Are We All So Emotionally Stunted That We Now Need Falling In Love Classes?

According to one American university we are...


by Sophie Cullinane |
Published on

These are tricky times romantically, people. In the same breath as we’re being told that dating is over for us, someone else is insisting that dating apps like Tinder are making us all veritable dating machines. One minute we’re told that we should all be getting married much earlier, but at the same time someone else is warning us that we’ve all fallen out of love with love. Modern life means that we’re more connected to each other than ever before, but it’s also apparently making us lonely. It’s enough to make anyone confused. Or at least to swing wildly from being hopelessly optimistic about our love lives – you know liberated, on top of it all and in control – and despairing that our culture has completed obliterated and we're never going to meet ‘the one’. (Whatever that even means).

But have things got so bleak that we actually need lessons in falling in love? Northwestern University in America certainly seems to think so – because they’re offering a Marriage 101course, which is all about helping uni students have more fulfilling relationships. Cheating, dating and choosing the right guy are all covered. Students who sign up to the course attend one lecture a week and then meet up in smaller groups to talk through weekly romance hot-topics - things like how to maintain a satisfying sex life when you're with someone for longer than a month. (Answers on a postcard please).

The Marriage 101 professors reckon uni age is the best time for students to start thinking about this stuff before misconceptions about relationships become too ingrained. 'Developmentally, this is what the college years are all about: students are thinking about who they are as people, how they love, who they love, and who they want as a partner,' one of the professors told The Atlantic. The course directors say they are trying to redress the fact that many people report being unhappy in their relationships, and the fact that divorce rates continue to rise. (If we actually make it down the aisle, that is).

The course has been so popular that the course is massively over-subscribed and lecturers are being forced to turn away eager students. But seeing as it's in the States so we wouldn't be able to get there anyway, what are the main learnings? The professor says: having the same worldview of your partner, learning what *you're *about in your 20s before you attempt to find someone to settle down with and that love at first sight is a myth. Or in other words: love is actually a whole lot of work. We'll bear that in mind.

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophiecullinane

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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