To Date, or Not to Date

falling in love…not on my face

I have a confession to make: I don’t know what it means to be in love.  Though I have friends who, at the ripe ages of twenty-something, know with whom they are going to spend the rest of their lives, I don’t know how that security feels. It’s a little scary to think that, so far, the only man who hasn’t bored me after two years is Harry Potter.

If you looked up the definition of “guarded,” you would find a picture of me as an example. Instead of actively looking for love, I tend to push guys away, and I act like I could not care less about feelings and emotions. Why is that? Honestly, I don’t know. It’s hard putting myself out there and sharing how I feel because I’m scared of getting hurt. And I am not as good at taking that chance as others are.  That’s not to say that I don’t want to fall in love: I’m just not pursuing it right now. Quite honestly, all I would like in my remaining year of college is companionship. I definitely do not need a binding label on my relationship, but some consistency would be nice.

Being single in college has introduced me to a whole new world, one of hook-ups, quasi-dates, a rollercoaster of emotions, and some pretty weird and hilarious incidents. For the first time in my life, I am single in a place with a bunch of attractive and incredibly intelligent guys who have no idea who I am or where I come from. Most people here didn’t play soccer together in kindergarten or get married in a fifth grade play, and it is nice to start fresh, but that lack of familiarity also makes this whole process of getting to know one another difficult, even over a tube (or two) of sangria at Spats. If by some miracle I were to be presented with a “dating” situation, I would still be hesitant, since College Hill is such a small community: I do not need people I don’t know posting about my relationship on Spotted at Brown.

In my humble experience, dating at Brown does not seem to exist. I have yet to meet a boy who has asked me out to dinner or who wanted to get to know me, beyond finding out what my body looks like naked. (It looks good, in case you were wondering.) So I wonder, if conventional dating at Brown does not exist, are we all stuck in a world of extremes: hookups or committed relationships? Can there be a happy medium? I haven’t found it yet, so here I am, back to the world of drunken encounters, which is pretty superficial… but somehow, also fun.

It seems that alcohol and semi-physical attraction are the main ingredients in two people coming together (pun intended) for a late night hookup. I know some serious, committed couples that evolved from a hookup, but that’s never happened to me. I begin wondering again– can two people make a real connection when alcohol is involved? Here is my opinion: I’m a girl at Brown with only heterosexual experience (I know I may be generalizing here), and it seems that in an “extracurricular” situation where copious amounts of alcohol are involved, boys are thinking about boobs and nakedness. Therefore, anything they say is with the intent of seeing some boobs and nakedness.  I want to be proven wrong, and maybe these assumptions are a product of my defense mechanisms. But I am still waiting for the boys of Brown not only to dance intimately with me at Whiskey, but also to take me a movie (sober). You don’t have to sit with me at the Ratty on Sunday mornings, but you could take me to a nice dinner downtown. I deserve to be treated with respect and not just as someone who comes over late at night. Drunken hookups can be fun sometimes, but at this point, they’re getting old.

Maybe I haven’t fallen in love because I am incredibly picky, have impossibly high standards, and never want to feel vulnerable. That small, hopelessly romantic part of my brain tells me it’s because I just haven’t met a boy, man, guy, or whatever I am supposed to call him, who has swept me off my feet. But maybe, more precisely, I haven’t allowed him to sweep me off my feet. This is not to say I am looking for “the one” right now, because I am still young, and I plan on dating, falling in love, and having a few boyfriends before settling down and spending the rest of my life with one person. Although I suppose, now that I’ve declared those intentions, chances are I’ll fall in love with someone here at Brown and end up spending the rest of my life with him.

For now, I’m focusing on getting some while also getting respect. Cheesy, I know, but we (and I’m not just talking about hetero chicks here) deserve it. I want to let my guard down, be vulnerable for once, but I don’t want that to result in being someone’s one-night stand, again. I think we can all agree that’s a reasonable request, right Brunonia?