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Perseverance is the key to campus courtship

Chris McGrady | Friday, March 2, 2007

Young love really can’t be predicted. It might be a look, a word or even a touch that sets it off. Whatever it is, the love bug can strike at any time. In the aftermath following Valentine’s Day, I’ve noticed that there seems to be more furious handholding, awkwardly shared dining hall meals and a rise in long-distance phone bills (for those of us nursing a long-distance relationship). Indeed, the Cupid-heavy holiday strikes us in very different ways. The recent love phenomenon has got me thinking about the different styles of courtship around campus and their effectiveness. This will be told as if the object of your desire is female, because that’s where my “expertise” lies (word to the wise – take the term “expertise” very, very lightly).

Method 1: The “Stare Down”

Ordinarily this method is employed during classes or meetings, but it can also work in the dining hall or any other setting involving long periods of close proximity. First, find the object of your desire and sit within “striking distance” (a.k.a., line of sight). Then, begin the stare down. Focus your gaze directly on her eyes. Imagine dates, wedding bells, even marriage. Creepy? Yes. Will it work? Probably not. Hint: If he or she looks up at you, quickly dart your eyes away. This is key.

Continue this method until the object of your staring begins conversation, which is likely to go something like this.

The Crush: “Why are you staring at me?”

The Crushee: “Because you’re nice to look at.”

Crush: “You’re crazy.”

Initiating conversation is half the battle.

Method 2: The “Endearingly Awkward”

Usually, this takes a certain kind of person to pull off, but with the right practice, anyone can use this method effectively. Whenever you talk to the girl you are interested in, stumble on your words. Spill milk on your shirt. Walk with her to her dorm and trip while talking with her. If you are fortunate enough to be invited to her room, quickly scan the surroundings for something to break that won’t be too expensive – a cheap desk lamp will work well – and break it. This does two things – one, it will be nearly impossible for her to be uncomfortable because you’re apparently such a klutz, and two, it will give you the opportunity to buy her nice presents, like a new lamp. Double points!

Method 3: The “Sit Back and Wait”

This route is the most time consuming, with average returns seen in approximately a year. If you meet a girl you like, do nice things for her. Bring her coffee at work, help her with anything you can, and just generally try to be a nice guy. Write sappy away messages about her, and when she asks who they’re for, tell her, “Um … no one in particular.” Never tell her that whenever she walks into a room, you freak out and start sweating. Try to think about her as much as possible without ever telling her how you feel, and under no circumstances should you tell her you like her. Over time, you’ll like her so much you won’t be able to stand it, and if and when she realizes you’re crazy about her and reciprocates the feelings, it’ll simply be awesome. If she doesn’t like you, you can keep doing what you’re doing and rename it friendship so you don’t feel so pathetic.

Some people may find the above methods effective, and others may not. The truth is, there really isn’t one tried and true way to attract a lady-friend, so it’s best to just forget the Valentine’s Day fallout and let things go naturally.

And just so you know, Home Depot has a sale on desk lamps this week … but no pressure.

Contact Chris McGrady at cmcgrad1@nd.edu.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.