Dating The Old-Fashioned Way: Film That Sprang From College Class Follows 5 Singles

By Darcel Rockett
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A new documentary, “The Dating Project,” follows five singles (20-somethings to 40-somethings) in their quest to find love.

Chicago Tribune

Dating is hard, right? You seek, you don’t find … you keep seeking. Or you seek, find, but it doesn’t end well, and you keep seeking. The scenarios are many, but the long-standing question still remains: Will I ever find that one person who is right for me?

A new documentary, “The Dating Project,” in theaters April 17, to show you’re not alone in your singledom. The film, a one-night Fathom Event follows five singles (20-somethings to 40-somethings) in their quest to find love.

Kerry Cronin, associate director of the Lonergan Institute and philosophy fellow at Boston College, is our guide.

Cronin has gained fame on her campus for assigning students to ask someone out on a date. For 12 years, she has required students to follow certain dating parameters, like asking for a date in person and no physical interaction (except an A-frame hug).

Dates with more than two people aren’t allowed, and the asker should have a plan for the date (asking the other person what to do isn’t allowed). Cronin coaches students on how to date successfully _ she explains what a proper date looks like and how the dates should advance without skipping important steps to cement a foundation for a solid relationship.

“It’s almost like the structure of manners,” Cronin said. “At their best, manners are supposed to let us know how to act and how to work around social awkwardness, but at their worst, manners make people feel excluded and that there’s some secret way that they’re supposed to act that they don’t have access to.

“Dating is the same kind of thing _ at it’s worst, it can make you feel like there are normative ways you’re supposed to act, and if you’re not doing that, you’re excluded, you’re out. So at its worst, it can be a really rigid system that only rewards people who are in certain circumstances, but at it’s best, what it can offer us are ways to navigate social vulnerability and social awkwardness.

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