A pair and a spare dating

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Barbara Ries. The woman, it should be noted, was quite beautiful and entirely sober. Not exactly. Although The problem might be partially one of semantics. Among those who do use it, the verb can ify any of arrangements: to go out twice, to be a bona fide pair, to be one academic year shy of engagement. Researchers say the ambiguity makes students not only skittish about labeling their relationships but also confused about how to actually, well, date. Fraternities and sororities throw as many as five per quarter per house.

But nothing, not even a one-shoulder spandex dress, guarantees companionship. Half of the women responding said they had been asked on fewer than six traditional, guy-pays-the-way dates since starting college. There are plenty of explanations for the courtship crisis.

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Some chalk it up to an ever-increasing achievement ethic. Students report that some peers say their rigorous schedules and ambitious goals leave little time for an evening with someone who might not turn out to be The One. Or perhaps coed dorms, which proliferated during the late s and the s, are to blame.

Men and women who brush their teeth at side-by-side sinks, researchers say, may start to see each other more as sisters and brothers than as dream dates.

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So we shadowed four students on a Saturday night for a peek. Schnapper-Casteras, from Bellevue, Wash. They met during Admit Weekend when Valicia showed J. They remet five months later in Branner, where, coincidentally, they were both ased to live.

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Where Valicia goes, J. They resemble what researchers call a "quote-unquote married couple," which means practically everything is done in tandem—meals, laundry, shopping. And according to the study, the lack of options in between read: a plain old date is what frustrates many undergraduates. Intimacy commonly arrives in all-or-nothing doses. She laughs and rests her head against J. She assumes this position frequently.

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It applies to Valicia and J. Until three months and two days ago, they spent time together only in the high-ceilinged hallways of Branner. Valicia has some reading to do. In the end, their night ends up being one of those languid, aimless affairs so typical in freshman dorms: hanging out, doing a little bit of work, hanging out some more after J. Jack in the Box run, then finally calling it a night. This was another one of those sorts of evenings. Jake Gardener, a junior from Newton, Mass.

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A Sigma Chi fraternity member, he plays midfield on the lacrosse team. He loves lacrosse, but his No. At the party, a woman approaches Jake immediately. She wants him to organize the men and women into two lines. Jake stands at the top of the stairs and screams out instructions. Everyone applauds. Jake keeps talking. Last quarter, he took a woman out to dinner a couple of times.

He took her bowling. She came to some Sigma Chi parties. Janice Chyou, a junior from Vancouver, British Columbia, is the founder of Interact, a student group that visits dorms to talk about how to form healthy relationships, romantic and otherwise. The group was inspired by a seminar on the psychology of shyness that Janice took with professor Philip Zimbardo her freshman year.

Janice also has a personal perspective on Stanford attachments of the romantic kind: her own month relationship with a fellow student recently ended. On this Saturday night, Janice is a doer of laundry. She does it diligently, creasing the multitude of T-shirts and clipping her pants onto pant hangers. Surely there are better ways to spend a Saturday night than sorting your socks. Interact has given Janice the skinny on the dating crisis at Stanford. She has a place to go Viennese Ball but no one to ask. Social dance is a passion of hers. There are lessons to be learned in the footwork and spins, she says.

It would be easy to mistake Andres Turner, a junior from Los Angeles, for a player. A strand of blue Christmas lights encircles the ceiling of his otherwise dark room. But Andres is a nice guy in the well-mannered, good-listener sense, nice enough to be a resident assistant in Twain. They raise their glasses, which are plastic. The two attended Sophomore Formal together a few weeks earlier. Andres is taking an existentialism course this quarter.

He goes ahead and admits that he likes Mary. Andres and Mary leave their wine glasses on the desk next to his Sartre book. A group of female Twain residents spot Andres.

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They encircle him. He raises the roof. He smiles over at Mary. Just two months later, Andres and Mary broke up. Time was to blame, says Andres. Magazine Current Issue Past Issues. Facebook - share an article. Opens in new window. Twitter - share an article. By Marisa Milanese. And J. Valicia and J. Another woman approaches wearing a fur hat with earflaps.

She gives Jake a hug. This article was modified from the print version of the magazine. You May Also Like. Farewells On the Inside of History.

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A pair and a spare dating

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