Tag Archives: dating

Lookin’ For Someone: Where Can You Be?

Before there was the ACB, there was OkCupid, or JDate, or eHarmony. Before there was OkCupid, there were freaking awesome ’80s dating videocassettes. This one has appeared on Wesleying before, but, uh, happy Valentine’s Day. Scroll past the jump for a few more treasures (including a Where-Are-They-Now? feature on the Ellen Show, of all things).

And remember, I’m not afraid to get sand on my tuxedo if you’re not afraid to let the wind mess your hair up a little bit when I take the top down.

Wes Students on College Life in NY Times

Old news – the New York Times published some short student essays on various aspects of college life in its “Education Life” section in July. One of the featured essays was by our very own Marie Mencher ’12, about fleeting freshman year romance:

Romance Crushed

Published: July 20, 2009

He had a personality, a sense of humor, and was even a good dancer, so when he said offhandedly that he would watch “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” with me over Valentine’s Day weekend I couldn’t stop smiling. Somehow our afternoon plan turned into an evening plan, and I’m still not sure how circumstance and providence conspired to put me in that room with him, alone, lights out, but in the time that elapsed between the end of the movie and the moment his roommate walked in the door, he kissed me and I had all I ever wanted.

The next day, he walked into the laundry room where I was doing homework. He talked for a little while about nothing, but there was no discomfort in his voice. He left, I ran up to my room and put the Indigo Girls’ “Mystery” on repeat for the next half-hour, and sobbed. I made awful, croaking, animal noises and screamed into my pillow, but running through my mind were these beautiful simple thoughts like, “We were so close.” He never mentioned that night. On some days especially it is so profoundly disappointing.


Lindsay Keys ’11 also contributed a picture to the college photo essay, of the aftermath of some intense partying at Beta:

Every orientation should have an 80s dance, the kind of dance that leaves you sore the next day. She danced so hard that hot air from the dryer felt cold on her face.

NY Times: Romance Crushed

The end of dates?

Dana Pellegrino ’12 sends in this op-ed from the NY Times about how dating is becoming a lost art and increasingly replaced by hookups:

According to a report released this spring by Child Trends, a Washington research group, there are now more high school seniors saying that they never date than seniors who say that they date frequently. Apparently, it’s all about the hookup.

It turns out that everything is the opposite of what I remember. Under the old model, you dated a few times and, if you really liked the person, you might consider having sex. Under the new model, you hook up a few times and, if you really like the person, you might consider going on a date.

So why is there an increase in hooking up? According to Professor Bogle, it’s: the collapse of advanced planning, lopsided gender ratios on campus, delaying marriage, relaxing values and sheer momentum.

It used to be that “you were trained your whole life to date,” said Ms. Bogle. “Now we’ve lost that ability — the ability to just ask someone out and get to know them.”

Thoughts? One could argue that sex with no strings attached is preferable above all else, but speaking from experience, I see nothing bad about asking someone out for dinner/coffee/whatever, and personally find it preferable to a one-night stand with someone with whom you’ll never have an emotional connection…

NY Times: The Demise of Dating


Caitlin Quigley ’08 is headlining OKCupid‘s front page.
(It’s a rotating splash page so hit refresh until you see Caitlin.)

Guppy Theory of Attraction

Why do some guys at Wesleyan seem to get an unbelievable amount of crushin’ on the ACB? Maybe because the dude put his own name down and then girls, thinking it’s another girl confessin’ her lust for the lad, reconsider him and voila! He’s cast a net of gullible female guppies. (Just a theory…OR IS IT?!)

Do they all really share identical taste for, say, Brad Pitt, or that cute guy in physics class? A new study suggests that, in fact, women will look more favourably on the men that other women find attractive.

Ben Jones at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and colleagues, showed 28 men and 28 women pairs of male faces and asked them to rate their attractiveness. The photos had been already been rated by 40 women as of about equal attractiveness.

The researchers then showed the same faces alongside a third photo of a female face in profile, positioned so she was looking at one of them, and smiling – or not. The viewers were asked to grade the faces again.

Women found the men who were being smiled at suddenly more attractive, while men who apparently elicited no such smiling approval were pronounced less attractive.

