In college, it’s easy to become mesmerized by the allure of partying: the music blasting on football game day as students gather on the their front lawns to tap the keg and get in a few rounds of beer pong before heading into the stadium, getting into bars with your fake ID (or without if you’re smooth and well connected), the rush when you’re invited to an exclusive frat party, «open bar» included. Or when I was at Penn, organizations would throw lavish parties in the city. We’d pre-game in our dresses (classy, I know), hail a cab (even classier) and head to the big soiree, acting like we ventured into Philadelphia regularly to enjoy the nightlife.
It’s hard to pass up or turn down these opportunities. Drinking is part of the social scene and you want to fit in and make friends. When you meet someone in college who doesn’t drink, it’s like watching a fish flopping on land. It just doesn’t seem right and you want to toss it back in the lake where you think it belongs. Because who in college doesn’t drink? But some fish belong in their own tank, with others of their kind. And it’s these kinds of people that have an advantage when it comes to dating in college for many reasons.
First, you get to have actual conversations with each other. Sure you’ll find plenty of people at parties, bars and events that revolve around drinking, but once alcohol is in the picture, people aren’t themselves. They slur their words, say things they don’t mean and then forget everything they just lied about. You don’t get to know the real person in this situation. Conversations, free of mind-altering substances, are the only way to find out if he or she is someone you actually enjoy spending time with.
Secondly, there’s no «blaming it on the alcohol.» If your boyfriend or girlfriend is unfaithful, there are no excuses like, «I’d had a lot to drink, I didn’t know what I was doing» or «We both were really drunk and it just happened.» Or say you’re upset with your significant other for some reason, have a couple drinks, then just unleash verbal hell, completely unintended. You do things and say things you never would have done if you weren’t drinking. He says, «I didn’t mean those things, you knew I was drunk.» But it doesn’t erase, and certainly doesn’t justify, the insults or dull the pain.
Lastly, there are so many fun activities to do with a significant other that don’t involve hot, sweaty frat parties, expensive bar tabs and obnoxious tailgaters. How romantic…
Find out some fun things to do on campus like performances, shows and concerts that student organizations are constantly promoting. Go study together at Starbucks. Instead of the dining hall, go try out that new sushi place together, Saki-free. Or, weather permitting, just take a walk together on campus or find a park where you can sit and talk.
By cooling it on the drinking, you’re going to get to know the authentic person and not some constantly tainted version, then decide if they’re right for you. It works for me.