The Dating Project: Christian Production Companies Release Insightful Documentary, In Theaters April 17 Only

Today's singles are much more familiar with hooking up than traditional dating. This film hopes to change that.

Shanzi, a single college student featured in The Dating Project, discusses dating in the new documentary, to be released in select theaters around the country one-night-only on April 17, 2018.

By Liberty McArtor Published on April 16, 2018

Going on a date. What does that mean? As Dr. Kelly Cronin discovered about a decade ago, today’s young adults don’t really know. A professor at Boston College, Cronin decided to address the problem by assigning her class to go on what she calls “traditional dates.”

As Cronin explained to Catholic News Agency, the ask-out had to be in person. The date was to be kept simple — getting coffee, for instance. No physical contact other than a hug. The person who asked had to pay. For her students, the concept was new, but quickly became popular.

Cronin, who now speaks on relationships around the country, is a key figure in The Dating Project, a new documentary that will air in theaters nationwide Tuesday, April 17 in a one-night-only event.

The Dating Project is produced by Pure Flix (God’s Not Dead movies, 2014, 2016 and 2018), MPower (Bella, 2007) Paulist Productions and Family Theater Productions. Following five single people ranging from college to middle age, the documentary explores the lost art of traditional dating in today’s culture, and provides insight on how to re-cultivate it.

As the clips from The Dating Project’s official trailer indicate, today’s singles are much more familiar with hooking up than traditional dating.


“Asking someone on a date is so much of a bigger deal than hooking up,” says Shanzi, a college student featured in the documentary. “You do it in the dark at an off-campus party and then you don’t have to see them ever again. But with like, a date, you know that the person is interested in you, knows what you look like in the light, and it’s really hard to expose yourself like that.”

“Sometimes maybe I don’t open up as much because I’m afraid that that person only wants me as, like, a physical object,” says Cecilia, a 20-something also featured.

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Writer and producer Megan Harrington, a Catholic, told CNA that Christians are “just as lost as anyone else” when it comes to dating. “We’re not really leading the way.” Some of the people featured in the documentary, like Rasheeda, a 30-something in New York City, discuss the role faith plays in their dating life.

Cronin said today’s young adults “are hungry for coaching.”

“My hope for this movie is that it will just get people to talk about our crazy fears and our crazy anxieties and why we hide so much and what it is we really want,” she added.

To find out where The Dating Project will play near you Tuesday, visit the film’s website. You can also download a discussion guide and the “Dating Assignment.” See more clips from the documentary here, and watch the full trailer.

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