Dear Dr. Date,On M…

Dear Dr. Date,
On Monday I saw someone I would have liked to approach. He was explaining something to a woman by the computer science building. He had long dark hair, a dark green coat and sunglasses on. The problem was, it was about 9:45 a.m. and I was late getting to my office for office hours. I am a graduate student with somewhat limited time and money. If I have either, there is nobody to hang out with, as most of my classmates are married. Have any suggestions of places where graduate students can go just to meet new people so that we don’t have to kick ourselves for missing the few opportunities we have, (like the one I just described)?
— Lonely Grad Student

Isn’t this why coffee parlors exist? True, the campus coffee shops tend to cater to a younger crowd, but there are many more around town. One of my favorites is the Anodyne coffee shop located around 43rd Street and Nicollet Avenue in south Minneapolis. Other fun shops are the Dunn Brothers in Loring Park, Jitters on Nicollet Mall, and Moose and Sadie’s in the warehouse district. In reality, there are hundreds of coffee shops to hang out in all over town. No matter where you live, there should be a good hangout spot nearby.
As a woman, you should be able to just grab a good book and sit there reading to attract male suitors.
If that doesn’t sound like your thing, then try one of the many poetry slams and spoken word nights around town. Kieran’s Irish Pub downtown has such events frequently and they are usually packed with vaguely interesting people.
Your money problem shouldn’t be that big of a problem. There are plenty of places you can go for great conversation and a good romantic walk for no money at all. What will be a problem is your lack of time. As I see it, you’ve got two options: Keep studying or make time. If you choose to stay on course with your studies, most likely there will come a day when you have more time. The fear, of course, is that you will have lost all social skills whatsoever. Don’t worry about that. It’s pretty easy to date at any age once you have the time and the right attitude. Still, I agree, it might be good fun to go on a stress-relieving, fun date every now and then to take you away from your graduate studies.
Now, this leaves the second option of making more time. I don’t understand people who will dedicate most of their lives building their careers through work or intensive study, yet tend to leave romance and love up to chance. Good dating takes time — probably not as much time as, say, a doctorate, but still, it does take some work.