"By what authority does the university become the arbiter of romantic etiquette among consenting adults?I think the unspoken motivation is the concern that romance gone awry will lead to costly civil litigation.
But, by the looks of this student's experience, it might well be an art.Ratcliffe described the dating culture in Rexburg as "complicated." "When we date, we disengage the mind and we make purely emotional decisions," Ratcliffe said, "which often times leads us rush through the getting to know process and we are not as thoughtful or thorough in the dating process as we ought to be." A big reason Ratcliffe called the dating culture "complicated" is because many single people are "hanging out" rather than going on a "date." "I've found that it's helpful when men ask a girl on a date, they call it a date," Ratcliffe said.Another aspect of the struggling culture of dating is a fear of asking someone on a date. "We want to spread the message that to go on a date means that, it's just going on a date," Ratcliffe said.Student Jake—who goes by the handle @squidslippers on Twitter—went to his English professor for advice about asking out his crush, Hannah."Yooo I have about 0 skills when it comes to texting girls so I legit asked my English professor to help me draft a text to a girl and we straight ethos, logos, pathosed my way into a date," wrote Jake on Twitter.To cut out that possibility, universities prohibit the relationship in the first place." Before you have surgery, you sign a release form saying you are aware of the risks and you waive your rights to hold the surgeon and hospital at fault, Abramson noted.
He advocates a similar "love release," which faculty and students would read and sign and which protects the university while allowing people to make romantic choices based on conscience.
Many universities have policies prohibiting romantic relationships between professors and students. Abramson, a UCLA psychology professor who specializes in human sexuality and teaches about sex and the law, examines and challenges these policies. Is it comparable to our freedom of speech and freedom of religion, or is it something we give to institutions?
"I want people to think about what is our personal sphere of autonomy," said Abramson, whose book, "Romance in the Ivory Tower," will be published this month. "My answer is that for consenting adults, this is clearly within the sphere of our personal autonomy," he said.
The website content is currently focused on single people who are dating but more aspects focused on marriages and married couples will be coming soon.
"Really it's for healthy, romantic relationships, dating or married," Ratcliffe said.
"We think that if we can make it normal to just want to date, then more people will go on just dates and we believe that it will help move the dating culture forward in a positive way." is not affiliated with BYU-Idaho or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.