The Dating Project Movie Review
The Dating Project Movie is an interesting movie that brings to light some of the issues related to dating in modern society. None of it is really eye opening if you're paying attention to modern dating. It's a well done movie that helps bring some light to it in 90 minutes. The basis of the movie is Professor Kerry Cronin's philosophy class at Boston College. As part of that Professor Cronin gives students the “Dating Assignment”.
The assignment is to ask someone on an old school date. That means you ask in person of someone you have a romantic interest in. The date has to be casual with no drugs or alcohol and can't last more than 90 minutes with 60 minutes being preferred. The person who asks pays and it can't be more than $10. After it's over the only touching allowed is a hug and nothing more.
As Professor Cronin gives her students this assignment they seem scared and confused. I was honestly blown away by this. Being a 42 year old it blew my mind college kids don't know how to ask each other on dates. They will spend 4 years having never gone on one date because apparently kids don't date in college anymore. I know the hookup culture in college has become more prevalent for a host of reasons but didn't realize an actual old school date was completely foreign to kids in college.
In addition to observin Professor Cronin with her classes, the film follows five individuals through their “dating life” if you will. Two are freshman at Boston College and in Professor Cronin's class. One male and one female. The other three are working professionals. There's a 25 year old female that's from Mexico and lives in Chicago. There's a 30 year old female in New York City that is a producer for the Meredith Vera show and works 70-80 hour weeks. The final person is a 40 year old male who lives in Los Angeles. None of these people have ever been married.
Following each of them allowed you to learn different things. It gives your five unique perspectives on dating.
Female Freshman at Boston College – This girl seems like a very typical cute college freshman. She's into having fun and not really looking to settle down. There's not a lot of depth to her character because she's basically having fun in college which is totally okay. Freshman year is kind of a big deal and no need to settle down with one guy. She likes the intrigue of dating but you can tell she's not really into it for the most part.
The most interesting part about her is she has what I like to call “Hot Guy Syndrome.” She's really not interested in settling down. Same thing guys do so it's perfectly fine and it's not sexist. She's focused more on trying to get the attention of guys she finds attractive that might not be good for her.
She even mentions this to Professor Cronin that she knows there's really good guys out there but she has no interest in them. She comments about putting them to the side for later in life. Professor Cronin tells her she can't do that. What they're really talking about here is 30's Vortex type activities. It's totally okay to date people that are wrong for you just to confirm they're not right for you. In the back of your mind though you have to realize or learn this person isn't right for you long term. A little fun but not the one is fine in doses but when you get hooked on those guys and can't break their habit you're in trouble and headed to the 30's Vortex. Trying to continually attract the attention of the opposite sex isn't conducive to a devoted relationship. That cycle will have to be broken at some point.
If you're not familiar with the 30's Vortex it's what never married single females enter on their 30th birthday. You can watch the 8 minute explanation here:
You can also read the detailed theory here:
It'll be interesting to see what happens with this girl as she's truly enjoying her time in college when it comes to the opposite sex. That's perfectly acceptable as long as she has a long term realization of what's going to happen once she leaves college. It should be a fun 4-6 years of her life but she has to leave those activities behind unless she just wants to spend the rest of her life playing when it comes to dating. Playing from a dating aspect gets old for most people. If she can keep it up for the next 30 years then she should go for it but the odds say she can't. I think she'll be fine once she leaves college and hits the real world. Live it up while you can. It doesn't last forever.
Male Freshman at Boston College – This guy is pretty empty from a character standpoint as well since he's also a freshman in college. The only difference between him and the freshman girl (they're friends) is that he seems a little more monogamous. He seemed genuinely excited to ask the girl out and spend time with her. He seemed like a good guy that will eventually live outside of the Vortex. While he seemed sociable enough he didn't seem like a wild partier or player. He's awkward enough where he's not a true ladies man it seems.
He does mention the pressure related to the hookup culture which I think is something that gets missed these days. While the hookup culture seems fun and easy with no commitment there's a lot of pressure on guys that are interested/wired to be with one woman. These are the good guys that live outside of the Vortex. They don't really want to hookup despite what people think. They're just fine being with one person and not trying to sleep with as many people as possible. It's an interesting dynamic how the hookup culture has kind of pushed these people down a path they don't want to go. They go down it because hooking up is more of the norm than dating and it's pretty easy on college campuses once you figure out the rules.
I think this guy will be married by the time he's 25. He'll find some girl that isn't interested in hooking up and they'll have a fairly normal courtship where they get married. As much as the hookup culture exists on college campuses there's still the traditional path of dating to marriage. It's just not the norm anymore. I think this guy will be on the traditional path because he seemed genuinely excited about being interested in one girl.
25 Year Old Single Female in Chicago – I was kind of torn on how I felt about this girl but in the end it all made sense. She's a very smart and personable girl but seemed filled with a level of self doubt. She was doing the “I'm 25 and still single. What is wrong with me?” thing. As she was doing that I was trying to figure out if there was in fact something “wrong” with her. Sometimes there is something “wrong” with the person when it comes to dating. Sometimes it's external factors.
In this girl's case it seems to have been all external factors. She was from Mexico so I think she was used to a different culture than what guys in Chicago offered her. Based on reading the book Dateonomics, geography can be a HUGE factor in finding someone. You can believe in destiny, soul mate, or some other factor from a higher power but in the end dating is a numbers game. I'm not saying there's not divine intervenin a given area the better your odds will be. It's simple math. If you're in a geography where more people you'll be interested in exist the odds are in your favor.
