College Students Should Reinvigorate Dating

This past week, the Old Gold & Black tried something new. Our newspaper sponsored a blind date for two students to have a nice dinner out in downtown Winston-Salem, in which they had the opportunity to talk and get to know each other on a deeper level.

Although we originally conceived of this idea as a fun, entertaining feature for Valentine’s Day, the depth of interest we received suggests that we touched a nerve within the Wake Forest community. We received 57 applications — far more than we could have anticipated. In response to several of the application questions, which asked students about their ideal dates and dream romantic partners, we identified many themes and commonalities. In contrast to stereotypes of campus dating culture, which is often painted as impersonal, rushed and noncommittal, we found that many Demon Deacons yearn for genuine romantic connections with others. For example, students said that they sought to “meet someone new and form a connection,” to “have a delightful conversation with great food and a great woman,” and to meet “a friend, a lover, someone I can confide in.” In general, the applications we received emphasized the importance of genuine chemistry with another person as well as of personal characteristics such as intelligence, humor, compassion and honesty — traits that college students are occasionally accused of undervaluing.

Despite the patterns that were shown in the applications, it may often seem as if successful dating at Wake Forest requires getting an in at fraternity parties, and as a result, the Editorial Board believes that fewer students go on meaningful, one-on-one dates than they should.

These dates need not be extravagant or expensive — they could take the form of anything from a study session at Campus Grounds or Camino to a hike at Hanging Rock or movie at a/perture cinema downtown. 

Any activity that draws upon the interests of both daters and allows for genuine and thought-provoking conversation would help fulfill the desires of Wake Forest students to forge connections with others.

As for the Old Gold & Black, due to its popularity, we intend to reprise our blind date contest regularly in the future. Hopefully, we can pave the way for future #DeacsInLove, and even if not, for some memorable experiences shared between two people.

  • Hank Wordsworth

    You need to allow for individual differences. Some of us are not dating types. Formal dates, for example, aggravate my agoraphobia and so I require incredibly isolated, intimate “safe spaces” to enjoy companionship. Find me that space at Wake Forest (there are a few) and the Ray Charles lyric is applicable: “Baby, all I wanna to do is lay around and love on you.” Ironically, my best hope long-term is probably a militant feminist looking for a life-long house husband. And not just theoretically: “On the way back from your law office, baby, will you please swing by Food Lion and pick up some more beer. We’re almost out. Thanks.”

    • Marlowe.38

      Yes, always a challenge to find those kinds of safe spaces.