By Sophie Mancall-Bitel
Faced with a summer of herding 5- and 6-year-olds around Sierra Canyon Day Camp in sizzling Chatsworth heat, Logan Guntzelman â08 hardly expected to find romance. Only six weeks into the summer, however, she found herself in a committed relationship.
Far from the days of chivalry and courtship, students lead a fast-paced life: they talk fast, walk fast, drive fast. Now they commit fast as well.
Guntzelman met Sean Casey, a junior at Chaminade College Preparatory School, when she took her band of first graders to the day campâs movie-making station, which Casey ran with his brother.
She did not talk to him until a couple weeks after their first encounter.
âI talked to him for real the first time at the midnight showing of âPirates of the Caribbean,ââ she said. âI sat next to him accidentally because two of my friends were hooking up, and I didnât want to be in the middle of that, and he happened to be really entertaining.â
After their midnight encounter, Guntzelman and Casey became fast friends.
âIt got to the point where I was staying late at work just to hang out with himâas friends,â she specified. âExcept we both knew we liked each otherâeven our boss told us that.â
The relationship progressed quickly.
âThen one day we were sitting at work passing notes, and he passed me a note that said âDate?â and had check boxes for yes, no and maybe,â she said. âThe rest is history.â
After three weeks, the pair made the relationship official.
âHe just asked if it was okay if he said we were in a relationship,â she said. âI was fine with all of it. I guess at the time it seemed like more of a summer thing, and summer things are always accelerated.â The two had known each other for one and a half months before they were officially âtogether.â
Guntzelmanâs âsummer thingâ turned into a school-year thing come September.
Sam Alper â07 and Chloe Searcy â07 also began as a âsummer thing.â Although they had been friendly beforehand, the two hit it off during rehearsals for the 2005 Edinburgh project.
âWe definitely knew each other and were friendly for a long time before we started dating,â Alper said. This, he believes, is what made the difference.
âWe sort of went into dating each other knowing we had a good time with each other,â he said. âIf itâs just some random person all you know is maybe you think theyâre cute.â Alper does not consider himself a fan of the fast-paced, caffeine-driven romances that appear all around campus.
âIâve sort of never done that,â he said. âAmong people I know, thereâs a lot of actual dating, so Iâm hoping itâs not dead. Iâm a big fan of dating someone. Mostly Chloe.â
Guntzelman said she does not believe two people must know each other that well to get together.
Choices and Challenges teacher Nairy Simonyan said when she was in high school, there was a clear âdatingâ periodâlonger than the three weeks that Guntzelman had.
âWhen I was in high school, most teenagers dated,â she said. âThere was definitely a courting period: the phone calls, maybe flowers sent, casual âhang-outsâ that both individuals were still too uncomfortable to call âdates.âÂ I must say, though, that to the rest of the world this often automatically translated into the couple being âtogether.ââ
Simonyan believes that the rapid commitments students make now may be a product of the fast-paced lives and lack of time they feel.
âI wonder if students these days simply donât have the time to get to know someone, so they take the short-cut by suddenly being âtogether,ââ she said.
Adam Rothman â09 and Ellie Bensinger â09 met one week before he first asked her out on a date. Bensinger and a friend were singing a song from the movie âMoulin Rougeââone of Rothmanâs favoritesâand he began to sing along. After the song ended, he introduced himself.
âI donât think I even knew her name before that,â Rothman said. Their first date was supposed to be a group outing, but when school was cancelled due to rain, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to go out on their own.
That was two years ago.
âSomewhere between that first date and nearly two years later, which is now, we became boyfriend and girlfriend,â Rothman said. âWe never had a conversation about it.â
Rothman, like Alper, believes in getting to know someone well before getting together.
âIâm very kind of old-fashioned,â he said. âI donât necessarily look down on them [people who just get together automatically]. Itâs just sort of not my thing.â After all, Rothman says, whatâs the point if not to get to know someone better?
âBeing boyfriend and girlfriend: itâs just a label,â he said. âIt doesnât mean anything. Itâs just like how marriage is really just a piece of paper. Calling yourselves boyfriend and girlfriend is just an accessory to being together and being in love.â