Speaking Out: A movie for every single person

By  Mirjana Villeneuve, Speaking Out
  • July 19, 2018

When I left high school I told myself university is where I would find a husband. Well, I have one year left of my bachelor’s degree with no husband in sight. 

It’s easy to become discouraged about this, even as countless Catholic speakers, bloggers and podcasters remind me time and again that God has a plan and that His timing is perfect. I know these things, yet still I find myself asking why. Like with most things, taking something from head knowledge to heart knowledge is half the battle. 

When I was sent a documentary film, The Dating Project, to review, I was intrigued but didn’t want to admit to myself that I was interested — much like many people’s approach to relationships, I’ve learned. To show too much interest is seen as desperate and, frankly, embarrassing. 

This 70-minute documentary seeks to investigate the reasons for a collective decrease in committed relationships. Following five single people between the ages of 18 and 40, this film documents their search for authentic relationships and the roadblocks they face along the way. 

Lori Gottlieb, author of Marry Him, points out that the desire for a committed relationship is often painted as demanding and unreasonable. The non-commitment that has grown into what we now call “Hookup Culture.”

“The Dating Professor,” Dr. Kerry Cronin is a philosophy professor at Boston College well-known across campus for her class and its Dating Assignment. She challenges her students to ask somebody out within two weeks, outlining the specifics of what a first date should look like and where it should end.

In one of her famous dating lectures, she quips that the true buzzkill is the one who tries to put a label on the relationship, to which the whole class laughs — not because what she said was particularly funny, but because it’s uncomfortably true. 

She points out “hooking up” is the perfect name for what single people do, simply because it’s so vague. It means something different to each participant but one thing remains the same: the commitment stops at the end of the encounter. 

As I watched the single people followed by The Dating Project grapple with their stage in life, I felt a deep connection. I understood the pain they were experiencing, the confusion and fear. 

Although this was saddening, it gave me a sense of comfort. It reminded me that I am not alone. Although not all of their stories (spoiler alert) ended with true love, by the end of the documentary none of them felt unfulfilled. 

The film has been advertised as “the movie for every single person,” and while I’m not sure it would have resonated with me at all stages in my singleness, at this point it has left me heartened. 

I am looking forward to sharing it with other single men and women who might feel the same.

(Villeneuve, 21, is a fourth-year Concurrent Education student at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.)

‘The Dating Project’ is now available on DVD and Digital HD. For more information, visit www.thedatingprojectmovie.com.

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