversation, or b) this was not someone you wish to spend more personal time with.