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Ash Wednesday Dating Advice? Student Reports Valentine’s ’24 at Catholic College

How do Catholic students date in 2024? Well when Valentine’s Day falls on Ash Wednesday as it did this year, the answer is obvious: in church.

Jack Figge found much more dating advice from Catholic students, but his story for the National Catholic Register starts in church.

“Sitting in a pew, a young couple lean in, hold hands and whisper a silent prayer after Mass. The two have been dating for nine months, encountering the joys and struggles of being college students while navigating the dating world. Both are students at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.”

There are unique advantages and challenges for those who date at a small College, he said, quoting Ruby Carr, a freshmen who has been dating Henry Gerber for four months.

“Everybody knows everyone and is always asking about your relationship,” Carr told Figge. “I know from friends that if you do break up, a lot of people ask, ‘Oh, what happened?’ News spreads fast.”

Catholic College relationships are very oriented to marriage — and that may be good news for some and bad news for others.

Benedictine College Junior Nicole Harrington from Leage City, Texas, told Figge, “Our focus is so much on marriage here, which is a good thing, but we forget about simplicity and just having fun and dating for the sake of getting to know people.”

“A lot of people have the mindset that, ‘If a guy even looks at a woman, they are going to get engaged,’” she said.

Peter Burns, a sophomore at Wichita State has been dating a Benedictine College student for more than a year. “Relationships have a lot less commitment at Wichita State, and a lot of people take part in the hook-up culture,” Figge quoted him saying. “Then there is Benedictine, where there is obviously an emphasis on having committed relationships.”

He added that, as a Catholic, “To me, a casual relationship doesn’t make sense, because what is the purpose?”

But even if it doesn’t end at the altar, dating leaves Catholic student better off, Anastasia Leffas told Figge. “Dating is good because it’s part of your formation as a human person — to learn to give yourself to another and love another person,” said Anastasia Leffas, a sophomore from Fairfax, Va.

“When you encounter the opposite sex in both a dating setting or friendship setting, it forms you and allows you to learn to fall in love well.”

Read more at the National Catholic Register.

Photo: Mazur/CatholicNews.org Flickr


Editorial Staff

Benedictine College’s mission can Transform Culture in America by modeling community in an age of incivility, spreading faith in an age of hopelessness, and committing to scholarship in a “post-truth” era. We create video and other media content to promote positive messages of faith, hope, and love while Ex Corde Media Fellows program provides students with the tools, experiences, and contacts they need to enter the 21st century media world as effective communicators. Learn about the Ex Corde Media Fellows program.