OP-EDS

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February 21, 2003

Dating II: Use statistics to score

The class of 2006 has 1,117 people, 49 percent of whom are male. That means if you're an eligible female looking for a date, you have about 547 men plus the upperclassmen. That means we're dealing with about 2,100 eligible men, that is, before the statistical breakdown. About a third of those boys have girlfriends, either at home or at school, and they're not going to break up with their girlfriends for you. Of the remaining 1,400, about 10 percent are gay or confused, thus leaving 1,260. Assuming that only about 30 percent of those guys fit your standards, that leaves 378 males. However, every year your stock decreases by a fourth, unless you're into younger men (not my thing): 284, 212, and 159 are the respective tallies before you account for how many you've already hooked up or dated. While these numbers vary, we'll assume that at the beginning of senior year, there are about 110 dateable guys. Of course, you're never going to see any of them because they're rotting away in the Reg.

This drastic situation calls for drastic measures, otherwise known as dating at the U of C. The war begins the minute you walk into your first-year dorm, and continues until you receive that diploma, and those four years are long, sweaty, and filled with pain. How do people do it here? Well, the men seem to follow the "hook up at a party, get her number, maybe I'll call her if I remember her name" method. Women, on the other hand, have perfected the art of dating. To get an A+ in dating, U of C style, you need to memorize the terms and procedure for excellent results.

First, learn the language. Potential Boyfriend (PBF) is what most girls are looking for. These are nice guys that give you mixed signals but you could picture going to the movies with and meeting your mom. Potential Boy Slut (PBS) is a whole other category, and unfortunately, there are a lot more of them at the U of C than there are PBFs. Not necessarily promiscuous, these are the boys you make out with and then never call, nor do you acknowledge the alleged make out session. PBSs can be a welcome change, provided that they are masquerading as a PBF.

Next, assemble your cast of a girl, a guy, and a go-between. The go-between is usually a mutual friend and his or her main role is to find out how the guy feels about the girl. It is important to choose a go-between that you can trust; your cupid should be resourceful, funny, and honest. Then choose your setting, which is key to working game. Males work game at parties but women work it constantly. As one woman (who is very used to getting her men) states adeptly, "It's not about stalking, it's about being in the right place at the right time. It's about finding things out about people and then placing yourself in their viewfinder. Most importantly, don't expect anything out of this: you do it for your own benefit or out of sheer boredom." Remember, at this school it's easy to "run into" your object of desire. Hot spots include Hutch, Bartlett, Cobb, and Harper. The Reg, strangely enough, has amazing potential. Only at this school is it entirely probable that the hot baseball player studies every night on the second floor. How do you find this out? You finger him, of course. The wonderful invention of Telnet/Pine allows users to track where and when other users log in. If none of those places work, there are usually three or four parties every weekend, so unless your dude is a hermit, he'll be at one of those gatherings.

One might ask, what are the success rates of certain strategies? Well, one girl swears by the "eat where he eats, study where he studies" method, another is a fan of the "ignore him until he gets pissed off and starts yelling at you, then be extremely charming" route. Certain strategies that do not work: breaking into their e-mail accounts, blowing up the actual status of the relationship, or desperately calling him at random hours of the night. The plus side is that by the time you've gone through a few relationships here, you'll either be an expert or you'll forget about dating here completely and start frequenting Bar Chicago or the Hunt Club for sleazy 27-year-olds. Remember: if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. And then go to Loyola, DePaul, UIC, the GSB, or the Lab School.