The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 36.0°F | A Few Clouds

Sex and the SafeRide

Single and Looking

By Daniel Chai
COLUMNIST

There are some people who really enjoy being single. I am not one of them.

I’m not sure why I dislike being single so much. I think it lies in the security of knowing you always have someone to count on in a relationship; that you’ll always have someone to hang out with you on Friday night.

However, many college students believe that you shouldn’t tie yourself down like that. People tell me that college is the time to explore, to leave your options open, and to broaden your horizons. As such, they say I should try to date around, figure out what I want in a woman, and have fun. These are all great suggestions, but I don’t think people have taken into account my situation: I just got out of a five year relationship a couple of months ago.

I’ve never really learned to date casually; I’ve always been the serious type. Come to think of it, I never really learned how to date. It’s a little ironic considering I write this column.

If you’re like me, you’ve gotten tired of going to clubs and parties to try to find someone.

The type of woman I’d be interested in probably wouldn’t be partying hard anyway. I’m very much a homebody that likes to watch movies and play board games. So how do you go about finding a girl that likes to stay at home? Do you just go knocking on doors in the dorms to see who’s staying in on a Friday night? I could see how bad that would turn out:

(knocking on door)

Girl: Who the hell are you?

Me: The man of your dreams... wanna play Monopoly?

Girl: What?

Me: Monopoly! Do you play with money on free parking?

Girl: Get away from me before I call the CP’s on your ass, you freak!

Scratch that idea. So how do you meet people outside of the party scene, then? I’ve turned to something that I never thought I would: online dating services!

Some might call it desperate; I’m just going to say that the ends justify the means. Alright, you can stop laughing at me now. Actually, I’ve gotten a little addicted to it. I created a profile, put up my picture, and now I check everyday to see if I’ve gotten any messages from anyone.

You’re wondering what dating service I use? No way in hell I’m going to let that information out. I’m still a little embarrassed that I couldn’t find a date in person.

Aside from all of that, it is a pretty legit way of meeting people. It could never replace actual human contact, but hey, I’m at MIT. Actual human contact is in short supply. What do you do when someone actually contacts you, though? Is there some sort of etiquette to this? I’ve always hated the idea of asking someone out over e-mail, but I suppose there’s no way around it here. I haven’t talked to anyone yet, but I can’t imagine how I’d respond to someone’s message of “I’m interested in you.” What if I’m not attracted to this person? I guess it’s rude to ignore them, but that’s the route I’m going to take. Hey, I’ll deal with it if it happens to me.

Online dating not for you? Well, here are some old-fashioned alternatives: arranged marriages, amass a huge fortune, beating your love interest over the head with a club, or challenging the alpha male for dominance. I’m pretty sure women go wild over the last one.

All kidding aside, you could always get set up through friends, meet people through classes, take a PE, or join a new club/organization. I personally enjoy letting other people do the work for me, so lately I’ve been relying on my friends to set me up. We’ll see what they come up with, and hopefully they’ll at least find me someone interesting enough to write about.

I guess you can see by now that dating is a big pain in the ass. But frankly, anything worth doing is going to be a pain in the ass. I’ll keep you posted on any developments in my love life, although I won’t go into graphic detail. Hope this gives you some ideas, and as always, good luck with your romantic endeavors...

Daniel Chai is a pseudonymous male undergraduate who writes a weekly column about sex and relationships in college from a male’s perspective.