On a scale from one to 1020, how forward are you?
Do you ever wish you were more forward? We all have a “one that got away”—do you have two, maybe three? Do you spend your nights loaded on wine, wondering why the cute guy in your Spanish class hasn’t asked you for your number yet? (Hint: He is gay.) Do you sweat through your “How I Met Your Mother”-themed tee when you attempt the phrase “you’re cute”? Are you in love with your poster of Benedict Cumberbatch? Do you live in Furnald?
Now, you don’t want to be too forward: We’ve all heard tales of the phantom creepers of Lerner Party Space, the raging monsters who barfed in your Ruggles suite, and the girls and guys who prey on their TAs. But come on now: We all want to get laid, or at least to know that someone we like likes us. That’s what college dating is about. So when you want it, and you know who you want it with, it might do some good to be candid with your target.
Does this sound familiar: You’ve just met, reconnected with, or bumped into someone on campus. You’re interested, and you might be getting signals—but it’s uncertain. Did you mean to touch my arm, or is it crowded in here? Are you texting me because you like me, or because you’re nice? Am I funny or are you just drunk? You ask your friends for advice, for interpretation, but to no avail. Your crush is a murky, confounding, odd, unnavigable mess, and analyzing your communiqués only leads to stress. Not much has changed since high school, right?
What has changed, though, is that the stakes are lower and your chances are better. If you blow this one, it’s not like you have to see them every day (but be prepared for crippling shame when you do). Also, odds are that you’ll succeed, especially if she’s read on Thought Catalog that “taking a chance on a weird-looking but sweet guy” is one of the “22 Things You Should Do Before Turning 22.” Even if you don’t, there are plenty of fish in the SEAS (ha!). If you don’t try at all, you definitely won’t score. Attractive people don’t just fall into your lap (unless you’re one of the guys in Sharp)—you have to go get them.
Tons of friends tell me (read: I am popular) that they’ve started hanging out with someone cute, and then they jokingly declare, “I just want to ask them if they wanna hook up!” But why is this a joke? Imagine: no more misinterpretation, no more friend zone. Men would save a fortune on alcohol. There’s no downside!
Of course there is. It’s moot because I barely follow my own advice—which means it’s hardly advice at all. Personal experience does not bode well: I know this total moron (me) who serenaded a girl in the Wallach lounge with an original song in his freshman year. It was bad. (If you see me after reading this op-ed, do not bring up this story. I will vomit from embarrassment.) We’re afraid, rightfully, of bravery’s “rewards”: rejection, bruised ego, acquaintances lost. I fear that if I’m so blunt, my victim will run off and giggle about me with all her friends and then I will become that creepy “forever alone” guy.
But when I found myself with a more intense unrequited romantic interest a little while later, I just told her how I felt—we’re still friends. I recently learned that a close friend from high school had serious feelings for me, and she told me she regretted never going for it. I think it’s better to suck it up and be real with those sexy folks around you—just be tactful, respectful, and nice. Don’t get creepy if you fail. Just walk away, knowing you’ve got some balls/ovaries.
So let’s be more direct the next go-around. It’ll save everyone a hell of a lot of time, which we could really use for going to Butler, catching up on sleep, or—best-case scenario—having sex with each other. Come on, y’all: instant love at 1020, Columbia Compliments—love is in the air!
Columbia, I hope you’ll go out and get horny this weekend. I know I will be...
...waiting to see if a girl I’m interested in follows my advice first, and gives me a call.
The author is a Columbia College junior majoring in creative writing and mathematics.