Everything you need to know

Dear Rohit,

What do you think about online dating? My real life experience hasn’t been all too great. It’s so much easier online, and you can learn whether somebody would be compatible with you even before meeting them. What’s your say?

— Online Dating Devotee

Dear ODD,

I’ve experimented with online dating myself (have you tried match.com?) and it definitely has its pros and cons. Sure, it seems like you can get some idea of your compatibility with a person before meeting them, but that doesn’t mean it will turn out the way you think.

You might have a lot in common with somebody who turns out to be an ultra-weird mustache-fetishist pediatrician (unless you’re into that, in which case, that’s... great for you) or somebody who turns out to be a 500-pound middle-aged guy named Mike instead of a 19-year-old blonde. Besides, you always have to factor in the chance that your blind date will kill you — always take your first dates to well-lit, crowded places or take along a burly friend. With all that said, online dating can be a great way to build up your confidence, and you might — just might — actually meet somebody that you would be happy with.

So, I would say keep it up, but be really careful. A much easier and successful way, though, according to me, would be to join a new club, take up a new sport, or volunteer somewhere; trying something new is a great way to meet new people, not to mention a great way to learn about yourself. Oh, and one more thing: If you find a site that is really good, send me an e-mail!

Dating is reality,

— Rohit

Dear Rohit,

I have a huge crush on the TA for a course I am taking this semester. Every time I am in recitation, I have very naughty thoughts. I have spoken to him quite a bit after class — course material only, mind you. Should I ask him out yet?

— I Love Recitation

Dear Recitation,

That’s messy, but not something I can’t help you handle. Look on the bright side: At least you’re not thinking about romancing a professor. A TA, on the other hand, is so much more within your reach. You don’t always have to meet him in a classroom setting; you can try and run into him somewhere else on campus and then you would be more like peers than teacher and student.

But hold on just a minute. The semester is only four months long. When he’s no longer your TA, there is no harm in the two of you dating. But if you ask him out right now, it could mean a lot of trouble (issues with partiality and whatnot). If you really like him, then he’s worth the wait. If not, then look in the mirror and ask yourself: Are you excited by him or by the teacher-student fling idea? Meanwhile, hit those books hard to impress him.

The wait is worth it,

— Rohit