Escaping marital expectations

Laura Lothrop

Why students need to have healthier views of finding a partner at SPU


If you are a straight woman at Seattle Pacific University, you are probably well aware of your options when it comes to dating: you don’t have many.

The dating pool at SPU is shallow and barren. That is not meant to insult the men of SPU, but let’s be honest, the ladies don’t have many options. Out of all the 3,688 students, 67 percent are women and 33 percent are men.

When it comes to attending a Christian university and thinking about serious relationships SPU, along with most liberal arts universities, is not a school women can depend on statistically.

However, this marital expectation in itself should not even be considered as a main objective in one’s college career. Instead, one ought to focus on who they want to become before they decide to share their life with another person.

Before contemplating marriage, it’s important that individuals know themselves well enough to understand how their minds change and communicate with others. Identifying these attributes will also help steer you away from settling for the wrong person.

Many of the women I know at SPU are Christians, and like myself, they all agree that they imagined finding their husband during their college years, specifically at a Christian college.

It only takes one quarter at SPU to realize that those stories told by older generations, about finding love at university and getting married senior year, are unlikely to occur today. But I think it is better that we throw that expectation out completely.

Many factors go into finding a partner and spouse. While I think we are all aware of this fact, it is important to remind the ladies of SPU that they should not depend on finding their husband at SPU, even if it often feels like Christian schools and church are the only places to meet other Christians.

That statement is a lie in itself.

If you are a Christian and fear that you may never find a spouse after you graduate because you will never be around young Christian people ever again in a “natural setting,” I would bluntly encourage you to go off campus and realize that your fear of the unknown is the factor pushing you towards the closest guy or girl in your convenient proximity.

Convenience and apathy within dating is a form of settling, no matter what your standards are, how you identify, what your type is, and how discouraged you are with your singleness.

I implore all of the students at SPU: do not go through your years in college praying in expectation that you will meet someone in class or in the dorms who will one day join you at the altar.

You have not yet experienced and conversed with enough people outside of Queen Anne to know that your time at SPU is not your only option when it comes to finding a future life partner.

Additionally, think about how much you will, and already have, changed in college. You are not the same person you were at 18. Decide first on who you want to be before you incorporate someone else into the life you have built.

Be aware that the changes you go through in your twenties will not halt on a schedule or timeline you create, because your goals have not, your creativity won’t and the person you date definitely won’t remain unchanged by their life or ambitions either.

Plan for a life of change within yourself, your interests, pursuits and relationships. Don’t marry the first person available before you figure out who you want to be.