Katie Thomas Letter to the Editor
The Feb. 19 feature on Liberty University’s speed dating event provoked my concerns with “speed dating” and highlighted the university’s overall unhealthy obsession with dating and marriage.
Speed dating is Tinder incarnate: a one-minute timer rhythmically “swipes” a row of bachelors past a row of bachelorettes, giving the couples only a fraction of time to exchange basic pleasantries before moving on to the next person.
Although the students quoted in the feature said they enjoyed themselves, they also mentioned an inability to connect with their “dates” in such a small amount of time. One student said, “There was one guy that I thought was kind of cute, but that was it.” These are the essential problems with speed dating: in one minute, the most two people can appreciate about each other is their appearance. Call me a cynic, but any bonds formed while speed dating are probably carnal attractions, not sparks between souls.
I once knew someone whose sole purpose at Liberty was quickly nab a husband. When this objective failed, she left the school feeling disappointed. I am certain she was not alone in this mindset: Liberty students seek speedy dates, engagements and marriages, often before properly weighing their decisions. By its nature, speed dating feeds into that unhealthy “Ring by Spring” mindset.
If anyone has managed to find the love of their life through speed dating, I genuinely applaud them. But I contend that speed dating does not encourage the time, patience and maturity that a true and lasting relationship needs.