DN ILLUSTRATION ELLEN COLLIER
Class uses project to create, study relationships
Two people meet. They talk, they discover they have a lot in common. They start seeing each other more often. They discover they have feelings for each other that is more than friendship. They start to date.
That’s the stereotypical story of how a relationship starts.
Teams: psycho-analytic, storytelling, romance and promotional
Meet the Bachelors
Alex Romoser - junior organizational communications major. Loves music, running and traveling
Brandon Phillips - junior interpersonal communications major. Loves to play guitar, nature, write poetry and watch netflix
Sam Kearny - junior interpersonal communications major. Loves music and nature and hanging with his family, cooking and painting
But for Sam Kearney and Shannon Hines, it was different.
They got into their relationship as a part of a project for the leadership and communication class, Cardinal Chemistry. The goal of the project was to see if they could make two people fall in love and find a genuine connection.
Three men from the class volunteered to be the “bachelors” – Kearney being one of them. During the project, the romance, storytelling, psycho-analytic and promotional teams helped plan almost every aspect of the couple’s relationships.
Because of this, Kearney said there was a low level of intimacy in the relationship.
“Anything we did, we would walk into class the next day and have multiple people ask us how it’s going and we had to keep nothing disclosed,” he said.
To pick the women, they held a mixer in Bracken Library on the third floor. They went in three at a time and spent four to five minutes with the men, talking to them and deciding who they liked best.
The psycho-analytic team gave a personality and love language survey to the girls after the mixer.
“Then we talked to the guys and had them fill out the surveys, and we helped with the narrowing down of the girls,” said Sarah Ginter, the leader of the psycho-analytic team. "We also gave evaluation forms to the boys after each date.”
Kearney said he picked Hines because she seemed cool.
“She was very smart, independent, an architecture major from Texas and cute,” Kearney said.
Brandon Phillips was matched with Claire Huntley, and Alex Romoser with Jen Zarate.
For their dates – which were each planned carefully by the romance team - each couple went to Panera Bread, on a group-date to the pumpkin patch, and then the men made dinner for the women.
But for Kearney and Hines, before their third date, they met up and decided the relationship wasn’t working out.
“It never really went south, it just never took off,” Kearney said. “We were hanging out and it was fun, and we had enough in common we could get along well, but there just wasn’t a spark.”
And without that necessary spark in a relationship, Hines said she just felt like they were hanging out as friends.
“We talked and we got along really well, but in the back of my head it was like, this is more of a friendship than a dating relationship,” she said.
Since both of them led busy lives, Hines said it was hard to find time to meet up. As an architecture major, she has to spend a lot of time in studio, so she said their schedules never matched up.
“I kind of got annoyed with not ever seeing him and I didn’t want to put my life on hold for somebody who wasn’t talking to me,” Hines said. “But we met up and explained to each other what was going on and we both understood.”
Albert Jennings, the project manager who also came up with the idea for the project, said they foresaw something like the breakup happening.
“Not with this couple, but just in general,” Jennings said. “I’m glad we got multiple couples … for insurance. Fortunately we have two more that seem to be doing well. I wish they had worked out, but overall, it’s a good thing because it makes it a bit more real and gives us an opportunity to work with things like this.”
Now that Kearney isn’t involved with a couple, he said he still isn’t sure what role he is going to take in the project, but he wants to be involved with forming the information into a bigger picture.
“I’m going to help out with where to go from here,” Kearney said. “It’s a weird world of dating right now, and I think there’s a lot of insight we can gain from this that we need to share with people.”