Relationship author helps students navigate the modern-day dating scene

Nikki Brahm

Sarah Swafford autographs the shirt of a UW Oshkosh student after the event.
[/media-credit] Sarah Swafford autographs the shirt of a UW Oshkosh student after the event.

Author of “Emotional Virtue: A Guide to a Drama-Free Relationship” Sarah Swafford spoke about drama-free relationships on Tuesday in Reeve Memorial Union.

Swafford gave students the opportunity to understand how to have healthy romantic relationships as adults. Swafford spoke about various topics that go along with dating, such as issues with social media and what women and men want or expect from a relationship.

Swafford said her favorite part of speaking on campuses is meeting the students.

“I get so much energy from them,” Swafford said. “And then also just learning what are your struggles now, it’s always constantly changing. You know, it was Facebook, now it’s Instagram, then it’s Snapchat, then it’s Tinder. So just trying to figure out how to navigate relationships with an ever-changing world.”

Swafford that she loved speaking at UW Oshkosh because usually more girls than guys come to her events, but not at UWO.

“We had a lot of men come tonight, and I thought ‘that’s awesome,’” Swafford said. “It shows that they care about relationships and their future and what they want to put into their relationships, which means a lot to me.”

Catholic Campus Ministry Director Jason Blahnik and missionary of Titan Catholics Joey Fritz helped organize the event and reached out to Swafford.

“We’ve done smaller events on dating, and this I think is on a different magnitude,” Blahnik said.

Blahnik said the event wasn’t specifically religious, and all students were welcome.

“I think she’s a great speaker and the idea of drama-free relationships is something I think everybody wants to have and, really, I mean you know often relationships are fraught with so many pitfalls and whatever we can do to help young adults to enter into those relationships — like dating — in a better way,” Blahnik said. “That’s very good, and I’m glad that we can be a part of that.”

Swafford gives insight on how to have a drama-free relationship.
[/media-credit] Swafford gives insight on how to have a drama-free relationship.

Blahnik said he believes the event would get students thinking another way.

“Hopefully they’ll be more intentional as they go forward in dating, that they can take whatever they find good from it and use it, and whatever they don’t agree with they can, you know, drop it like a hot potato,” Blahnik said. “But yes, they may find some blessings in this.”

Blahnik expected students who often come to the Newman Center to attend the event along with students that saw the advertising they were using for the event and the outreach of people interested in the Newman Center.

Fritz said he thought the event went fantastically.

“We had to get extra chairs for people to sit down,” Fritz said. “Her talk was amazing. I think she was able to speak to people’s hearts. She was saying truths that people don’t hear very often and even though they’re tough to hear, they are things that will help them become a better person and become a better significant other.”

Senior Sarah Gargano said she thought the event was great.

“I’ve actually read her book, ‘Emotional Virtue,’ before so I kind of follow her on Instagram and all of her social media and just like her talks in general, and I love what she has to say,” Gargano said. “I think it rings true for me. I know I have a tendency to fantasize about relationships with guys I just met, so this is really good to take a step back and be, like, ‘Okay, who do I need to be first to become the woman I need to be to meet that man?’”

Gargano said she really agrees with one of the sayings Swafford stands by — to put God first, others second, yourself third.