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I interviewed Todd and Perry about their book via email.

Why did you write this book now—and what's the conversation you're entering?

I mean, not that I’m an expert [], but I am pretty good at telling other girls what to do. And I’m actually super excited about talking about singleness in college, about how to really LIVE, about how to make life choices when you are single. And, to quote the director of the ministry, I have to tell the boyz “5 things we wish the opposite sex knew”. I mean, I wish boys knew to tell me I look good in workout clothes. If you could tell Christian college girls one thing about dating, what would it be? Bring your wisdom, bring your jokes, bring your knowledge.

You know I dig standing in front of a group of girls and talking about boys, dating, life. [.] But there is a point, later in Saturday, where I talk with the college boys. If you could tell Christian college dudes one thing about dating, what would it be? That way, we can all influence their dating futures together.

They're indoctrinated into the cult of extracurricular activities in middle and high school, and the involvement obsession continues throughout college almost as if by inertia.

"It's 'I'm secretary of this' and 'I'm director of that,'" she said.

Erika Christakis, a lecturer at the Yale Child Study Center, is a former co-master at one of the student residence halls at Harvard.

She says that during her time there, students would repeatedly tell her that they didn't have time for relationships—a sentiment that was starkly different from her own college experience."That was such a different experience than my college experience," she told a crowd at the conference, which is organized jointly by The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute. It was considered part of being a newly adult person that you would try to get to know people in a more intimate way."The panelists each threw out their theories for the decline of college dating: Christakis thinks it's because college students these days are too focused on resume-building and career preparation.

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Similarly, the University of Illinois now holds workshops on topics like "College Dating: Uncovering the Dating Scene." Duke University offers a counseling series on "How to Be in Love." Students will learn "how to fall in love …

If college students were better-equipped to start and maintain relationships, her thinking goes, they would feel more fulfilled in adulthood.

Leaving the session, I ran into a group of three moms of college-aged kids who were vociferously debating the panelists' points.

including recognizing when this can be happening," as well as how to communicate effectively, how to recognize when said love is "toxic," and how to know when it's time to break up.

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Sorely missing from this list: Intro to Back-rubs, Peaceable Joint IKEA Expedit Assembly, Advanced Topics in Netflix Negotiation.

"And even they admit that a lot of it is kind of bogus."Rachel Greenwald, an author and dating coach, thinks it's because most college "relationships" now occur within the context of a brief sexual encounter, or "hookup," as the youth say.

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12 Comments

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  2. eric   •  

    Now that social media networks and online dating sites are the norm, we’re no longer limited to socializing with the people we’re likely to meet at work, at school, or through the sometimes painful world of blind dating.

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