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Springtime brings the search for love

Seeing two sparrows mating on a tree in Northrop Mall raised my eyebrows, as well as thoughts to the springtime desire for sex. Although humans are the only mammals that do not have sex solely for reproductive reasons, thus having sex year-round without an extreme difference in activity seasonally, there seems to be something about the spring that makes more than flowers bloom.

Walking around I see them everywhere – couples in love. Smiling, laughing, kissing, holding hands – they’re precious. Even single guys and gals strolling along look happy, perhaps hoping to meet someone for love and/or sex. It’s time to get out there and be active in all areas of your life, especially your love life. So just waltz right up to the next hottie you see and get a date for Friday night. Easy, right? Nope.

There’s nothing easy about dating – otherwise I’d be out of a job. While I’m inclined to say being in a relationship is more difficult than finding one, I have to stop and remember my first year.

Dating was never difficult for me because I didn’t allow it to be. I worked to balance school, a part-time job and time with family and friends. If I was asked out by a guy, I usually said yes. Even when I wasn’t in a relationship, I never felt lonely because I was busy discovering myself emotionally and intellectually.

But when I came to the University in 2000, I was single and struggling to find a date. With all these students and the many diverse crowds, I thought there had to be someone out there who’d be interested. I went to all the so-called “hot-spots.” In the computer lab I’d ask guys questions, in the library I’d ask for recommendations and at the cafeteria I’d kept my books closed and tried to look available. And typical to first-year students, I’d stupidly overused alcohol and a loud-mouth at parties to attract men, which, of course, only diverted their attention. To my disappointment, I received no loving response.

Please, no pity. You’ll be happy to know I was able to find a date that year, but only through work. And any dates after that were set up through friends or co-workers, which is how the majority of people get into relationships. Many of us are scared to simply approach someone and ask him or her out. What if he’s obsessive? What if she’s overly jealous? What if they have an STD?

There are many questions we ask ourselves that can easily be answered if only we meet people through friends. A friend would tell you the truth about a singleton’s hang-ups. So it’s simply easier to date through this lazy method. It’s usually the only way I’ve dated. My time is important, and I don’t want to spend it with someone who seems nice but will later turn out to be a freak – brutally honest, but most of us will agree.

Sadly, there are far too many people on campus in relationships and who have friends in the same boat. So if your friends or co-workers can’t help you, where do you go next?

Luckily, we are still in college, the prime spot for meeting interesting people. My friends who have graduated college say it’s much more difficult to be single in the “real world,” so we better take advantage of the time we have. I thought I’d help by scoping out my old “hot-spots” and looking for some new ones, too.

First, the bar scene. Good luck finding a meaningful conversation. There are many attractive people and great drinks, but few relationships will form. Discussions with my friends, both guys and girls, conclude that this is a place to “hook-up” (make-out or have sex). Obviously, not everyone at a bar is looking for a one-night stand only. Many people are very friendly and have only good intentions. Nevertheless, it’s a good place to meet people, but not the best place to find a boyfriend or girlfriend. Any flirtations by guys are taken lightly and those I saw by girls are offered after shots.

Next, the house party. This scene is by far the best. Everyone comes to the house or apartment looking to have a good time and most people are always open to new conversations. But beginning those conversations requires an open appearance. It doesn’t matter what you look like – if you’re attending a party with a crowd that has similar interests as you, you should have luck.

At a Spring Jam party this year, I was careful to observe the proper method for successfully enticing a man to approach a woman. I asked some guys, who will remain anonymous, whom they thought looked “available.” Two attractive blonds seemed like a sure bet that some men at this party would hit on them. But the guys I asked said they wouldn’t.

“They’re only interested in talking to each other and ‘grinding’ on each other only proves they’re taken,” they said. “(The girls) are just joking around.”

But a group of three girls dancing to the right side of the room seemed more appealing.

“They’ve opened their circle and are looking around the room to make eye contact with someone,” the guys said. All of their body language was positive: positioned in a semi-half circle, wandering eyes and arms moving at their sides as they danced. Within a few minutes, the girls were dancing with other people.

My next experiment would take place in nonparty atmospheres. The computer lab – people were open and friendly to discussing computer problems and helping guide each other on projects, but it didn’t seem like the appropriate place to find a date.

Coffman Union, on the other hand, has definite potential. With many different scenarios, like a bowling alley and a theater for bands to play, I observed many people chatting and laughing. The library, Walter or Wilson, again, a difficult scene to flirt in since most are focused on studying. I wasn’t planning on joining any clubs for this assignment, since the year is concluding, but there is a good possibility to meet someone

romantically, and if not, at least you made a new friend (who can hook you up with their single friend).

In the end, I found this intriguing topic to require more research, which will most definitely pop up in other columns. But for now, I can only conclude this article and semester with the advice to be open-minded and friendly – perhaps next fall, you too will be part of a cute couple or like the birds I saw on Northrop Mall.

Courtney Lewis’s monthly column appears Mondays. She welcomes comments at [email protected].

Send letters to the editor to [email protected]

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