Dating in college, part 1: Expecting the unexpectable

Dating in college, part 1: Expecting the unexpectable

Chris Slattery

When writing a column, I try to make it universal.

The last thing I want to do is to polarize or turn off a large portion of my readers (large portion = 5), but I may have to be the curmudgeon here: Dating in college sucks.

This may be difficult to understand for people who have stayed together with their high school sweethearts, and there may be a few people out there who say, “I’ve dated before and I’ve never had any problems.” For those people, I say to you, “You’re doing it wrong.”

Dating is full of drama, excitement and disappointment. We sit down for a conversation with someone and then wait to hear a call back. We’re essentially doing job interviews when we put our mouths on someone else’s (Resumes are available upon request).

During the next few columns, I want to explore what makes college dating (and dating in general) so frustrating. I know it is unusual to ask you to stick with me for the next few Mondays and Thursdays, but hopefully you’ll learn something about what turns normal people insane and what turns insane people into the competition. “Love” is an expansive topic, and it felt cruel to only spend 500 words on it.

So first, I wanted to talk about the expectations of dating. No matter who you are, you’ve heard someone say, “Why can’t I find a nice guy?” At the same rate, though a little more meekly stated, there is someone saying, “Why do no girls want to date me?”

This sick back-and-forth doesn’t amount to anything because no one is willing to expand on his or her question by running the risk of sounding superficial. There are plenty of nice guys around campus (they wait in front of buildings to hold doors open for you), and it is unrealistic to think that of the thousands of girls at GVSU alone, not a single one is interested in a getting coffee with you.

So, to recap: girls want to date, but the nice guys are ugly.

We all have that image of what our ideal match would be, and if we’re lucky, we can find that person. It’s someone whose flaws are just as attractive as their best qualities and who is challenging enough to make a life together worth it, without being too simple. I have that ideal too, but she likely lives on another continent and doesn’t speak English.

Does that mean we are all going to have to settle for someone less than our “perfect person”? I’m going to say no, but you will be hard-pressed to find that person on a campus this size. So, while you are looking for love in all the GVSU places, you may have to redefine your dream. It’s similar to your childhood when your parents claimed that you could be anything you wanted (when, under their breath, they muttered, “Unless it’s an astronaut — Space Camp is expensive…”).

Since I don’t want to end on a somber note, I’ll ask you to think about puppies until next time. Puppies love everyone.

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