I had the great privilege of getting a little sneak peek at the The Dating Project. It was beautiful, it was moving, and it was extremely eye opening. I had a sense that dating had changed, even in the last ten years, and that things were frustrating for young people but I didn’t understand the extent of it. Here is the trailer!

They’re lonely. They’re confused. They’re lost and no one is teaching them what to do. They live in a hook-up culture where it’s easier to make out with someone in the dark than it is to ask someone to coffee. They’re lost in a world of Netflix and chill. That means, “Come on over and we’ll put Netflix on while we….” This isn’t a gender-specific problem. Sure, we can lay it at the feet of boys who haven’t been taught how to ask girls out but the girls themselves are clueless too.

What I appreciate most about this documentary, other than it’s really beautifully shot, is that it’s not religious. This is not merely a Christian problem. Though I think it’s probably even worse for Christians trying to hang on to their chastity in a world that thinks that’s naive and childish, this is an American problem. It’s an iPhone problem. It’s a Facebook problem.

Like many Americans, I grew up in a single parent household. Not only did my parents not talk to me about dating at all but I’m not sure I would have listened to anything they said if they had. I will talk more about my rocky dating years in my upcoming book Smitten, which also features dozens of real stories of how Catholic women managed to meet their spouse in a world that doesn’t like marriage. Smitten will be out in June!

In the meantime, go see this movie. Invite a single Catholic friend to go with you. Even if you’re married, you need to see this. We need to understand the gravity of this problem and we need to actively grab the hands of young, single people and show them the way to date with holiness.

It’s only out in theaters April 17th. You can find theaters and showtimes here: https://www.fathomevents.com/events/the-dating-project

If you’re not sold yet, here are some awesome quotes from awesome Catholics!

“The Dating Project is a funny, insightful, and “must see” film for any person trying to navigate the single life in today’s culture. We wish we could share this documentary with every young person we know, so they can have the knowledge and confidence to reclaim what dating is all about!”

Jackie & Bobby Angel, National Speakers & Authors of “Forever: A Catholic Devotional For Your Marriage

“I was shocked by how much dating has changed from when I was young. What seemed so natural and simple in 1970 now requires a college class and assignment. It was sad to see young people so ‘connected’ with all of social media on their phones in their pockets so disconnected from something as basic as dating. The documentary, beautifully filmed, provides great insights to the challenges of contemporary youth in our complex and unravelling culture—which is in desperate need of the light of Christ.”

Dr. Derry Connolly, Founder and President, John Paul the Great Catholic University

Professor Kerry Cronin and the young adults in The Dating Project journey through the highs and lows of seeking meaningful connections and relationships in the millennial world and ultimately offer a profound and genuine antidote to the hook up culture. As a long-time educator, I highly recommend this film to parents and educators who are yearning to cultivate deep, meaningful conversations and life changing strategies for teens and young adults who deserve to know their own dignity and worth.

Collen Donahoe, Archdiocese of Boston

“Jurassic Park thrilled audiences with the idea that dinosaurs could be brought out of extinction. THE DATING PROJECT shows us what it would be like if dating were resuscitated as well! The young adults in the film reveal that it’s still possible for singles to pursue each other with sincerity and commit to one another with clarity.”

Jason Evert, The Chastity Project

Amen—dating might become cool again! The Dating Project has the potential to create a tipping point, a shift, for single people everywhere that is far overdue. This documentary exposes the less-than-fulfilling hook-up lifestyle, one that is becoming more and more pervasive for singles in various stages of life. This film brings hope, energy and an alternative to hooking up and losing heart. It offers single people a purposeful, fun and practical alternative to hooking up—a date! But the date involves an intentional approach to getting to know someone who interests you. I have already shared Kerry Cronin’s dating assignment with my single “adultish” children and their friends, and they are all excited and refreshed by the concept. My guess is that single people everywhere will benefit from The Dating Project, which provides a more fulfilling approach to engaging in deeper, more meaningful, and, perhaps, lifelong relationship.

Dr. Jackie Freiberg, Bestselling Business Author & Speaker

“No matter what your relationship status is, you’ll definitely want to check out ‘THE DATING PROJECT!’ In a world where our technological advances make it easier than ever to connect and stay in touch, we seem to be growing increasingly dysfunctional in nurturing true relationships. ‘THE DATING PROJECT’ not only offers practical solutions, but it’s also totally engaging and entertaining.”

Lisa M. Hendey, Founder of CatholicMom.com and author of The Grace of Yes