Question of the Week: “Is ring by spring culture on campus healthy for relationships?”

By Charlotte M. Boland
Staff Writer

The flowers have come out, the birds have started nesting, and the sound of excited squealing rings through the air as gentlemen start popping the question to their ladies. Yes, that’s right: it’s ring by spring season.

I know what you’re thinking: “Ugh, how annoying.”

I myself have laughed about it, but hear me out. As much as we all like to make fun of the “ring by spring” culture, it’s actually a good thing!

It’s no secret that the dating culture on most college campuses are a mess of hook-ups, toxic relationships and broken hearts. Dating isn’t focused on marriage, but rather on having fun, fulfilling social expectations and not feeling lonely.

Some relationships make it out of college intact and transition into a lovely marriage, but unfortunately the vast majority don’t end in true commitment. Both men and women are left wounded, used and often tragically hating the other sex.

In comparison, the ring by spring culture on our campus helps keep the purpose of dating at the forefront and provides healthy pressure for couples to take their relationships seriously.

By keeping a focus on the question of “Do I see myself marrying this person?” in a relationship, couples are better able to discern objectively. That’s not to say dating shouldn’t be fun! After all, who would want to marry someone you can’t have fun with?

Also, it should be remembered that the relationships that end in a ring by spring are typically made up of upperclassmen who have been together for a couple years at least. Nobody actually expects a freshmen couple or a couple that only recently got serious to get engaged.

Let’s say, though, that something like that does occur. It’s very unlikely that an immature couple will stay engaged as they go through all the trials that marriage prep entails.

Don’t forget that engagement and marriage are different! There’s certainly commitment, but no vows have been made yet within engagement.

The couples that do get engaged and stay engaged often provide good examples of what a serious, healthy relationship should look like. That’s a rare thing for many college students in today’s society and shouldn’t be discouraged!

The excitement of ring by spring culture doesn’t just have to be limited to the couple either. Friends get to partake in the planning and celebration.

I’ll never forget how one man got his lady’s entire household to help him set up the proposal! Smart man.

Is ring by spring culture perfect? Of course not. People are messy, so relationships and anything pertaining to them are messy too. However, it’s still far healthier than the alternative dating cultures prevalent today.

So, if you’re ready to propose but are afraid to because of the stigma, don’t be. Spring is a beautiful season full of blooming flowers, warm weather, and new life. A joyous couple, newly engaged, only adds to the beauty.

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