It is easier to figure out whether you like a person on a date than, say, in the basement of somebody’s house when you’re shouting over a Carly Rae Jepsen remix. Dates almost always involve conversation, and most times they’ll be sober affairs, so you get a chance to figure out what somebody is like in real life, as it were.
Dates can be really fun. People tend to get points for the relative creativity of a date (I can’t tell you how many times my friends and I have been brought to a particular park in Providence but it’s more than once — the first guy to have this idea impressed me a lot, but after a certain number of visits you begin to think, “You really think I’ve never been here? Really?”). Anyway, creativity makes things interesting.
If they go badly, they can be the source of some really funny stories. I have a friend who went on a date with someone only known as “the finger sucker.” Another friend was once asked on a quasi-date to an on-campus cafe (the guy used his own meal credit to pay for her Naked juice! How romantic!). If you escape without a solid repertoire of crazy stories of dating in college, you’re missing out.
Dates are stressful. They’re sort of like relationship auditions. Most people go in with the primary goal of impressing the other person, and the secondary goal of deciding whether they’re into the other person. Sometimes you already know, I guess, but I feel like a lot of the time we just get caught up in the possibility of rejection and forget the other half (that is, our own desires). You’re pretty much put on the spot, while the object of your presumed desire asks you questions like “So how’s your sandwich?” and “Have you been to the art library?” Your response might dictate the fate of this whole romantic evening!
Sometimes you realize midway through a date that you are not attracted to the other person at all. Like, maybe he sucks a lot and you only just noticed. It’s usually at this moment that you realize how into you the other person is (now that your perception isn’t clouded by fear of rejection, obviously). That can turn into an awkward situation so fast.
College kids are weird about dates. We can’t help it. We’ve grown up in this crazy hookup world and we don’t really know what dating is supposed to be like. This means we can be super awkward. (I also suspect that our generation is more awkward than most. Maybe that’s just my friends though.) The whole process just makes you feel sort of clammy and weird, and I think that means you’re doing it right.
Clara spends her free time mostly blogging (at That Girl Magazine and sometimes CollegeFashion.net). Ask her where 'home' is and she'll tell you it's complicated. She comes from a family of stubborn lunatics with boundary issues, including the dog. Clara hates the patriarchy, unless there are heavy boxes involved.