Love is in the air.

It’s not even spring yet and there are more diamonds floating around campus than the cave in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.  Any CBU student can probably tell you that they know at least five people who have gotten engaged or married within the past two months.  The running joke “Ring by Spring” seems more like a guarantee than a mere likelihood.

Sometimes it is a common question in the midst of Christian college love crazes for single students to wonder, “What am I doing wrong? How could someone let all this awesomeness go to waste?  Does my Prince Charming just have a slow old horse?”

Coming from someone who has been both single and in a relationship (at separate times, of course!), I can tell you I have been there.  Sometimes it seems like the dating scene is so confusing and men and women do not operate on the same level of communication.  Guys are hypnotized by exciting video games and girls are surrounded by hordes of other female friends.  Guys and girls are friends but moving to the next level is ambiguous and miscommunicated.  I understand.

It seems like the whole “dating” and “courtship” scene confusion is a nationwide phenomenon these days.  I read a New York Times article called “The End of Courtship?”  It discusses how there has been a perspective shift in dating terminology, and how mindsets of both men and females have altered in recent history.

In order to formulate a meaningful romantic relationship in a college atmosphere, it is helpful to understand where people are coming from.  The majority of CBU students, I would say, come from a Christian background or have some knowledge of the general workings of Christian environments.  There is lots of confusing terminology floating around the Christian world.  Some people may know dating as “courting” or if you’re old school, “going steady”, but it is hard to know what that means in everyone else’s minds.

According to the article, dating has come to mean in, some situations, a non-exclusive hang out.  A “date” may mean a one-on-one coffee date at Starbucks, or it could mean a movie night with you and him and his friends.  It could mean that you are seeing only him or her, or it could mean that he or she is dating other people they are interested in as well.  I have not completely come up with a working definition of “courting,” so if you ever find yourself in that situation with a person you are interested in, you may want a DTR (Define The Relationship) so you can be on the same page.  In fact, whatever state you are in a “relationship” with someone, whether friends or more than friends, it is best to communicate directly what intentions both parties have.

My advice for all singles in college is:

  1. Develop friendships and enjoy the people that surround you.
  2. If someone interests you, spend time with them in a group and see them in different environments.  You may notice something that you really like about them, or something that is a dealbreaker.
  3. If you are a girl, let the man make the moves.  A good quote from “He’s Just Not That Into You” is “If a man is interested in you, he will do everything he can to make it happen.”   If you are the man, make the move!  If she doesn’t like you, then you know to move on.  If she does like you, then now the fun can begin! Plus, men who have the courage to be direct about their feelings and intentions really impress women.
  4. And for all those singles out there, keep in mind that you do not need another person to make you happy! Waiting for the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with can bring about the best results.

So folks, enjoy this season of life, whichever season you are in.