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If How to Lose A Guy In Ten Days has taught me anything about love, it is that there is no right way to find it. I have never had a boyfriend. But what I have had is a tremendous amount of free time to binge every single rom-com from Love Actually to Sixteen Candles. I’ve fallen in love with fifty different fictional characters, and when people ask me how my love life is going, I usually respond with “I’m in a long-term committed relationship with someone who doesn’t know I exist.” Frankly, when the song “Single Ladies” plays, I just get more depressed than I do hyped. So, if you saw me bawling my eyes out at Warner’s Beyoncé party, you now know why.

I don’t know exactly why I have such an issue finding Mr. Right (or Mr. Literally Anyone Who Will Date Me, Please, I’m Desperate). Maybe it’s because my go-to way to flirt is to make really terrible puns, maybe it’s because I tried the DENNIS system (for those It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia fans), or maybe it’s because every single time I develop a crush on someone at Davidson they either A) have a long-term girlfriend that lives in some far corner of the world that they’re absolutely in love with or B) are too busy cultivating their “frat boy” aesthetic to actually settle down and date me. I mean, is it too much to ask for a John Cusack look-alike to come and blast “In Your Eyes” from a boom box below my window? (Who am I kidding? I live in Base Richardson. We don’t have windows.)

What I’m getting at here folks is that I have NO f%$#ing clue how to date, and it’s getting pretty depressing. My lovesick laments aside, I know I’m not the only one whose wallowing in abject singleness.

According to the Davidson 101 Sexuality seminar, a lot of students are in the same boat as me (I’m looking at you 60% of the very chaste freshman class). But frankly, I don’t want to waste my life as a lonely spinster. Don’t get me wrong, I love Emily Dickinson, but honestly, I don’t have the writing talent to turn my awkwardness around men into a literary career.

However, after years cultivating my awkwardness into an art form, I have collected a series of rather unfortunate dating stories from my own life, my friends’ lives, and a few hypotheticals that may help you learn what NOT to do while dating at Davidson. While I can’t guarantee that these will be at all helpful to you, they’re at least good for a laugh or two. 

1. Don’t show him a picture on your camera roll without deleting the Snapchat screenshots you may or may not have saved of him, because he might just keep swiping right (like a horny teenager on Tinder).

2. Don’t pretend you know the “nuances” of baseball if you’d literally rather stab out your own eyeballs Oedipus style than watch nine innings of men standing around chewing tobacco. (Honestly, I tune in for the uniforms. They really know how to accentuate the “buns.”)

3. Don’t make prolonged eye contact with him as you shovel a strangely phallic “grinder” hoagie into your mouth.

4. Don’t tell him he looks like a “sexy Pee-wee Herman.”

5. Don’t refer to him as “daddy goals.” 

6. Don’t add him on all social media accounts after meeting him for about 30 seconds at a party. Nothing screams, “I’ve been stalking you,” like a practical stranger finding your old MySpace account 15 minutes after meeting you.

7. On that note, don’t accidentally like a profile picture from 2012 because you have browsing butter fingers.

8. Don’t try to pretend you’re of the same political party as him. You’ll end up at a Gary Johnson rally wondering why everyone there smells vaguely of corn flakes.

9. Don’t watch Wolf of Wall Street on your first date. He’ll get an uncomfortable erection, and you’ll wish you had just watched Tangled.

10. Don’t wear your really tight pants to play mini golf with him. They’ll rip and reveal you’re wearing granny panties.

11. Don’t try to economize and go to that sketchy food truck and order a lobster roll on your first date that’ll later turn into the most horrific sequence of food poisoning witnessed by the eyes of mankind. 

12. Don’t try to flirt with your waiter while taking a sultry sip of your soda while maintaining eye contact with him and accidentally have the straw go up your nose, resulting in you sipping Coke through your nasal cavity.

13. Don’t make a joke about how you perform ritualistic sacrifices so that the next season of Sherlock will air already (even though you clearly do).

14. Don’t lie and tell him your father breeds Arabian horses to seem elitist and wealthy.

15. Don’t call attention to his bald spot to keep the conversation going.

26. DO–be yourself. Because yourself is lovely just the way she is. AND if being yourself means doing any (or all) of the things on this list hell, go for it. And as they say in the Hunger Games, “may the odds be ever in your favor.”

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