Dr. Date

February 08, 2011

Dear Dr. Date,
People are always telling you that they can’t seem to find great guys/girls anywhere on this campus. Then you typically say, “Go to clubs, libraries, coffee shops, etc.”
My question is, how does meeting in the library actually work? Does that actually happen? Are people really going into libraries for the sole purpose of trying to meet a significant other?
—Time to Look up From the Book?

Gentle Reader,
You’re right. That’s one salve the good doctor isn’t afraid of over-prescribing. And there’s a very simple reason for it: It works.
First, you need a game plan, and that starts with a having a clear goal in mind. Ask yourself what you want out of the venture: a meaningful relationship, a quick lay, someone to bring home to mom and dad? Use that answer to figure out where to go on the prowl.
Some people go to the club to have a good time with their friends and go home uneventfully. Most go there to meet people (but even if that’s not reason No. 1, they’ll hold out for the off chance of meeting the right person).
Guys, girls love a guy who can dance. Hit the dance floor and chat up any ladies you can find. You should be able to tell pretty quickly whether they have any interest in you, but don’t be afraid of being rejected. Be nice. Make her feel special, buy her drinks and have a good time together.
Now, if you strike out with that and end up picking up a bar tab without getting anywhere, swing for the fences with a trick from Nobel laureate physicist Richard Feynman: Tell a girl you’ll buy her a drink but only if she’ll sleep with you. She’ll probably act offended at first, but if she’s in the mood for a one-on-one afterparty and you’re her best prospect, she’ll be back. It’s high-risk and high-reward — you’ll be calling your shot, but the payoff just might be worth it.
Ladies, your work is a bit easier. Men are naturally inclined to fawn over any moderately attractive woman who speaks to them. If you want to go home with a guy, you’ll have him at “Hello.”
Dateopia, you’re going to have a harder time in libraries because talking is frowned upon. But there is hope in the brief stop-and-chat.
If you see a potential mate reading a book or studying a certain topic, move in with a quick whisper: “Oh, I see you’re reading ‘The Crying of Lot 49.’ I love Pynchon; what do you think of him?”
You’ve got to move in fast because you get only a few sentences before you start to hit the ceiling for library conversation. That’s when you slip in a quick suggestion: “I’d love to hear what you think about postmodernism; let’s grab a bite to eat.” Afraid of the lunch date (you should be — if you want to see a disgusting display, just watch another person eat)? Try coffee instead.
And that leads to the coffee shop pickup. Start with the library technique, but save yourself the trouble setting up another date — you’ve got a tailor-made date right in front of you.
These techniques won’t work if you don’t know anything about the topic, so consider the useful “That book/homework/computer looks really interesting/tough/shiny, tell me about it” as the Leatherman of dating lines. Just know that when you ask a question, you’ve got to be prepared to follow it up.
Happy hunting, Dateopia.
—Dr. Date

Dear Dr. Date,
Wikidate needs to add an entry: How to get out of the friend zone.
—Just Friends Just Doesn’t Cut It

Dear Wikidater,
There are numerous issues that arise when you start dating, fooling around or having sex within a group of friends. When things go bad — and they always do — your friends will be forced to take sides. It’s like a small-scale divorce, and everyone loses.
However, if you do want to go deeper, here’s how to do it: Start by testing the water. Try to spend time alone with this person. Go out of your way to do things that a platonic friend wouldn’t. Invite this person to go to dinner out at a nice restaurant, go dancing — just go beyond the call for normal friendship.
Eventually, you’re going to have to make a move, and there’s one thing so obvious nobody ever thinks to try it, but you could simply ask to go on a date. If you’re one for romantic gestures, you could even try swooping in for a kiss, but be warned that the failure rate is high. If it works, you’ll be in the relationship of your dreams, but if it fails, you’ll be out a date and a friend.
—Dr. Date

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