Thursday, December 22, 2005

Q33: Where Are The Boys?

I'm a Junior at Wellesley College and I am distraught at the lack of opportunities to meet guys in the area (obviously). Granted, there are plenty of frat parties to attend, but I don't believe I'm going to find someone who I'm compatible with at a place like that. There's also the MatchUp but I've tried that, and I'd prefer to do it a different way. Any other suggestions?

-Tired of estrogen




Ah yes, a classic in the cahier de doleances of young single creatures everywhere: how to find that potential mate... or at least someone who isn't your roommate's younger sibling who is just visiting for family weekend and who, due to your 3-year monk-like hermitage in your ivory tower, is starting to look like a yummy prospect despite the fact he is not quite yet legal by Massachusetts standards. But I digress. (Tommy, if you're reading this, I LOVE YOU! We can make it work. I'll wait for you, honeybumpkins! See if your mom can drive you up after trombone practice. We can meet on the Quad...)

Ahem. Right. Point being, how does a fantastically single hetero-inclined girl attending an all-girls college meet a boy. Now lucky for you Miss Tired, you happen to be at Wellesley, and Wellesley happens to be not an hour from Ye Ole Boston, the breeding ground for crazed Red Sox fans and home to a bevy of colleges. I mean seriously, you can't fire a potato gun in any direction without breaking some stuffy prof's window or knocking a hot TA unconscious. Count your lucky stars you are not in the boondocks of Maine, my friend.

Now I'm not trying to be patronizing, I'm just trying to warm you up to the idea that meeting people is a lot easier than you think.

So, where to start?

You don't have to be a party-animal to have fun and meet other fun singles. Really it's all just about saying hello. If you see someone on the street who looks interesting... go say hi. Chances are, they won't think you're nuts, and they'll actually talk back. I've accosted and been accosted by people out in the open air in Boston, and it's not weird. It's kind of exhilarating, really. (I mean, except for the creepy guy on Newbury Street that yelled at me, "Once you go Asian, you never go Caucasian.") I had a friend meet someone on Beacon Street and then go on a subsequent date later that week. It's not unheard of.

Be honest. Be open. Don't, for the love of all that is right and sacred in this world, don't talk about the weather or try a cheesy pick-up line or get desperate. (No one likes the pungent stench of desperation. Have confidence, mate.) I'm not saying this is a guaranteed surefire way of finding your soulmate, but once you get over any and all embarrassment about approaching strangers, the more chances there are for you to meet people.

Still sound too vague or intimidating? Ok, well let's talk specific venues then. Specific, unpretentious venues where maybe you can meet some cool cats without having to scream your name over drunken fratboy revelry. This might sound inane, but hey ever considered joining a club? You're in college, so take advantage of everything college has to offer. I know for a fact there are a few joint MIT/Wellesley clubs (like Counterpoint *wink wink*) and there at least you'll meet people who share the same interests you do. And while I loathe to suggest utilizing classes as a means of dating, Wellesley does offer cross-registration with nearby coed universities, and the classroom is a good, organic way of meeting people... as long as you aren't taking the course just for your daily dose of testosterone. And, if you take a class because you're interested in it, you'll probably meet people who are interested in the same thing(s) you are. You might be able to meet someone while riding the bus between colleges; if you see someone cool, say "hi" -- especially if you're sitting next to him. Why bury your nose in Wuthering Heights when you could dazzle him with your smile? Or at least get to know someone who might know someone else who might know someone uber-cute?

You could also always snag a friend and just go to a meeting at MIT. Or Harvard. You could find friends via Facebook and tag along, or just call 'em up if you're in the area. If you like the exploratory role-playing type, try The Assassins Guild. Entertainment and miscellaneous fun with Club Z. Dancers in Dance Troupe. If you like sports, then join a sports team and get shipped to other colleges. Perhaps reconnect with old high school friends at said colleges and get to know their cute friends. You could go to performances, via DramaShop or the Shakespeare Ensemble or MTG or the various acapella groups and hobnob with the stars. You could even hang around the T-stop on a Friday night. I once "met" a guy who made a silly face at me from across the tracks. We had a great conversation until the T whisked him away... but it was a good connection, really.

If you're more into the bar or clubbing scene, you can try out the students in Harvard Square (Redline, Hong Kong, the surrounding area, etc) or Central Square along Mass Ave (Middlesex, Enormous Room, Miracle of Science, All Asia, etc) or Fenway or Government Center or Landsdowne St. Dress to Impress, and you'll probably make an impression. (Check the dresscode first so you don't dress inappropriately.) I've had guys come up to me and just strike up conversations, either at the bar or while dancing. Perhaps they give a card. If you catch someone's eye and smile, it's quite encouraging. Then ask the name, where they're from, what they study, etc.

Don't forget that there are always plenty of cultural events to attend all over Boston (things like concerts, art shows, performances, festivals, etc.). Check out your school newspaper, the Boston Phoenix, or the Arts & Entertainment section of the Boston Globe to get some ideas. Even if you don't meet anyone, at least you'll have a fun and interesting time. (Bored and standing in line for your favorite cabaret punk act at the Middle East? Why not chat it up with that handsome, pierced fellow behind you?) You can also check out citysearch.com.

As a final thought, don't give up on the online scene just yet. There's always OkCupid.Com and MySpace in addition to MatchUp. You can also send people messages on those Networking applications, like Friendster or TheFacebook.

Just remember, you're in the greater Boston metropolitan region, and the place is teeming with collegiate singles. Say hey; see what happens. Happy Hunting!

[Note: This was a joint posting between "Marsupials Unite!" and "Beavers, Inc." If this entry didn't answer your question, or if there are more details you'd like advice on, feel free to email/post again! :)]

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