“The Dating Project” Documentary (Plus a Companion Study From Boundless!)

The Dating Project movie
A new documentary titled “The Dating Project” hits theaters for one night only this coming Tuesday, April 17. Presented by PureFlix and Paulist Productions, the film follows five single adults of varying ages and backgrounds in their quest for lasting love in a modern age. Along the way, they grapple with understanding today’s dating culture and their place in it — and it’s not always pretty.

I got to screen the documentary in advance, and though their stories are certainly unique, I saw a fair amount of myself in these young adults. I’ve been the workaholic who puts relationships on the back burner. I’m often the clueless one who can’t figure out if she’s on a date or just a “hangout.” I’ve tried to change myself (even my personality) to fit what I hope a guy will like better than the real “me.”

The reality is there’s no prescription for successful dating. You can’t apply a formula to your relationships, add everything up, and get the result of lasting love and happiness. Bummer. What you can do is apply healthy principles (both biblical and practical) to your relationships so that you’re not stuck in the dead-end patterns that this documentary describes.

How do you do that?

Boundless has created a six-session video conversation with discussion questions specifically designed to address the questions and situations raised in the film. Questions like:

Why is no one asking me out?

How do I establish appropriate boundaries in dating?

How do I know if it’s a date?

What’s my role in dating? How proactive do I need to be?

Is sex an expected part of the dating equation? 

Hosted by “The Dating Project” director Jon Cipiti and featuring insights from myself and relationship experts Henry Cloud, Gary Thomas and Debra Fileta, the sessions were filmed in front of a group of single adults, themselves trying to navigate the dating landscape. Their questions and comments are featured throughout.

So, on Tuesday, find a theater near you, grab some friends, and go see the documentary. Then, schedule time over the next six weeks to walk through “The Dating Project: A Boundless Conversation” using the videos and discussion questions provided as a springboard for discovery and conversation. As you go through each week’s sessions, share your thoughts below. After all, with the craziness in dating today, we’d do well to listen to God first and wise counselors second.

Have fun with it and commit to date differently in the process.

About the Author

Lisa Anderson

Lisa Anderson is the director of Boundless and young adults at Focus on the Family and hosts The Boundless Show, a national radio program and podcast. She loves connecting with single young adults and strategizing how to better equip them for life, relationships and a faith that goes the distance; she does not love managing budgets or signing contracts, but realizes that’s part of her job, too. Lisa can often be heard at conferences and on radio and TV, getting worked up about dating, relationships, faith and hip-hop. She grew up in San Jose, California, is a graduate of Trinity International University in Chicago, and spent a good chunk of her life in media relations before joining Boundless. She runs to counterbalance her love of pastries and chicken tikka masala, and often quotes her mom, who’s known to say outrageous things. She’s the author of The Dating Manifesto: A Drama-Free Plan for Pursuing Marriage with Purpose (David C. Cook). Follow Lisa on Twitter @LisaCAnderson.