The Collegian
Tuesday, May 17, 2022

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Dating for dummies: Fool proof tips to roping in a boyfriend

Readers, if you're anything like me and you've spent part, much or the entirety of your college journey hooking up with people hoping that maybe, just maybe, one of these frat stars will be the one who acts like a decent human being and texts you the next morning to ask you to coffee sometime, followed by an invitation to a casual lunch, which is then logically followed by dinner and then, eventually, couples cooking, homeworking and holding hands on your way to the mail room, let me tell you, there is hope.

Now, you all know that I'm the first one to frump around and complain about how my foreseeable future includes me being an old cat lady well-versed in Jane Austen and flower genera, but the impossible has happened. No, Kirstie Allie did not get skinny, but I did happen to rope myself in a super hot, insanely awesome "official" boyfriend.

I am certainly no expert on relationships considering that if you add up all the boyfriends I've ever had in my life, it would still be fewer than the number of stuffed animals I sleep with in my bed on the regular (Don't judge, I had to fill the void in my heart somehow, and emotional food therapy was starting to get expensive), but here are a few things I'd like to share because I'm starting to think that I may have had the wrong idea about how to get myself a fella.

One: Whoever told you that a good relationship could never come from a sloppy, drunken lodge hookup was totally wrong. My mom warned me that I would never find the kind of boy I want to date during one of my "crazy college nights" as she calls them. So instead of searching for potential boyfriends at school, I started looking in the aisles of Whole Foods, public parks, Barnes and Noble, the rock-climbing gym, restaurants with good wine selections and Starbucks -- you know, respectable places where normal men who are looking for commitment usually spend their time.

Not only did I fail to find a real live, slightly older, well-traveled, mature boyfriend with a good head on his shoulders, I found that the majority of men outside of the Richmond college campus are a) bearded hipsters, b) married with children, or c) serial stalkers. Why meander to unknown lands when you can start a wonderful relationship right here on campus with someone who understands the glory of D-Hall, how annoying it is when your hand won't register at the gym, how terrible the toilet paper is on campus and all the other minute details of the University of Richmond!

Two: You know that make-it-or-break-it phase when you're "kind of sort of dating?" It's that point in the relationship where you both pretty much only hook up with each other and it's no longer a strictly 2 a.m. on the weekends thing. There are forehead kisses and Target dates where you stop and look at the puppies outside of PetSmart on the way, and sometimes when you're walking in the Carytown Burger parking lot he'll put his arm around your shoulders for five steps or more.

It's that in-limbo situation where the relationship can take a turn for the better and the cutesy dating will commence, or the relationship can take a turn for the worse, leaving the girl stalking the frozen food section at Trader Joe's for some comfort (this is the phase I'm most accustomed to). Having been a victim of the latter for so long, I can tell you it starts with the girl getting frustrated and saying such things as "So, are we hooking up with other people?," "It's not fair that you have your cake and eat it too," or "I thought this was going somewhere, I can't wait around for you forever to get your crap together." And instead of making the right decision and committing, the boy "needing some time to figure things out" turns to a biddie to reinforce his feeling of masculinity.

Well, having seen that scenario play out too many times, I was always under the impression that this was a very sensitive phase where you couldn't act too needy or else he would never commit - that's just not true. It has been my experience that if you drink, get whiney, and ask "why won't you date me?" enough times, he will eventually start dating you. I used to think you should always keep your cool and wait it out, but now I'm beginning to think that instead of nonchalance, boys value things like persistence, dedication, determination and a dogged allegiance to making a fool of yourself.

So when it comes to dating, don't listen to what you've heard for years. Contrary to popular belief, drunken make outs can result in committed relationships and sometimes being obnoxiously needy can work in your favor.

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