Men, meanwhile, behaved in a strikingly different manner. They rated men who had been smiled at as less attractive. ”Within-sex competition promotes negative attitudes towards men who are the target of positive social interest from women,” the researchers conclude.

Or to put it another way, the next time you hear a man say “I don’t know what she sees in him”, remember the fact she’s sees anything at all may be off-putting enough…

Fox Gives Dating Advice!

This video was recently played on Fox News and is getting the shit kicked out of it by MSNBC. What’s wrong with it? Well, god, what’s right with it? “Dating” expert Marie Forlio lays down college dating…like:

  • “Don’t hook up with a guy if you’re sloppy drunk or he’s sloppy drunk. You’re just going to find yourself doing the walk of shame the next morning and that’s not going to be cute.”

It’s worth watching how she basically slams any lifestyle that wouldn’t be condoned between the pages of Cosmopolitan.

Overall, it’s lame. I’d get into the stereotypes and imagery presented more, but it’s just Fox News and disgustingly biased as is. I’m going to go be lame in my “mini” marriage and stunt my social growth a little bit more, kthanksbye.

Hooking Up in the Shadow of Facebook

“Hooking up” as a phrase makes absolutely no sense. We’ve all come to accept this. “Hooking up” in college is like the illustrious baseball field of high school, where you had no idea where any of the bases were or what they meant. (If you touch a boob over the shirt is that sliding into second? No? Ok what about touching the bra, that’s clearly second base territory. No? Ok, what about if she touches my chest? No?! Come on, throw me a frikkin‘ bone here.)

“Hooking up” in college can mean just about anything from making out to engaging in an all-out bestial orgy. If you at all care what is going on in someone’s pants, you have to ask for clarification. Otherwise, you’ll make some kind of ridiculous assumption about the sex lives of others and die a horrible social death BECAUSE IT’S JUST THAT IMPORTANT TO ACCURATELY KNOW WHO IS BOINKING WHO. As of right now, facebook has no option to show who is boinking who, but pray for patience, as this is only a matter of time.

Sometimes hooking up can be more than just a one-night occurrence. Hooking up, in fact, can be used to describe an ongoing “fling” of sorts in which two people continually end up with another person for physical purposes. Why we don’t use the phrase “meaningless fling” to describe this ongoing “hooking up” boggles the rational mind as “hooking up” as a phrase is confusing enough to understand already.

See, usually, in a relationship involving two people (in sociology we call this a diad) there is usually an uneven power balance. This uneven power balance can stem from a number of different variables, but most frequently it is one person’s deep aversion to the term “relationship.” Contrary to popular belief, they do not actually fear the concept of a relationship, more or less, they just fear the literal word “relationship.” If you wrote the word “relationship” on a piece of paper and put it in front of their face, they would let out a girly scream and run away.

You must understand that most sane people in the real world would call many of Wesleyan’s “hooking up” relationships actual relationships, as they take on many of the characteristics of a real relationship such as courting, monogamy, routine and well, physical relations. But not at Wesleyan. No, at Wesleyan no one is really “in a relationship” until facebook says they are in a relationship. Everything else is just “complicated” (Which now, also thanks to facebook, you can finally apply an appropriate label to the mess your fuckbuddy refuses to label! Because that makes sense!).

(Actually, by the way, people who are in diads where one person labels it on face book as “complicated” you can almost always count on the other person to be “single.” Unless of course two girls who are friends and are both themselves single [you can tell they are straight because their profiles say they are only interested in men] decide to involve themselves in a complicated facebook relationship. [Because let’s face it, facebook is complicated.] Before “complicated” was an option, you could “marry” your friends and fill the facebook void that way.)

So again, if you examine a hook-up diad closely, you’ll quickly understand this uneven power balance concept as it applies to facebook. One person may stick with the diad in hopes of turning it into an official, society-accepted relationship. They both may stick with the diad because physical relations is all they seek out of the relationship and making it official would obligate them to invest emotionally into someone they actually have no feelings for. Perhaps they are practicing to be porn stars. Who knows. But the entire act of making a hook-up official or not making a hook-up official on facebook implies leverage in a diad which gives one person in the relationship more power over the other. (In fact, if you are really a nerd and want to learn about the balance of power in diads, I recommend reading Sadomasochism in Everyday Life by Lynn S. Chancer.)

