At this point in the blog we have heard from different students that still attend the school and those who have graduated, but I figured it was time to hear what a professor thinks about the dating culture, so in order to do this, I decided to ask none other than Dr. Anthony Bradley.
NAME: Anthony Bradley,
YRS AT KING’S: 11 years
FIELD OF TEACHING: Religious Studies
How would you define the dating culture at Kings?
The dating culture at King’s lacks privacy so people are less willing to take the necessary risks to get to know people, slowly over time, because of potentially being gossiped about or slandered.
During your time at King’s have you noticed a shift of the dating culture?
No. Every Christian school I’ve ever taught, anywhere in America, has exactly the same problems. What frustrates people at King’s isn’t unique. I speak about these issues at lots of Christian colleges around the country. They’re almost all the same. It reflects more about the way evangelicals are taught to manage relationships back when college students were in middle school and high school. I was raised in the black church and find some of the evangelical church frameworks a bit odd.
What are some of the biggest reasons you’ve seen or heard of relationships ending at King’s?
(1) One person being emotionally or physically way ahead of the other person and expecting too much too soon; (2) People figured out that they should just be friends; (3) Something bad happens, (4) Fear of commitment (because, perhaps, one person subconsciously wonders if someone better might come along later), and (5) One person concludes that the other person is not “the one” because they were erroneously taught that such a thing exists. The concept of “the one” is 100 percent a rubbish cultural teaching that has no basis in the Bible nor 2,000 years of the Christian tradition. There’s not a verse in the Bible that supports the concept. So, you know, normal break up stuff.
Would you want to encourage or discourage people from dating at King’s or elsewhere? Why?
Yes, I would encourage dating but only if marriage is a serious destination. If people want to date just to have cuddle-buddy, or an emotional support human with whom they can also make-out, which is often the culture’s self-centered approach, I would discourage it. Instead, I would encourage those people to grow up and embrace adulthood first then date.
Can you think of any helpful tips or advice that you would give to first years, when it comes to dating?
Do not date anyone your first year. There’s a 99.9% chance that you’ll break up and, since marriage is not a real possibility in the near term, it doesn’t make any sense. Some first-year students date as a way of coping with the emotional anxiety and stress of transitioning to King’s and life in New York. They don’t realize they may be simply using people’s hearts and bodies for comfort, like people use emotional support dogs. For others, they are living out a movie or a Netflix series fantasy from something they watched in middle-school or high school. Some are desperate because they never really dated in high school and, now that they’re finally in college, “this is their chance” to finally experience all the things (lies) they were told they have been missing out on by not dating in high school as normed by American cultural standards.
I really admire the statements that Dr. Bradley provided in this interview! It is also nice (and a bit shocking) to understand how much some of the professors may know about our datining lives (which doesn’t have to be a bad thing- just don’t be dumb, but hey, even if you are dumb, they’ve probably seen it before and can talk you through it)!! I wanna thank Dr. Bradley for giving some time to provide these answers and I hope that they gave you some more insight or somethings to think about!!