Do you have social life concerns? Worries about classes? Existential crises you need help with? The following is the third installment of The Argus’ new advice column, featuring real questions dropped into our advice box at Usdan by anonymous students. At several points throughout the semester, our writers will answer your questions to the best of their abilities.
Just a quick note on the goal of this column and our suggestion box: Our aim is to answer ethical and moral questions, not to offer our opinions on controversial issues on or off campus, or to express opinions for The Argus. Keep the phallic illustrations coming, though; we love that. So, now that the administrative stuff is out of the way, we’ll move on to what really matters: all of your pressing questions.
What’s the best way to get to know someone after you’ve already hooked up a couple times? NOT a coffee date.
—Confused and Maybe Wanting More
Dear Confused and Maybe Wanting More,
What’s your problem with coffee? It’s a proven psychological fact that someone you get coffee with is associated with warmth and love and tastiness. Either way, if you don’t like coffee, or don’t like clichés, or don’t like being in public, there are plenty of other ways to get to know people. Text them. Just talk to them. If you guys have hooked up a few times and that’s the M.O. of things, then you should at least try interacting with that person during the daylight hours. You’re probably really great, and having a conversation will only make the other person like you more. Ask if ze is down for a study break or if ze is interested in studying with you.
Our personal favorite tactic for starting conversation if you’re nervous is asking a lot of really ridiculous questions, or talking really animatedly about something you’re super psyched about. For Nick, this may be co-directing Shrek the Musical or the urgent question of which food you would choose if you could have only chocolate or cheese for the rest of your life. The only way to get to know someone is by seeing how ze responds to you. If things go well, then keep asking questions and see what happens. Maybe asking people on dates is taboo these days or something we’re afraid of, so stick to what you feel comfortable with. Whether it’s texting or just making casual conversation, do what allows you to show your best self. If you show the person what you love, that person will respond well; people enjoy seeing what other people love.
What do I do if I have a girlfriend, want to stay with her, but also want to tame some strange?
—Horny and Locked Down
Dear Horny and Locked Down,
There is all sorts of forbidden fruit out there, and it always seems like the tastiest. If you are impulsive and go to pick said fruit, you’re going to end up hurting everyone involved. Cheating is extraordinarily hurtful and easily avoided. If you’re having these feelings, communication is the remedy. You probably really do care about your girlfriend and don’t want to tell her, but getting these feelings out in the open will probably make you feel a lot better and save a lot of hurt later. Who knows how it will go, but it is the far better road than the usual cheat, get caught, regret it, hurt everyone involved route.
A lot of the time, we have this weird attainment complex of wanting what we can’t have, and the single life often is the focus of that complex during a relationship. We create a “highlight reel” in our minds that just shows all of the good parts of “taming some strange”: the courtship, the amazing sex, and the thrill of keeping it all a secret afterwards. This is not guaranteed to happen at all. There’s the eventual guilt, the coming clean, and the hurt feelings that we never put in our imaginary highlight reel. Tame the urges, and talk to your girlfriend about how you feel. Everyone will be better off for it.