Romance on the Block Plan

With the rise of technology, people have complained that interpersonal relationships and social skills have become increasingly lost in translation —  you can’t read tone in ones and zeroes. So a group of people got together and said, “Let’s be translators!” and attempted to bridge the gap with – you guessed it – Tinder.

Illustration by Lo Wall

Online dating had been around for a while, but with Tinder, we got an added bonus of the game-like format that many were so addicted to. The swiping motion and limited profiles combined fruit-ninja and a game of risk that people seemed to find rather enjoyable. Consequently, modern dating was back on track, and it seemed as if romance wasn’t dead after all!

So why does it seem to be dead on the Colorado College campus? Now, I don’t have the numbers here, but I find my peers and I congratulating couples on making things work on our little campus like they’ve won some kind of award. What is it about CC that makes commitment so difficult? Let me posit a scenario:

It’s a first Monday — you looked up your classroom number and the names of the people in your class, and you’re off to a new month of learning. You find the room, take your seat, pull out a notebook, and you see them: that person that makes your throat catch a little and who you know will be a constant topic of your inner dialogue for the next month. Maybe you become friends with this person, maybe some kind of sexual relationship ensues, and then “hey-o,”  it’s next first Monday and you’re in a different classroom with a different group of people and a whole new schedule.

How can we be expected to have great commitment skills when our system trains us to commit for only a month and then switch gears and move along? 

I’m not totally knocking the Block Plan. I actually think it’s great, in every way but this one. I find myself wondering if it’s our little bubble that has these issues or if it is young people everywhere, so I reached out to my friends at other universities about how they “date.” I also talked to some first-years about their high school dating experiences. The overwhelming response was that the 18-year-olds aren’t all that afraid of labeling someone their S.O. if they enjoy the person they are “dating,” and that Tinder has brought about a lot of committed relationships on other more “traditional” campuses. 

So is it us? Has the Block Plan added to the non-commital epidemic among the younger millennials and older Gen Zs? Sure, not everyone is ready for a commitment in college, and some people would rather be single or have multiple partners, but I get the sense from campus that a lot of us are searching, and none of us are committing. 

Annie Bronfman

Annie Bronfman

Annie Bronfman

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