Spring is mating season for animals—and maybe for students as well.
From across the quad or reaching out to a classmate, some students use the face-to-face method when attempting to find a significant other. Others will seek a mate through the Internet, using missed connections websites or creating online dating profiles. The latter inspired three students from California Baptist University (CBU) to create a new online dating service connecting college students through their common interests.
“Ring By Spring” was created by junior business management majors Matthew Fuller and Christian Montoya at CBU, along with freshman Matthew McMartin. The trio created the website during Christmas break last semester.
“(Fuller) noticed that for most students there are three things they really want; money, food and affection,” Montoya said. “He realized he couldn’t give students money, he couldn’t give them food, but he realized that affection was something he could give them.”
Ring By Spring is a profile-based online dating service that allows students to connect with peers at their campuses. Before a school can launch, a minimum of 200 students need to sign up and create accounts, which allows for growth on the site and prevents internal collapse.
The website has already been launched at four schools, with four more waiting for members.
Boise State hasn’t been added to the list, but it is one of several schools to add in the future.
“We really want to bring a community together, get everyone really close,” Montoya said. “Hopefully they will make friends along the way and maybe meet that one.”
The creators feel the website does not promote marriage despite its name. According to Montoya, the trio is trying to avoid the stigma by adding more secular schools to the list. Fuller picked the name because it was a well-known joke at CBU; they thought the name was catchy and funny, but aren’t guaranteeing anything.
Counselors at Boise State know little about the website, but feel students on campus are prepared for marriage.
“If somebody is considering marriage, that’s a pretty big deal, and I think that most individuals, whatever age they are at young adults college age, I think they know it’s more than a dating experience; it’s a bigger commitment,” said RD Boardman, clinical psychologist in Health Services. “I think some individuals need to decide if they want marriage or a wedding. The idea of getting married and having a wedding, a big party, that’s fun and all but are they in it for the right reasons of being committed to someone.”
Director of Counseling Services, Karla West, agrees all students develop differently and emotional maturity is different for every individual, but there are challenges for those relationships formed online.
“There is a lot of communication that goes back and forth in online dating relationships; I think the caution I would have there would be whether or not people are being truthful and it doesn’t replace a face-to-face relationship,” West said.
Brooke St. Marie, a senior communication major, agrees.
“People can be misleading on their profile with their pictures, their interests; it’s like a resume. You want to put your best foot forward,” St. Marie said. “Some people will try to enhance the truth.”
St. Marie has been married for nearly two years and while she didn’t meet her husband online, she feels she and her partner made the right decision.
Whether meeting online through sites like Ring By Spring or meeting in person, spring brings out the love. But Boise State counselors feel the student population is emotionally mature enough to handle the transition from dating to walking down the aisle.