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Annual ‘Sex and the Soul’ Week Continues Dialogue on Faith, Love

The biology of love and attraction distracts our minds from reality, marriage and family counselor John Van Epp told Belmont students at a convocation Tuesday as part of the third annual “Sex and the Soul” week.

“Love is blind partly because of biology but also because people don’t manage their hearts because they do not get to know the right stuff,” said Van Epp, author of How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk: Following Your Heart Without Losing Your Mind.

“When you sit up all night talking, you might know a lot about him, but do you really know him? In a healthy development of a relationship, let how well you know someone determine how much you trust them and do not bring too many needs so that you don’t rely on them,” told students during a Tuesday afternoon convocation.

People should connect first by getting to know each other, followed by trust, relying on the person, commitment and, finally, love. Working backwards is what makes love blind, he said. Couples should discuss conscience and moral compass. Little issues that go unaddressed will add up to become major flaws, which is  why people characterize others as jerks. Above all else, people should institute a 90-day probationary period to understand their compatibilities, personalities, values and humor.

University Ministries hosted its third annual Sex and the Soul Week Jan. 23 through 27, with guest speakers John Van Epp, Joy Eggerichs and Michael Johnson. Other topics for the week included “Debunking the Perfect Man and the Perfect Woman,” “Friends Don’t Let Friends Date Dumb” and “The Elephant in the G String.”

“Three years ago we hosted a one-time convocation event with Donna Freitas, author of the book Sex and the Soul, on exploring religion and relationships, sex and spirituality on college campuses. It was packed, and people were falling out of Neely Dining Hall,” said University Minister Guy Chmieleski. “I thought that makes sense to give students credit for learning about sex, sexuality and faith. It fits the nature of the kind of students we have at Belmont. We are created in God’s image so we are relationship beings. It is the thing on a lot of people’s minds, so if we could spend intentional time learning about how to be in relationships in healthy ways, it would set students up for relationship success in the future.”