I can’t speak for every school, of course, but at Columbia, it’s hard out there for a single girl. According to statistics I made up just now, approximately half the guys at this place are gay, thirty percent of them are in long-term relationships, and the remaining twenty are generally kinda weird. (Many in a cute way, but some in a… not so cute way.) The fact that there’s an all-girls’ college right across the street doesn’t help matters.
The piece starts out pretty innocuously: “When you walk into a place, act like you know where the hell you’re going, even if you don’t. Everyone will wonder who you are and why you’re there, but they’ll never think you’re useless and confused,” writes Erin Dailey in her first paragraph. Okay, so far, so sensible. Looking confident and carefree is definitely more attractive than looking frightened and meek. It’s a little irksome that Dailey genders confidence as a masculine trait, but whatevs, I won’t fight it.
After that, though, things start to get a little iffy. Dailey tells women that once they’ve found a hottie, they should “look him straight in the eye and think, You should be attached to my lips by now; why aren’t you? Trust me, he’ll read your thoughts like they’re projected above your head on a wide-screen.”
Hm… I don’t know about this one. It seems like if you’re giving a guy a crazy, unblinking stare, he’s most likely going to think, What’s up with Captain Bug Eyes? and back away slowly. That sample thought—“You should be attached to my lips by now”—and the title of this section of the article, “Eye Your Prey,” also give this piece of advice a seriously creepy vibe. Dailey sounds like she’s decided to make Samantha Jones her personal man-handling guru, which makes her suggestions seriously suspect.
And things just go downhill from here. Dailey’s next bit of wisdom is to “fake interest” in whatever the dude is talking about, since “no one cares about what anyone else has to say. They just don’t.” Ouch, man. Why bother chatting up a guy if you have to feign enthusiasm for whatever he’s talking about? How could you form a relationship with someone you find totally boring? This just sounds mean.
Finally, Dailey tells us what to do after we have sex with the dude (because you should have sex with him immediately, since “that’s pretty much all they want from you until they get to know you.” And presumably letting him get to know you is like, too time-consuming or something?): “Never exchange all your information. This is so incredibly important. Give him your name. Give him a fake cell number. In this age of the Internet, anyone can find you if they want to.”
See, if you do give him your real cell number, “he will call you.” But… isn’t that the point? How are the two of you going to go out on another date if he can’t get in touch with you? I’m not the only one who thinks this sounds totally bizarre, right?
Maybe this article is actually supposed to be brilliant satire, and I’m too dense to recognize it. Maybe the title is just a little misleading; if it were changed to “How to Date Like a Douchebag,” or maybe “How to Score a One-Night Stand,” these tips would make a lot more sense. As advice for the date-seeking woman, though, Dailey’s piece falls flat. It’s also kind of offensive to guys, since in her eyes, “dating like a dude” means acting like a total a**hole. Thanks but no thanks, Marie Claire.