What’s really fucked up about this is is that this is a relatively recent social phenomenon as facebook has only been available at Wesleyan for two years. See, before facebook, historians theorize that if you were in a hook-up diad, quite a number of people a) either didn’t care about you or your love life, b) confused you for being in an actual relationship or C) talked to you enough to distinguish that you are simply just hooking up and no, she is not your girlfriend. Now, thanks to facebook, your status is on the internet for everyone to scrutinize and there is no more gray ambiguity involving your penis. See, before facebook, people applied real-world social logic to your penis, but now they apply facebook logic, which is completely different and thus makes absolutely no fucking sense (and it burns a little when you pee).

So that’s hooking up at Wesleyan as far as facebook is concerned.

The end.

RIP: Ask Someone Out Week

Ask a Wesleyan student about the dating scene on campus and most will respond pretty quickly with “What dating scene?” Mostly because at Wesleyan, we like extremes. To put it simply, you’re either WesMarried or you’re not.

And apparently this is no recent development. Back in 1999, the WSA commissioned a survey to the entire student body asking them for their biggest gripe about Wesleyan. “By an overwhelming majority it was dating,” WSA Vice President Jenny Ma ’01 told the Argus. To address the problem, the WSA went so far as to set up a date line called GALS (x4257) to help singles find compatible dates.

Anyway, Ask Someone Out Day originated with Chuck Legere ’00 and Jesse Divine ’98, apparently based on a previous event called Get the Balls to Ask a Girl Out Day. According to Legere:

“Dating should not be such a huge, super-serious deal. You should be able to go out on a couple of dates with somebody and see what they’re like and have it not be a tense thing. If we need to have an official week to get people to do that, then that’s what it will be.”

The WSA liked the idea so much, they began to sponsor the week in 1997 and gave out prizes for the most creative date proposal and for the person who asked the most people out on a date.

However, the week quickly evaporated to the annals of Wesleyan history.

Brian Edwards-Tiekert ’00, Hermes Editor, back in 1997 described some possible reasons (which are scarily still very relevant) as to why ASOW failed and why dating at Wesleyan just doesn’t work:

The most common critique of romance at Wesleyan it that’s it’s incredibly polarized. Students popularly identify two kinds of relationship at Wesleyan: intense, long lasting monogamy (WESMARRIAGE), and random one-nighters (WESFLINGS). Frustration centers around the perception that there is no middle ground, no gray area where two people interested in each other can have a good time and learn more about each other.

With ASOW we collectively acknowledged the miserable absence of dating on campus. The campaign itself demonstrated that we have the time and energy to do something about it. So what is it that still stands in our way? It seems that there’s some irreconcilable gap between the conventions of dating and the nature of the community we have here.

Many claim dating began as an urban phenomenon in the 1920’s. Men and women were segregated enough in the course of their daily lives (at work, at school, etc.) that they had to make appointments to see each other socially. The lack of community in the growing cities left people alienated enough from one another that they had to formalize even casual interaction.

Compare that to Wesleyan, and you might see why dating seems out of place here. We’re a small enough community that it’s hard not to get to know each other. There’s no great divide between the sexes: we go to class together, eat together, live together; we even share bathrooms. What’s more, our conception of romance has broadened to include same-sex relationships as well.

We often go on what could be considered ‘dates’ under other circumstances. Think about it, when was the last time you spent time alone with someone you could be attracted to? Did you have coffee in the campus center? Go to dinner together? Walk through Wadsworth? Catch a play? Call it a WESDATE. The only substantive difference between that and a ‘date’ is that calling something a date confirms you’re attracted to the person you’re with. A WESDATE’s a little more ambiguous. Yet when compatible people can get to know each other in the normal course of the day, it leaves conventional dating without a pressing gap to fill.

So rest in peace, Ask Someone Out Week. You were a cute idea at the time, but as the quick and sudden death of Wesmatch ultimately proved to the next generation of Wesleyan, dating is just not likely to catch on any time soon.