I would encourage church leaders to have open conversations about the pressures of dating and marriage.
Evading the “ring by spring” topic only perpetuates the culture because no one is doing anything to change it.
According to George, this “not-so-hidden culture” emphasizes engagement instead of “encouraging men and women of faith to live out their individual vocations, which may or may not include marriage.” In the fall of 2014, George gathered some initial data on students’ attitudes about “ring by spring.” The results of her study are forthcoming in .
I had the chance to talk with George about her research, the surprising sticking power of “ring by spring” culture—especially at a time when the age of first marriage in the US keeps climbing —and its implications for Christian college students.
Singleness is a viable alternative to marriage, and young adults need to be especially aware of this.
And I say that very intentionally—for to find their spouse—because the pressure didn’t seem to impact many of the male students on campus. I went to graduate school, graduated, and came back to teach at a Christian college.
How did you get interested in studying ring by spring culture in the first place?
I am a graduate of a Christian college in the US, and when I was a student, I heard this “ring by spring” thing was happening on campus and I had no idea what it was.
Within the first couple of weeks of the school year, I had a number of female students come to my office saying that they were worried about graduating and moving on without having found their spouse.
And we got into conversations about this “ring by spring” culture.And so we don’t know those figures and how they work into it.