On a cold Wednesday night, about 30 people attended the second day of the RU Over It? Dating Workshop by Regent’s Counseling and Psychological Services in the Moot Court Room.
Recognizing the trends and misconceptions of dating
Counseling Services Director Robbie Kuschel was the main speaker as he and some others from Counseling and Psychological Services addressed topics on dating and marriage like trends, misconceptions, social media, and the concept of “the one.”
RU Over It? first addressed the primary issue of millennials (born between 1981-1996) getting married less often than Baby Boomers, with 57% of women ages 20-24 and 38% of men ages 20-24 being married in 1975 compared to only 14% of women and 10% of men the same age in 2014.
Following the discussion on trends, Kuschel discussed misconceptions about relationships when it comes to conflict, cohabitation, opposites being attracted to each other, and the divorce rate.
The first discussion topic was conflict and the four types of couple conflict: avoiding, volatile, validating, and hostile. They then discussed how cohabitation, living together before marriage, can lead to better or poorer marriage outcomes.
Students’ opinions and social media
A male student in the audience said that cohabitating is playing pretend marriage, and a female student chimed in by saying that the difference between cohabitating and marriage is commitment.
Another female student said that by relying on God enough to find her spouse, she won’t need to live with him before marriage to see if it works out. She believes spouses must choose to love each other in the midst of conflict in marriage.
The workshop then debunked the myth that “opposites attract,” stating that partners usually complement each other as people tend to look for a partner that shares similar interests and have some things in common.
Divorce rate was a popular topic, as the facilitators claimed that, despite popular belief, the 50% divorce rate is on decline, which could be because less people are getting married as they focus on their careers or education first.
Misconceptions aside, other things such as social media can be detrimental to relationships. The negatives of social media addressed in the workshop were the curse of comparison, that there are too many options, and relationship broadcasting.
Comparison kills joy, so to combat scrolling through social media and getting depressed that you’re not in a relationship when it seems like everyone else is getting engaged, it is best to limit your time on Facebook and Instagram, advised Kuschel.
From the resounding response of the crowd to the question of what everyone thought of relationship broadcasting on social media, it was evident that most – if not all – found it annoying.
Making a list
Only four people raised their hands when Kuschel asked if anyone had made a list for what they want in a partner.
He said that you create a shopping list when going to the store so you don’t spend too much, forget to buy what you need, or buy the wrong things. In much the same way, you should make a list of what you want in a spouse so divorce is less likely since you’ll know what you’re looking for.
One female student agreed that making a list for what she’s looking for in a spouse is a good idea but wondered if it could be possible to go overboard with it by being too detailed and specific.
Someone else noted that there are items on her list that are more important than others, so some things she could do without in a spouse while others were deal breakers.
The audience was asked if they were ready to date. The three main indicators that Kuschel said someone can use to determine if they are ready to date is if their reason for dating is finding a spouse, if they are in a place in their life where they can date, and if they are truly ready for the commitment.
Kuschel said that until one can answer all those questions with ‘yes,’ is comfortable being alone, and both people are whole and complete with God, the relationship will not work.
If you need a partner to affirm you for your self-esteem, it will never be enough because they can’t help you with your “self”-esteem, according to Kuschel.
The two-hour long workshop covered a few other topics, and Kuschel said that they plan to have more workshops in the future.
Natalia Mittelstadt is a staff writer for the Daily Runner.