In January, the Century published my interview with Kerry Cronin, who teaches at Boston College and gives
students an unusual assignment: go out on a date. Since then we've asked some
college students to respond to Cronin. Do they find her
dating advice off-putting? Valuable? Impractical? Strange?
I noticed a disheveled and unshaven man in his early fifties a few barstools down from me. Something about him seemed uninviting. Soon an attractive 40-something woman arrived in a crisp little black dress and perched on the stool next to him. She seemed nervous.
A few months ago, I discovered a Mennonite online dating service: MennoMeet (a friend asked, “MennoMeet or MennoMeat?”). It’s a members-only network, so to participate you have to apply. Nervous about online dating in the first place, I liked the idea of starting with the familiar and comfortable world of my Mennonite faith background.
I’m in a high school classroom talking to “Lisa.” Her hair is dyed black and purple, and the piercing in her lower lip bounces as she talks. “I broke up with my boyfriend because of this class,” she says. The class is Introduction to Psychology, and the teacher is Char Kamper, who developed a curriculum called Connections to teach students about dating, relationships and marriage. “When did you break up with him?” I ask. “Three days ago,” Lisa says, and then she looks me straight in the eye. “I realized he only called me when he wanted one thing.”