Dating at Dartmouth: Becoming the 90%

By Lauren Budd | 1/20/16 6:32am

Maybe you heard this tossed out as a "fun" fact when you toured Dartmouth for the first time. Maybe you looked around at all the disgustingly happy couples on campus and figured it out for yourself. Maybe your parents, like mine, are living proof of this terrifying statistic: Roughly 10 percent of Dartmouth graduates go on to marry each other.

Some may see this as comforting or even exciting — your soul mate may well be on this very campus! On the contrary, I find it terrifying, as should you. Look at the sum total of potential romantic partners you have encountered here, be it hookups, dates, Friendsy matches or people you’ve made prolonged eye contact with on first floor Berry. If you’re a normal human being, the thought of choosing one of these individuals to spend the rest of your life with should send chills down your spine. If you’re satisfied with your past decisions (or worse, in a happy relationship), congratulations, nobody wants to hear it!

As the resident cynic and hopeful un-romantic on staff, I’ve been tasked with answering the million-dollar question: How do you avoid marrying one of your classmates? How do you become a member of the coveted 90%? Follow some simple rules:

1. Refuse to accept the notion that pong is a date.
First of all, it is so not. Second of all, this rejection of one of the most basic rules of Dartmouth’s dating scene will force potential significant others to work a little harder to win your affection. No one actually wants to do that, so this will narrow down the field significantly right off the bat.

2. Start telling everyone you transferred from Cornell.
Poof! No one's interested anymore.

3. Remember all the good times you had with your hometown honey.
Remember prom? Remember when you awkwardly kissed in their car and introduced yourself to their parents and sat together at lunch every day? Go see what they’re up to. Become obsessed with winning back their affection. Try. Fail. Fall into a deep depression over what could have been if you had just gone to your state school. Fail all your classes. Drop out. End up back in your hometown, close to them, where you always belonged.

4. Just focus on school.
This is the excuse we all give our parents when they ask us why we're single (because telling your mom you inherited her atrocious personality is apparently taboo). However, if you actually do all your readings and go to office hours, it will stun you how little free time you have at the end of the day. Besides, who needs the touch of another human being when you have a 4.0 to keep you warm?

5. Be yourself!
If you’re in a relationship, stop hiding the real you. Tell your significant other what you really think of their outfit. Let out that rant about their lame friends that you’ve been holding in for so long. Don’t even bother masking your boredom when they tell you their favorite boring anecdote for the thousandth time. And if you’re single, keep doing what you’re doing because clearly it’s working.

6. Reply to any flitzes you may receive appropriately.
Keep the full text of College President Phil Hanlon's "Moving Dartmouth Forward" speech saved on your computer, and copy and paste it in your response. Hit send. They won’t be bothering you anymore.

7. Hook up with professors instead.
Worst-case scenario, you get a citation you didn’t deserve. Best case, you get that sweet lawsuit settlement money when things go south.

8. Be "that kid."
Catch a cold and sniff loudly in class. Post too much in your class Facebook group. Brag about your SAT score. Report pre-games that are happening down the hall from you. Vote for Trump. Congrats! Everyone hates you now! No one wants to be your friend, much less marry you.

9. Realize there are other options.
You can still date, of course—not everyone on this campus is a student. Do you know who isn’t a student here? Collis Steve. Set your sights higher and avoid becoming a statistic in the process!

10. Finally, tell all your hookups you are interested in a relationship.
This may sound counterintuitive, but I guarantee they will disappear immediately.

Lauren Budd