Quick! Alert the student body. Two students, of opposite genders, were spotted in the coffee shop together.
And eating dinner together.
And even worse; they were sitting next to each other at chapel.
With Corban being a small campus, word gets around. Before long, practically the entire student body knows that (insert girl’s name) and (insert boy’s name) were spending time together. Alone. There is only one logical conclusion: they are dating.
If there was a “most likely to jump to conclusions” national college award, I am confident Corban would take home the trophy. It is natural to assume that when two individuals spend time together alone, there must be some kind of “magic” between them. I admit to be guilty, myself, of dating assumptions. When I see a guy and girl together, I don’t sweetly think, “Oh, they are such good friends.” Instead, what goes on in my mind is usually something like, “Oh boy, another Corban couple, right there! I can’t wait until all of my friends hear about this!”
To check out my theory, my friend Hilary Steiner and I conducted a social experiment. We asked two of our guy friends, Caleb Stultz and Aaron Wirick, to be seen with us around campus for a week. We hoped that fellow students would make assumptions, and sure enough, hasty generalizations were made.
“I saw you hanging out with a guy yesterday. Is there anything with that?” asked one of Hilary’s friends with an eager smile on her face.
In my situation, Aaron and I had dinner together one evening. The quizzical looks on other students’ faces were exactly what I expected to receive. However, even though the looks were expected, they were still overwhelming and uncomfortable. I felt like the biggest spectacle of the dining hall for the evening, with eyes beaming on me, watching my every move.
After that meal, both of us were hit with questions. He had friends asking, “Who that girl was you had dinner with?” Upon receiving the answer, “We’re friends,” and not accepting that response, they went on to ask, “Friends? But really, who is she?”
I had a similar conversation with a friend that went like this:
Friend: I saw you had dinner with Aaron. So is there anything between you two?
Me: We’re friends.
Friend: Yeah, sure…
The results of this experiment showed the unwillingness to accept the phrase “We’re friends.” Is it possible for two people of different genders to spend time together and be only friends? Or is there always a romantic interest? Sadly, since I am not a relationship expert, I cannot answer those questions with confidence. However, I can say that with the constant pressure of getting that “ring by spring,” the desire to date is in the minds of most students. But does this mean Corban only cares about dating and has completely lost the value of friendship? I believe the answer to this question lies in the hands of the students and deals with their motives as individuals. For myself, I will continue to cherish the wonderful blessings friendship has to offer.