College Week: Love and Marriage

If you’ve ever heard someone use the words “God’s will” in a pickup line, chances are you went to Fundy U.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a ministerial student in possession of a diploma from Fundy U, must be in want of a wife. For all the jokes about women coming to a fundy college in pursuit of their MRS degree,  there is a great deal of genuine fear among fundamentalist parents that if their child goes off to a secular university they may end up unequally yoked to a Presbyterian. This is a fate to be avoided at all costs.

With the incredible pressure to find a spouse, dating at Fundy U is as serious as it is ubiquitous. Every date is a potential mate, after all, and the  mad rush to the altar demands that any interaction between the sexes may be defined as “a date.”

Borrowing a pencil in class? You may need to stop and “define the relationship” with that person first.

Sitting next to someone in church? You’re as good as engaged even if you don’t actually know them.

Eating dinner alone with a member of the opposite sex? It’s time to start picking out the names of your first six children.  I hear Jack is a popular one.

Other opportunities for dating include dating outings with all the rapture of “hand holding” games; Artists Series wherein you get all dressed up and listen to someone scream in Italian for an hour; or best of all trips to the dating parlor complete with hours of optical intercourse.

With college coming to an end and hormones running high, many graduates of Fundy U will be married within a few weeks of getting their diploma. The sad reality is that many will end up divorced as it finally occurs to them that maybe a date to Vespers wasn’t the best way to get to know who their mate was in the real world outside those hallowed halls.

Of course, compared to the alternative of having the type of fundy parents who insist that they be allowed to chose your spouse for you, maybe dating at Fundy U isn’t so bad after all…

84 thoughts on “College Week: Love and Marriage”

  1. Can someone explain what “socialled” means for those of us who weren’t victims of a FU? Thanks!

  2. It’s a punishment wherein a person may not talk to or sit with any student of the opposite sex for a given period of time — generally two weeks.

    The other such punishment is being “campused” which means not being able to leave the school campus for any non-official reason.

  3. and shadowed is where a floor leader follows you everywhere and you can talk to no one on your last 24 hrs on campus while your fate is supposedly being decided but really it has already been decided, you’re out of there.

  4. shadowed is where a floor leader follows you everywhere

    In reality you follow them everywhere to classes, meals, sleep in their room etc. It’s the long walk of shame before you are banished.

  5. The FU college I almost became a part of (almost), happened to be nicknamed Baptist Bridal College, as I’m told.

    And as for the fun little hypertexts, the Fundy University picture is absolutely hilarious. The “FU” abbreviation happens to also have another connotation…

  6. you’re right, that would make more sense. I just saw these people with the floor leaders around campus and then they quietly disappeared only to be spoken of in whispers hensforth.

  7. @Darrell:

    “It’s a punishment wherein a person may not talk to or sit with any student of the opposite sex for a given period of time — generally two weeks.”

    At BJU, you would be socialled for the rest of the semester. My brother had to go for two months without seeing his girlfriend because he didn’t report an internet popup ad with a girl in a bikini.

  8. I dated at BJU. Luckily I did not get married during my time there.

    Now I am marrying a BJU grad (she has 2 degrees from BJU *gasp*). But dating outside of BJU is SOOOOOO much better and worth it. You actually get to know the real person and you get to know how that person reacts in different real-life circumstances.

    If you only see the social parlor and then get married…then you are not prepared for life and marriage.

    And I think this is not only a FU problem. I think it is wise for everybody to live on your own for a few years before jumping into marriage.

  9. I was socialled the week before finals week. I think it was the most fun I had at BJU. I talked to as many guys as I could and freely spread the word that I was socialled. Never got in trouble!

    I always wondered why I really never got asked out at BJ, but I finally asked a few guys and they told me that everyone thought I was dating my best friend at the time who happened to be a guy. So much for assuming things…..

  10. Thanks for explaining the terms, folks. It makes me feel sorry all the more for those of you who had to endure that abuse. Punishments like those are clearly cultic!