This girl wound up moving from Chicago to Chile. In Chile she met someone and is now engaged. For her there really wasn't anything wrong with her individually but her geography was wrong for her. I don't think a lot of people realize what changing your geography can do for you from a romantic standpoint. If there's truly nothing wrong with you and you're TRULY open and ready for a committed relationship a change of scenery might be good for you. It worked for this girl.
30 Year Old Female in New York City – This girl is a professed workaholic with a strong faith in Christ. She works 70-80 hours a week which left little time to meet and date people in the traditional sense. She wasn't a virgin but she did believe having sex was reserved for someone special and long term. She also wanted someone that was a strong believe in Christ as well. She wanted something old school rather than casual.
She realized she was working too much and not putting herself out there. She decided to get on Tinder. I laughed at this thinking how it was going to turn out. Tinder is known as the hookup app. Sure enough she met a guy and about 3-4 dates in he was ready to have sex and she wasn't even close. Most apps and sites lend themselves to getting physical sooner than later to a degree but Tinder seems to be the worst. I could be wrong but someone who's a strong believer in Christ and would like to wait as long as possible isn't likely going to find the right person on Tinder.
Like geography being a factor, where you “fish” is also a big factor. With her faith and preference to wait to have sex she was “fishing” in the wrong spot it seemed. I'm not saying the apps are full of bad people but I don't think it's any big secret there's a lot of people that just want to get laid. There's nothing wrong with that but just realize your radar better be on high alert if that's not what you're looking for.
This girl wound up meeting someone at her church which seemed like the most likely spot for her. I don't know if she was actively looking for guys at her church before participating in this. It seemed being a part of this movie gave her some serious introspection on who she is as a person and what's really important as a partner. I think this whole experience might have reminded her of who she is as a person and where she should be looking for a man. I could be wrong but like the girl in Chicago a little change in how she was looking for a man seemed to have some really positive results.
40 Year Old Single Guy in Los Angeles – This screamed of a guy in the Vortex. After following him a bit there's no doubt he's in the Vortex. He was the most complicated and broken of anyone they followed. By broken I mean ready for marriage. He seemed like a good stable guy but it was clear he wasn't ready for marriage by any stretch. He wasn't necessarily looking for hookups but it was clear he enjoyed dating more than being committed. He mentioned having an issue thinking the grass is always greener with someone. To me this is a MAJOR issue for people dating today. Thanks to social media and dating apps/sites people have become disposable when it comes dating. At any point if it seems there's any kind of flaw or any level of work people get discarded. I think that's what this guy did to a degree. He was just fine turning and burning girls because it's easy. What most single people don't like to admit is that being single is INFINTELY easier than being in a truly healthy committed relationship. Don't fool yourself that a truly committed and healthy relationship doesn't require lots of work and commitment. It does. This guy didn't seem really interested in that work and sacrifice. A lot of single people won't admit this but it's a big factor in why they're single.
Participating in this film caused him to do some serious introspection that I don't think he'd done before. The two most poignant things he talked about was losing his father at 9 years old and his “storefront” was showing goods that weren't actually in inventory. The comment about his father was truly poignant because he admitted to not having an example/mentor when it came to relationships. I think this is a bigger part of modern dating than most people realize. We only learn from other people. We only know what we're exposed to. When you don't come from a loving and stable relationship you don't know how it works. With divorce rates only increasing kids don't learn to have a stable and loving relationship. The only way they're going to get that is from someone else. Those are all kinds of screwed up. So all people see is a bunch of messed relationships. His mother was an amazing lady but it was clear he was missing something he never learned from his father.
Him talking about his “storefront” was also really interesting and something I don't think a lot of people realize or think about. What he meant by his “storefront” was the persona he was putting off that he had his shit together and ready for a committed relationship. The reality is he wasn't. He directly said he didn't have the inventory in the back for what he showed in the window. He had flaws he needed to work on. At least he admitted it. I think a lot of people put forth a “storefront” that doesn't have inventory in the back. In business you can give a back order slip. There are no back order slips in love. You're either prepared and ready or you're not. If you don't have the inventory you can't follow through on what you're trying to sell. Make sure there's actually inventory associated with the goods you say you available. You're only fooling yourself if you don't just like this guy,
This movie seemed to do this guy some good. He seemed more serious in finding someone after participating. I think for a lot of people that aren't finding success in the romance department they need to spend some time doing some serious introspection. If you truly want someone long term in your life you need to make sure you have inventory to deliver what you're selling. This guy realized he was just fooling himself and others when it came to his real ability to commit. If that's you then it's okay to take some time and do some serious introspection to figure out what you offer and truly want. Be real and admit to your flaws working to improve them.
All in all I thought this was a very insightful movie for those that are single and hoping to change their results in dating. Blame others all you want but if you're 25+ and still single there's likely some things you're doing wrong. You're either denying them or haven't identified them. To change your outcome in dating you need to be realistic in what you offer and want. If you don't know then you need to identify those issues or you'll continue to see the same results just spinning closer to the center of the Vortex away from the edge which is marriage.
It looks like this movie will soon be out via digital soon. If you're looking to change the current state of your dating life it's well worth the 90 minutes. It's certainly 90 minutes better spent than on a dating app or website.
Here's the trailer to the movie if you're interested:
You can also visit the movie's website here: