by the Pitt Off the Hook Officer Team
This past April Pitt Off the Hook invited Monica Gabriel, the Relationship Editor at Verily Magazine, to give a talk entitled “The Big Lie of the Hookup Culture,” at the University of Pittsburgh. A hundred students were present for the talk!
During her lecture, Ms. Gabriel relied on many of her own observations and experiences, which made her talk more personal and engaging. Among other things, she mused on the importance of role models in a relationship. Families, she emphasized, are a necessary influence for nascent as well as long term relationships. She drew the connection between dating, marriage, and families; the people surrounding a couple will in some way direct their relationship. A dating couple that spends time with several newlywed couples is more likely to think about topics like marriage and children, whereas these things are less likely to cross the mind of a dating couple who are not surrounded by similar influences. Ms. Gabriel sited this as one of the reasons that the hookup culture is so devastating on college campuses: “It’s hard to find a family setting…on a college campus, because you [students] are incubated in your isolated worlds, where your only real commitment is yourself.”
After her talk, students asked several questions about date ideas and how long dating should go before marriage, as well as about Ms. Gabriel’s life as a newlywed (her husband, Joe, helped from the back of the room). Then one student raised his hand and, apologizing that he didn’t know much about any of this, asked: “How do you ask someone on a date?” A thunderous round of applause drowned out any giggles. The answer? “It’s best to keep it simple,” said Ms. Gabriel. “Be clear about what you’re asking.” She went on to say that when asking anyone on a date, it should not be expected that they say yes, nor that a date will lead to any further activities or an exclusive relationship.