  11. i was a town student at bob jones and hung out alone with girls all the time off campus at all hours of the day and night… romantically involved with none of them… mind-blowing right? all those opportunities for temptation… and the black dog (bob wood reference!) in me never gobbled up one of those opportunities. people like me dont exist in the fundamentalist paradigm.

  12. Can’t help but observe that a family in my church (my church is fundamental in theology but not rules-driven) had four kids go to PCC. They can’t be typical grads, because all of them are joyful, grace-filled and right at home in our non-KJV, guitar-and-drums using church. How did that happen?

  13. For that matter how did a PCC grad end up writing a blog named “Stuff Fundies Like”?

    We are not merely the products of our experiences.

  14. Pastor’s Wife: I went to that same Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang movie with a date!!!!! The second worst date I ever had on campus. 🙁 And it wasn’t because of the movie, which is really pathetic now that I think about it.

    My hubby and I met on BJU campus and got married the day I graduated. We’ve been happily married now for 19 years. 🙂 We were guilty of visual intercourse many, many times and should have been socialled on multiple occasions, but the worst we ever did was a quick kiss. Yee-hah!

    For those who don’t know: being socialled didn’t necessarily last the rest of the semester. Usually it was anywhere from 2 – 6 weeks, but it could be adjusted based on how blatantly you violated whatever rule. Also, if you did something “wrong” but you were open about it, you would be punished more mildly than someone who snuck off behind a bush–er, couch–to do the deed.

    One of my friends was socialled for a day after a chaperone said that she was kicking her fiance during Vespers. Thank goodness hubby and I were never caught playing footsie. We’d probably still be socialled.

  15. @Stephen: Reminds me of a line from a comic I’ve read. “We’re eating off the same plate. It’s like an indirect kiss!”

    *goes off to discover the new alt-texts now*

  16. Ugghhh . . . I got socialed twice because of dating-related incidents while at BJU. It was miserable. The only thing it taught me was to go off-campus to be with my boyfriend/now-husband where there were no “hostesses” and watchful watchers. No hanky-panky going on, we just got to be together without stressing over whether or not we were sitting too close or sitting in some forbidden location at some forbidden time or if my skirt was covering my knees.

  17. @ Kirsten, that stress is so frustrating! It takes joy and innocence and replaces it with anxiety and needless guilt. To the pure all things are pure, but the rules took things that are pure and turned them into “sin” for which you could be publically rebuked or privately reported on! It was just icky.

  18. @gracetolive–the chap should have been happy that they were at least awake during Vespers. After all, who schedules a show in a cool (or warm, depending on season), dark auditorium during the traditional Baptist Sunday Afternoon Nap hour, and not expect some sleepers? Just being awake was going above and beyond.

  19. I was at BJU during the mid 80’s. It was right after the now famous BJU Supreme Court case. I was called to the Dean of Woman’s office for “giving the appearance of evil” and interrogated for over an hour about the fact I had spoken to, laughed with, and eaten lunch at the same table with a black young man in the Dining Common. Apparently, just happening to sit down at the same table in the dining common with someone and being nice to someone, who was of the opposite sex and just happened to also be black was giving the “impression of evil” and dating. I never dated this young man, I could not tell you his name now. I am sure the “interrogation” I went through was minor compared to the one he went through for eating lunch with a white young lady. 🙁

  20. @Kitty I would not have survived in that generation of Bobby J. See, I’m a Twinkie. And I happen to be attracted to white girls. Having been born and raised in a white suburban neighborhood, I drew my identity from those surroundings. So glad I didn’t have any of that to deal with! Also glad I didn’t start dating until after leaving Greenville three years ago.

    1. Concert Choir actually, but I may have been in Collegiate for one of those semesters. ‘Course, I now lead worship with an alterna-rock band using a distinctly Hillsong United style of church music. I wonder if all that church music I learned back then has any relevance in what I’m doing now. . .

