Op-Ed: Faculty Dating Advice for a Typical Tuesday

Valentine’s Day is upon us, which means a date for some, early weekend indulgences for others and just another Tuesday for the rest. Regardless where one falls, the the link between tomorrow and romance is undeniable.

And in this Age of Information, our generation has the tendency to think we have this whole “dating thing” figured out. With algorithmic aps that set us up with the “ideal match,” what’s the point of advice? The real difficulty right now is just narrowing down the options. But is that the pressing question? What should we really be considering? Faculty and staff provide advice on the issue.

Professor Johnson’s advises what guys and girls should look for in the person they are interested in dating.

“Blind dates are dumb” Johnson declared. Singles should consider other factors. “[Have they] observed this person being a genuine servant to others in things small and large? … How do they treat the doorman, the bank teller, and waiters?”

“Even if they are a bit brash or cocky or rough around the edges, if they regularly humble themselves and see themselves as a servant of others -- Christ first, even better -- then you can deal with the rougher parts,” Johnson added.

On the more practical side, Professor Mueller’s advice is especially applicable to independent, working college students in the city.

“[Consider] this season of life … [and] how much time [one has] to dedicate to know another person deeply,” Mueller noted.

Another question to consider is one’s support network.

“You should be part of a community where other friends and believers can speak into your life and hold you accountable in your dating relationship,” Mueller described.

Simple enough, but then how do you know when it is right or going well? Mueller suggests that we should trust the “approval of someone who is wise, observant, and sharing the relationship with.”

“Today's dating has become the exclusive domain of the man and the woman dating. College life magnifies this problem because you are primarily around other love-struck and often empty-headed peers, who rarely offer wise counsel,” Mueller explained. “So, my advice to you is: be open with others about your relationship - and specifically seek out older Christians who can give you guidance, encouragement, and yes, correction. Do not let movies or television shows define the way you think about romance and about love. You rarely see the real thing on the screen.”

Professor Cragin-Day describes her advice as more “traditional.”

“In NYC, the general advice is, wait to get married in your 30s, but don't wait to have sex until you're married,” Cragin-Day stated.

She rejects this fad and believes that “both of these [are] bad advice.” She admits the difficulties and shares her view saying that while “waiting to have sex until marriage is getting more and more outdated, I still believe God made that rule because it offers greater long-term happiness.”

And, in regards to the community at King’s, Cragin-Day poses a few questions.

“Should King's students invest time in finding a spouse in college? Absolutely! Should King's students feel pressured to find a spouse in college? Absolutely not! Panic and rush are no reasons to date and marry,” Cragin-Day clarified.

Mrs. Mueller offered further insight, adding to her husband's comments.

“If the point of dating is that you get to know someone to see if you are interested in marriage, then a serious minded couple can go on dates and start dating without being scared away by premature commitment,” Mueller asserted. “The point is, get to know each other. Do that before you decide if you're getting married.”

So before asking that girl, eating that chocolate, or yielding to the not-quite-middle-of-the-week mood, take their advice to heart. Is that person of interest merely interesting, or are they also serving others? And what about a network of friends, to hold one accountable in dating? Finally, clarify: is this dating just for the sake of dating and the pressure thereof, or is there a genuine desire to invest and commit?

Relationships are hard, and dating is tricky, but learning to share one’s life with another person is well worth it.