Kyle McManamy first asked a girl out behind an Applebee’s in his small town because that was the only place to go. He extended a notepad and a pen toward her in front of her friends, who were sitting in the car waiting for her. Now, years later, he is married to his wife whom he had only known for six months prior to the wedding and is giving dating advice to young Christians. The campus ministry Reform University Fellowship hosted a meeting Wednesday night to discuss the Christian dating scene. RUF’s meeting featured guest speaker McManamy, a college minister from Chapel Hill Bible Church. McManamy began with the story of how he met his wife.
“This guy wound up getting married,” he said, pointing to an old college picture of himself. “There is hope for a lot of people.” McManamy touched upon many aspects of modern romance, including being friend-zoned and dealing with heartbreak and divorce. In a PowerPoint presentation, filled with many graphics and visuals, he introduced the four questions Christians should ask themselves when considering to pursue a relationship: Who is this person? Do I want to be friends with this person? Do I want to be more than friends? Do we want to get married?” The audience was vocal during the meeting, with many gasping at the final suggestion of marriage. McManamy defined a date as “a discrete event with a short invite list,” and then went into how to ask someone out. He shared his suggestions for young people: be casual and have a list of things to do. Answer the four “w”s — what, who, why and when. What are you going to do on the date? Who are you going with? Why should you go on the date? When, specifically, will you go? He asked another set of of four questions: Am I attracted to this person? Do we have the same life commitments? Do I enjoy being around this person? Do we have compatible ways of looking at the future?” According to McManamy, if the person can answer “yes” to all four questions, then he or she is ready for marriage. The meeting is part of RUF’s dating series, where young people learn how to navigate the dating world as Christians and college students. Senior Ying Lin said the campus ministry shaped her college experience. “It’s a way for students to come and meet other students with similar beliefs,” she said. Simon Stokes, the minister at RUF, said RUF is a support system. “I’m a Christian, and I screw up all the time,” he said. “This is place for people who are strugglers.” Throughout, McManamy was optimistic about modern Christian dating. “You have never met a boring person,” he said. “You just haven’t found why they are interesting.”