  21. Great site. Very creative, accurate, and funny. I made it through 3 years at FU. Broke every rule in the book from day 1. Was in their worst nightmare society (Excalibur 93-96). After 7 Omega players were carried off the field in one game, one choking on his own blood, we were told by Miller/Berg that Bob III was considering canceling all intramural sports. One Sunday night when I strolled back into my dorm with a sunburn and a 3 day beard after my typical weekend at Folly Beach, my dorm sup commented that he rarely saw me on campus. I just said ‘I know’. Great times, met some cool chicks, but it got really good after I got expelled and got my apt on Pelham. It was like the Dean of Men had built a tram from the girls dorms straight to my apartment. I will forever be in deb to Millet/Berg for the following two year river of frustrated and curious BJU campus girls.

  22. I am happily graduated from BJU, thankfully without a husband.(My aunt is thrilled as well.) Darell’s article is completely true. Dating isn’t realistic at most Christian colleges. At most colleges the faculty don’t feel obligated to make sure you have a date for some social event. Your not seen as a loser if you don’t have a date to artist series, and when you admit that you’ve never been to a dating outing, people won’t respond with “bless your heart” (interpretation: you poor, pathetic loser). When it come to finding your husband or wife at college, well, maybe 10, 20, or 50 years ago, one would go off to college, find the special someone, and everything would be just perfect; but times have changed. It’s time to stop trying to force ourselved to find some one at college and realize that if God want it to happen, it will. I’m not saying have no social life. Just don’t try sooooo hard. Life’s less dramatic that way, and you get so much more homework done.

  23. And no I didn’t stay for grad school just so I could have more time to find a wife.

    I think this is the whole reason fundy grad school exists.

    And not just for the men, either. 😉

  24. I went to Wets Coast Baptist College and what you are saying is so true! If a boy sits by a girl more than twice in chapel, he has to call her dad!

    I saw Freshman stand under street lights, making their shadows hold hands because it was against the rules to hold hands in “real life”. 🙄

    The rules lend themselves to these circumstances. Instead of teaching young adults to become mature to the world around them, they shelter them and make them look like idiots!!

    One of the college girls got pregnant in the dressing room of JC Penny!! (How romantic) 🙄

  25. It’s interesting, I certainly don’t go (and have never gone) to a Fundy U, but here at regular university I find it very hard to identify potential mate material :P. I’m just starting to ponder the idea of ‘unequally yoked’ and whether that actually means I shouldn’t marry a Christian. Because the thing is, it’s so hard to find a Christian guy who thinks like I do, you know?
    I think the gender-related stuff is crap – I’m not submitting, forget it. I’m also pro-gay marriage and politically liberal. And it’s hard to find Christian guys who don’t have the ingrained view of what women should be like, or of how a family should work. Basically, if any guy thinks I’m doing the cooking because I’m the woman, I’m going to hurt him. And unfortunately, that type of thinking is more prevalent among Christian guys than around ‘regular’ guys, at least that I’ve found.
    So I’m left kind of going, “Do I go for an agnostic/atheist guy who behaves like I would want a Christian to, or a Christian guy who means well but behaves in a way I don’t like?” Obviously, I can’t go for a Christian guy whose behaviour I really disagree with. So I’m left either hoping pitifully to come across a super-enlightened mega-feminist Christian guy (here boy! here boy! *whistles hopefully*), or deciding that it’s okay to be with an agnostic, orrrr . . . well, sitting around single (which is also fine).
    I also hate how Christians are taught that marriage is the be-all and end-all. We MUST get married. We must have a significant other to be happy. That we BEGIN our life of happiness only once we’ve managed to locate someone to marry – like the rest of life is just a holding period. It took me quite a while to get over that.

  26. “[T]here is a great deal of genuine fear among fundamentalist parents that if their child goes off to a secular university they may end up unequally yoked to a Presbyterian.”
    Heehee. I’m at a secular university, which my folks are mostly fine with. However, there was a deafeningly loud disapproving silence when I nervously announced that I was going to go on a date with an atheist.

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