And we're back! First, as a reminder, please submit your questions, comments, concerns, and queries right here. Now, in this week's installment of Just Ask Emily, one reader feels he's looking for love in all the wrong places.
I'm a single guy in CC who's wondering where to find a date. This is an amazing school, and there are tons of smart, cute, funny, etc. girls at Columbia and Barnard. And I think a good number of them must be looking for guys (unless @MyLifeIsBarnard is lying to me). So why is it so tough to meet them?
I'm not a shy guy, but I can't seem to find the girls who are looking for guys. After class/in cafés, I run into good female friends. At the bars and random parties, I do the whole hook-up thing, which is fun but ultimately unfulfilling. I've also tried the whole "get a friend to introduce you to her cute friend" thing, but that didn't go well—way too much drama.
I just can't seem to find that nice girl who's looking for a date. Any advice?
Looking in Many of the Wrong Places
Dear Looking in Many of the Wrong Places,
Andy Warhol once said, "Everyone winds up kissing the wrong person good night." I know that's not exactly what's going on in your case, but I am bringing it up because:
- a) I think it's beautiful.
- b) I can.
- c) It speaks to a really astute observation that you made: There are people on this campus who are looking for what you're looking for, but you can't seem to find each other.
- d) How to find the person you're meant to kiss goodnight is a tricky question—one that Warhol couldn't answer, and I must preface all of this by saying that I don't have the answer to it either.
What I can say is this:
Firstly, try looking again where you're already looking. You say that you've already hit the party circuit (no, I did not mean that in more ways than the most innocent one). Did you try chatting a girl up and just asking for her number at the end of the night? You say that you run into "good female friends" in classes and cafés—have you thought that any one of those might possibly be something more? Sit down with them at the café or ask one of them to study with you. The worst case scenario is that you'll end up with a better friendship.
Secondly, look in new places. Join a club that's dedicated to something that you're interested in—it's probably filled with girls (and guys, too) who are likeminded. Study, eat, drink, etc. in places you haven't before if the old places aren't working out for you.
Thirdly, finally, and contradictorily to everything I just wrote, try not to look so hard. And give it time. I think that many students come here thinking that they're going to meet a significant other, and sometimes, yes, it does work out that way. But sometimes it doesn't, and that's fine, too. And who knows? Maybe, when you stop looking for the right girl, the right girl will find you.
Emily Tamkin is a Columbia College senior and a former Spec editorial page editor. She wishes there was a sound option on these posts so that Rihanna's voice belting "We found love in a hopeless place" could play as you read these words.