Like spontaneously breaking into song and dance or the transformation of a stereotypical nerdy girl into a beautiful belle, going on dates seems to be a myth confined to the world of cheesy teen movies. In university, where you barely have time to do your pile of laundry and eat before pre’s (definitely eat before you pre), it seems ridiculous to seek a prospective significant other through such an archaic and time-consuming process.
When, in the middle of an essay crisis, you realize that your bitter heart is melting and all you want is a cuddle, this handy guide will give you the low down on selecting and enticing a future lover. Oh, and just a disclaimer: like most student journalists, I am by no means qualified to offer any advice on the topic I’m publishing advice on.
First step: what are you looking for? Considering possible suitors is important, and even if you’re desperate for a date, don’t lower your standards. What do you value in a possible partner? Great looking? Will never judge you? Smells attractive? Someone who you could have fun with when you’re with friends but ultimately have the most fun when it’s you and them and Netflix in bed? Granted, those criteria also apply to the average pizza, so first consider if you actually want another human to hog your duvet and demand your affections. If instead you’re just looking for some melted cheese relief, stop reading here and make a trip to Pizza Stazione to pick up your newest significant other.
If you’re thinking about going for another Oxford student, their college is an important factor to consider. If your prospective beau is from your own college, think again. shitting where you eat is a bad idea – and when you inevitably don’t share a second date, the awkward eye contact in hall will lead you to despair. Equally, you don’t want to tease yourself by going on a date with someone who seems perfect and then later down the line realise that you have to walk miles to get to their place #LMHissofar. Other than that, the choice is down your personal preferences – whatever your shared interests are or who you find attractive.
Second step: desirability. An unreliable source on the internet tells me that people are more attracted to men romantically if they are funny, and women less if they are funny. Ladies, this is absolute bollocks – if someone finds you less attractive because you’re funny then they’re weird and they hate entertainment. As such, the first step of desirability is humour. WikiHow suggests that you ‘practice jokes ahead of time’. If you’re the type who thinks they can tell a good joke, you’re probably not funny. And if you’re the type to read WikiHow for dating advice, you’re both not funny and need to re-evaluate your life decisions. This is Oxford so you presumably have some vague intelligence: use some clever and spontaneous niche humour – read the crowd before making Oxfess references, but puns relating to mutual interests are always a good shout.
Realistically, as a far as physical attraction is concerned, physical chemistry is all about biology, but don’t mistake your pheromonal allure with BO – take a shower.
Final step: relatability. Now you seem wonderful, but don’t ruin it. Don’t be a dick. Treat service industry staff well. Use your table manners. More than anything: don’t let anyone think you might row, particularly if you do. Nothing says sadism more than someone taking pleasure in freezing cold water at ridiculous o’clock– your erg-sculpted body is not worth the prospect of an evening of boredom as you spend your first date talking about your diet plan.
Now you’re ready, and if you are successful, please don’t tag each other in every Oxlove you see – it’s the new PDA: cute in small quantities, but nobody really wants to have it all over their newsfeed. If you’re not successful, sign up to Cherwell blind date: perhaps beggars can’t be choosers after all.
On the lookout for love?
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