Boston College adjunct philosophy professor Kerry Cronin says the process of traditional dating among today’s young adults has deteriorated.
"To the point, they don't even know what it is," Cronin said.
More than ever, traditional dating is being bypassed by the "hook-up culture."
"We called them one-night stands," Cronin said.
She says the easy-to-use relationship apps like Tinder and Grindr, and the façade of social media, are partly to blame. Professor Cronin said she's seeing some serious social consequences in behavior. Young men and women are struggling to simply ask each other out, because they don't know how.
"I want them to have courage, and be braver, asking themselves what they really want," she said.
So each semester, she offers extra credit in her class, an optional "Dating 101" where students write a paper and share their experience. Senior Shanzi Mahmood agreed to do it, and says it made her reassess everything she was doing in her relationships.
"It's moving away from this hook-up culture, that's really empty, doesn't really leave you with anything or satisfaction or relationship at the end of the day," Mahmood said.
Boston College is a Catholic institution, founded on the premise of providing students with an elite education and religious framework. But Cronin said this is more than about teaching morality.
"I'm not going to change culture," she said.
Instead, she's banking on more challenging conversations, and a new documentary called "The Dating Project" featuring her work and Mahmood's experience, along with other young adult singles across the country. To change the narrative back to dating.
The documentary opens at select theaters on April 17.