Love — from someone else’s perspective

My friend Jeff wrote this article about me and Pete  for his news writing and reporting class. I thought I’d share it with you because it’s cute, and he did a great job with it. Also, here’s a picture of us from the Spring Weekend concert a few days back.

Pete and Emilee

ST. BONAVENTURE – Emilee Lindner and Peter Cauvel sit at a small round table by the fireplace in Café La Verna, their faces beaming while sharing details of their relationship.

About two years ago this month, the two St. Bonaventure University journalism/mass communication majors met at a party and friended each other on Facebook soon afterwards. About two months later, they began dating.

But Cauvel, a senior, and Lindner, a junior, might be part of an increasing minority, according to a recent article in the USA Today, titled “Is Dating Dead?” The article, which appeared March 30, cites a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics that indicates that committed relationships among college students are becoming rarer as “hookups” prevail. The article also revealed that a Stanford University sociologist’s research showed that 72 percent of both sexes reported having at least one hookup by senior year.

Joyce Joyce, an assistant professor in the sociology department, says one of the reasons fewer college students are interested in relationships is because of the idea of “extended adolescence.” This means that the time in a person’s life when adulthood is reached becomes delayed.

“A generation ago, you got out of high school and you were really put in a position where you could get married, you could buy a house. And that was something that you did and marriage was the normative behavior, it was expected. But somewhere along the line, that all changed,” she says, pointing to the ‘90s as the time she thinks the change took place.

Katie Cooper, a senior psychology major, says she does not know why so many students are not interested in relationships. She says some reasons could be the familiarity that develops within small campuses, or that students see college as just a time to have fun.

“I know a lot of people are really focused on getting through school and wanting to get a good job before they even establish starting a family or anything like that,” she says. “I think fear is probably another part of it, too. I think they’ve been hurt and they don’t want to continue trying.”

The fire continues to roar at La Verna as Lindner and Cauvel speak. When asked why they decided to pursue a relationship, a smile forms across Lindner’s face as she looks at her boyfriend of nearly two years.

“I don’t know,” she says with a gleam in her eye. “We like each other.”

Cauvel says he and Lindner probably don’t see each other for only five or six hours out of every day.

“And it’s probably less on the weekends, too,” he says.

Cauvel says maintaining their relationship was not easy at first because Lindner did not have a cell phone when they started dating.

“I would call her every night after 9 so it would be free,” he says. “Now she has a cell phone and so we text during the day and we still call each other at night, though.”

Lindner raises her eyebrows and gives him a knowingly sarcastic look.

“Well, Pete doesn’t call me all the time, though,” she says wryly.

Inability to maintain relationships may be why some students decide not to pursue relationships, says Bryan Weber, a junior accounting major.

“I guess it varies from person to person,” he says. “Some people are (into pursuing relationships), some people aren’t because some may go home for the summer and are away from whomever they’re with and they kind of lose (touch). But I feel like most people are pursuing them.”

As for the supposed rise in hookups, the reason may lie within the term’s ambiguity. Weber defines a hookup as making out, while Cooper says it means having a nonexclusive relationship.

But, like Weber, Cooper thinks that students are still into pursuing relationships, just maybe not right away.

“I just think (at St. Bonaventure University) it’s kind of difficult to find (someone). Especially if you’re in your senior year and people are kind of like ‘Well, I know pretty much everybody here,’ so it’s kind of more of wait until I take the next step with either graduate school or a job,” she says.

The fire continues to burn back at the café and Lindner’s face lights up, matching the glow of the flames. She says she loves seeing other couples on campus.

“I know that most of them are happy together,” she says. “It’s nice to know that somebody accepts you.”

But a relationship is not for everybody, she cautions.

“If it’s right then it’s right,” she says, giving Cauvel a more loving look this time. “It just works.”

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