How To: Dating at CMU

It’s already that time of year again. Target is selling overpriced chocolate and Giant Eagle is selling wilted roses. On your walk to class, it seems there’s more PDA than ever. That’s right, it’s the season of love. Gross. Except… you can’t ignore that little voice in your head when you see the cutest couple ever walking down The Cut, whispering, “God, I wish that were me.”

Despite all your efforts in the past, Cupid has somehow managed to miss you completely. Even though it may seem like you’re hurtling straight toward a post-graduation future of microwave dinners alone, I’m here to reignite your passion for love and impart some wisdom. Behold, the best and only how-to guide to dating on campus you’ll ever need!

The first step to a successful love life is to be mysterious. People are attracted to what they don’t know. One way to achieve this aura of mystique is to keep eye contact at a minimum. Eyes are the windows to your soul, and you don’t want to scare away any potential suitors by being too earnest from the beginning. So, next time you’re at La Prima, sipping your coffee, take care to aggressively ignore anyone that tries to meet your gaze.

If this precaution somehow fails, and you find yourself engaged in conversation with someone you’re attracted to, TREAD LIGHTLY. A conversation is a pivotal moment for many reasons, like establishing first impressions. One rule of thumb which has always worked for me is to let your interlocutor do most of the speaking. People love to talk about themselves, so, let them! While I know you’re probably dying to learn everything about your new companion, try to limit follow-up questions. You don’t want to leave the impression that you’re nosey. Besides, this tactic prevents you from being a blabbermouth and talking about off-limit topics, like your hobbies and favorite color. An added bonus is that it keeps you mysterious!

Okay, now, say you’ve managed to hook your potential paramour with riveting colloquy. What comes next? To keep the thought of you fresh in their mind, you must establish your presence in some way. A tried-and-true method is not just to be yourself, but to also smell like yourself. Studies have shown that people are most attracted to others’ natural scents. So, next time you’re thinking about showering before seeing someone of interest, don’t, and let that musk marinate instead! Another good method of establishing your presence is to subtly show off how smart you are. Let’s put it into practice: The next time you attend lecture, ask a million questions only you will understand and the professor will have a hard time answering. This is one of the most effective ways to distinguish yourself from the crowd. And if someone confesses to having failed the most recent midterm, don’t hesitate to tell them how high you scored. Remember, intelligence is attractive!

College is a hectic time full of changes for most, so make life easier and be consistent for the future loved ones in your life. For example, wearing the same outfit every day is a good way to keep yourself recognizable. However, you want to be careful of potentially coming off as a peacock — nobody likes an attention seeker! One way to avoid this faux pas is to keep it simple; the t-shirt you received during Orientation Week and whatever jeans you found lying around on the floor will always look good together. When in doubt, just remember, consistency is key!

This mantra leads me to my next and last bit of counsel: Be consistent, but don’t be too available. If you’re there for everyone all the time, your prospective partner isn’t going to feel special. You should reserve extraordinary acts of kindness, like holding open doors and greeting the food service workers on campus, for your partner only.

With that being said, I hope this how-to guide has equipped you with the necessary tools to find your future partner in crime. While you might not score a darling in time for this year’s Valentine’s Day, your love life will definitely be ripe for success with these pointers!