Ring by spring interrupted

Ella Jennings

COVID-19 has undeniably brought innumerable challenges to Westmont’s campus, but one particularly concerning area is students’ dating lives. Students have been forced to follow extremely strict social guidelines, taking a toll on relationships. Many returning students have expressed feelings of stress and worry about dating during the upcoming semester.

If Christian colleges are forced to practice social distancing for longer than just this semester, new students might have trouble meeting one another on campus — creating devastating consequences for the wedding industry in California. Indeed, it has been reported that tremors of fear and trepidation have already been felt throughout the profession, with many wedding planners already forced into early retirement due to a lack of student clients.

Incoming students have voiced similar concerns coming onto campus, worrying that they will never meet their future life partners due to social distancing. To help set minds at ease, here is Westmont’s COVID-19 dating guide for returning to campus this week.

  1. First off, always remember to keep your distance. Though couples may find it difficult, please abstain from all physical contact until the ring is introduced. Additionally, in case a partner changes their mind at the last minute, we strongly advise maintaining the six-foot rule while proposing. Kissing is forbidden until the wedding.
  2. If a student in a committed relationship feels like they simply cannot refrain from holding hands with their partner, we ask the student to please ensure that they follow usual Christian dating precautions. Any Christian pursuing a relationship should know these obvious guidelines already, but here’s a refresher: do not hold hands with someone you have not dated for at least eight months to a year, spoken with on the subject of children, etc. Do not go on an off-campus date with someone you do not intend to marry. Maintain Westmont’s open-door policy even while outside.
  3. There are plenty of ways for students to feel fulfilled if not in a relationship. If you feel nervous about dating during the pandemic, but crave the intimacy only a relationship can bring, don’t be afraid to take yourself out on a date! Buy yourself a nice dinner, read your interrogatory spousal questions back to yourself, and hold your own hand in a dark movie theater. You might be surprised how much you enjoy it.

This year will be difficult and dangerous for all of us. Never hesitate to reach out to someone if you are struggling. If you find it impossible to refrain from interacting with your Westmont WOW at close range, remember — there is always Stalkernet.

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