National Catholic Register

Culture of Life

Wherefore Art Thou, Romeos?

Facts of Life

BY The Editors

March 2-8, 2008 Issue | Posted 2/26/08 at 4:42 PM


Once upon a time, young men and young women went to college not only to earn a degree but also to find a spouse. Times have changed. “College life has become so competitive, and students so focused on careers, that many aren’t looking for spouses anymore,” writes Sue Shellenbarger in the Jan. 31 Wall Street Journal. The office has become the top marital hunting ground, she reports, citing a recent Harris Interactive survey that showed 18% of couples met at work while only 14% met at school. That’s upside-down from 15 years ago, she notes, when 23% of married couples reported a school-based courtship and only 15% pointed to the workplace. On the downside, this may mean unserious (and dangerous) “hooking up” is now more widespread than ever on campus. But the news is not all bad. Shellenbarger writes that more students “are having fun on group dates; also, deep, but platonic, male-female friendships are more common.” She points to the work of sociologist Kathleen Bogle of La Salle University in Philadelphia. Young adults, says Bogle, still “want to find a quality person, a good person … and traditional dating is seen as a better way to do that” than hooking up. Amen to that, says a chorus of countless Catholic parents.

Illustration by Kevin Bedan