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Great Expecdateons

Justin Tardiff | Friday, March 20, 2009

From random hook ups to routine hook ups, students complain that the dating scene doesn’t meet their expectations. As it goes, because of University policy and loads of homework, there is little interest in serious commitments – few are able or willing to put forth any effort beyond weekend text messages and Keystone-inspired rendezvous to Sbarro’s.

From year to year, the Notre Dame community experiences frustration when the football talent doesn’t measure up to schools with lower academic standards, more temperate climates and fewer statues of religious zealots.

On the surface, these two phenomena of disappointment are connected, as they appear to be caused by the same outlook: high expectations that demand improvement without acknowledgement of inflexible circumstances.

It’s tough to admit that Notre Dame’s uncompromisable academic mission may preclude any serious run at a national championship. But what could be keeping serious relationships from developing is a condition more flexible than rules on parietals or same-sex dorms.

In the case of the dating scene, greatly inflated expectations – in addition to the oft-blamed causes of heavy workloads, the need for instant gratification, the jock culture, etc. – are a source of the problem. That is, all too often, if someone doesn’t look like he or she could be on the cover of GQ magazine and talk like Pierce Brosnan or possess the sparkling personality of Tina Fey, he or she is written off as a dating prospect.

A casual stroll through La Fortune at a busy hour shows this attitude to be self-defeating. It should be examined closely – perhaps in a mirror.

Maybe the availability of chapels on campus fosters the belief that prayer can summon the divine intervention needed to bridge the gap between what we think we deserve and what we can reasonably expect.

Or maybe the expectations about dating partners which range from high to na’ve are a result of attending a school with a price tag roughly equivalent to the lifetime earnings of the average Ukrainian. If you’re paying top dollar to put the top med schools and law schools within reach, why shouldn’t the most attractive people also be available?

Regardless of the reason, you probably know several people who have remained dateless in the prime of their lives because they refuse to give the time of day to anyone who exhibits what they view as a minor flaw.

Luckily, since people are not tools for career advancement, the basis for choosing date prospects is much more subjective and a lot less rigid than the criteria for ranking graduate schools.

In fact, if you want to receive more than text messages and pizza-shaped grease with cheese on the weekends, it could be as easy, or as difficult, as an attitude adjustment.

The fix is the same one the admissions office won’t consider for the football program. Lower – or alter – your standards.