Speaker encourages students to break Franciscan dating stereotypes


“I hate dating and I hate dating at Franciscan,” announced Franciscan’s counselor Matthew Burris on Thursday night in the Gentile Gallery.

His talk, “Prudent Pursuing: A Faith and Reason Approach to Dating,” was part of the Metanoia Series aimed at providing the tools necessary for single persons and couples to utilize both faith and reason. He explained the importance of keeping a balance between faith and reason when discerning romantic relationships.

Burris started the talk in a very lighthearted manner saying, “Not only am I a speaker on the subject, but I’m a survivor.”

In his presentation, Burris encouraged men to take initiative in asking women out on real dates rather than simply “hanging out.” He said taking his wife out on a real date was a “game changer” when they first started dating.

He also advised students to take their time with dating and to make sure to spend time in different environments in order to more fully know the other person. He said, “I don’t think you really start getting to know someone until you’ve been dating for about two months.”

Burris then went through several Franciscan dating stereotypes, giving the students several dos and don’ts when it comes to seeking a relationship.

Some of these stereotypes included, “I can’t date him because I don’t know if we’re called to marry each other” and “if they catch you talking you’re getting married.” Many of these stereotypes were courtesy of a humorous video which was made several years ago by Franciscan students called “The Awkward Song.”

Burris went on to outlined what healthy relationships should look like in his Relationship Attachment Model (RAM). The RAM consists of five components: know, trust, rely, commit and trust.

He explained that in a perfect relationship, each component of the RAM would be at the highest level; however, he said, as imperfect humans this isn’t quite possible. Therefore, couples should try to know each other as much as possible and in turn each component would follow in decreasing order.

Burris even invited several students to volunteer to rate their own relationships using the RAM.

The presentation ended with a 30-minute session where students were able to write down questions that Burris then answered along with the insight of other students. Questions varied from forming relationship skills and dating after graduation to dealing with issues of pornography and setting the right relationship boundaries.

“I really liked how we were all able to discuss how we felt about dating,” said freshman Mateo Araujo after the talk. “It was cool to get so many different perspectives from both guys and girls.”