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Getting an 'A' in real-world dating

Young adults who struggle to know how to date in a culture that endorses a lack of commitment and instant gratification learn how to develop dating and relationship skills in a seminar at Boston University.
Emily Hales, Deseret News Modified: May 25, 2014 at 2:28 pm •  Published: May 28, 2014
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In the age of hookups, hang-outs and digital communication, dating is a skill young adults no longer possess.

At least that's what Kerry Cronin, a professor at Boston University, has found, according to an article in the Boston Globe. She teaches a philosophy class for freshmen and sophomores, and one of the extra credit assignments she gives each year is for her students to take someone on a real date: no alcohol, no kissing, no sex.

Dating, Cronin told the Globe, "has been supplanted on campuses by a hookup culture that can entail anything from kissing to having sex with strangers or acquaintances rather than committed partners."

The courage and civility of asking someone on an official date are values that have been forgotten by today's youths, in Cronin's opinion. Learning the "correct" way to date will help college students move away from a shallow culture of instant gratification and form strong, long-lasting relationships.

However, others feel that the new, less-serious dating culture is just as beneficial to forming relationships. Eliana Dockterman wrote a rebuttal for Time, in which she said, "I’m here to inform that professor that we 20-somethings don’t need help, thank you very much."

Her argument is that meeting someone in a casual group setting like a party allows college students to get to know each other better than a stiff and awkward date.