Rexburg, Idaho: The land of ring shops and “BYU-I Do” jokes. General science professor Jason Hunt sought to find a way to make BYU-Idaho dating not only enjoyable but lasting.
Hunt enjoys talking with his students about their lives. About 12 years ago, Hunt found a young man waiting for him at his office. He was distraught about his dating life, so Hunt asked him to elaborate.
The student described the criteria of the girls he was going on dates with. Hunt realized that the list of priorities this young man had was very superficial. After this exchange, Hunt attended Devotional with the conversation still lingering on his mind. He watched students file into the auditorium, passing the ushers.
One girl disapprovingly watched an awkward Devotional usher, and Hunt thought to himself that there was no way the two could ever work romantically.
As he thought this, he saw a boy with Down syndrome walk up to the usher and excitedly tell him that it was his birthday. This usher immediately hugged the boy, picking him up and squeezing him. When he let go, the boy continued through the door, beaming as he went down the steps.
As Hunt watched, he became more impressed with the usher. The girl who watched at first disapprovingly was smiling. Hunt thought that maybe the two could work after all.
After serving as a bishop, Hunt realized there had to be a better way to date people without all of the superficialities of dating apps. That solution was Hunt’s dating list.
Hunt’s dating list is a list of pictures and small bios that he uses to set students up on dates. He does what he can to make dating a little more real and approachable than other options.
“I started this dating list, and I realized people are not who they say they are,” Hunt said. “So I came up with criteria for the guys.”
In order to be on Hunt’s dating list, men must meet four criteria to be eligible. They must:
1. Not touch on the first date.
2. Not be a gamer. (As in, missing school or work because of gaming.)
3. Be pornography-free for six months.
4. Like and attend all two hours of church normally.
“Now when I said this in class, the girl list just exploded,” Hunt said. “They’re like, ‘I want that guy.'”
For each person that wants to be added to Hunt’s dating list, he sits down with them and gets to know their personality, their age and how tall they are. Once he has an idea of a match, he gives the guy a girl‘s phone number and first name. Hunt doesn’t give them the chance for Facebook stalking.
“They always have amazing first dates,” Hunt said. “And then 24 times so far, they’ve gotten married.”
After the first date, the girls aren’t required to go on a second one. If it doesn’t go well, Hunt narrows the list down with men who have qualities different than the original date. Most importantly, Hunt tries his best to not meddle unless the couple asks him to.
Currently, Hunt has 70 girls and 20 guys on his list.
One of these guys is Trevor Roberts, a junior studying biomedical science. Roberts took a class from Hunt and heard about the list. He thought that the list would be a great idea to meet new people and go on more dates.
“Since it is through a professor you know, it is someone that you can trust,” Roberts said. “I know that he wouldn’t set me up with someone that he doesn’t trust and because of that I can trust them.”
Hunt doesn’t require the list to be full of just his students. He invites any student to come to his office if they want a chance at love.
With all the fluff of dating apps, which add more to students’ criteria lists, Hunt believes students should throw their own lists away.
“Make it simple,” Hunt said. “If you have an individual that loves God and is keeping their covenants and is somewhat attractive, it’ll work. Stop worrying about this other junk.”