The Art of Modern-Day Romance

Dating, in the traditional sense, is virtually nonexistent today. Be it a result of mostly virtual interaction, or a lack of motivation on the part of millenials, dating is slowly becoming a thing of the past. It’s increasingly difficult to spend time with someone of interest, and, more than that, most people can’t recall the last time they went on a “real date.” The classifications of a real date have been blurred by the likes of “hanging out” or “let’s get together sometime” and are even further muddled by “going dutch” or “we just text … sometimes.” Most dating issues in our generation stem from the complications of continual communication and not responding quickly enough, such as when the person you’re trying to text won’t respond, and how that may mean they don’t like you anymore but you know they are still liking photos on Facebook so they’re not dead, and that’s just the beginning. Call me traditional, old-fashioned or what have you, but dating used to be a process by which you found someone you wanted to get to know better, then spent an evening together to determine whether you could stand to spend more evenings together. Usually the night included, but wasn’t limited to, some kind of activity and/or food and actual conversation sans smart phone.

As college students we have the rare opportunity to meet people in our demographic every single day. Perhaps we’re just a little rusty and need reminding, or maybe we never learned how to date or we just don’t even know places to go when we’ve finally found someone worth attempting to get to know. Right here, right now, is your step-by-step process and guide to dating in Salt Lake City.

Part One: Icebreaker

This can be one of the most difficult parts of the dating process: the dreaded initial conversation starter. What do you say? How do you say it? What if they’re already dating someone? What if you say something stupid? What if they reject you? What if everyone always rejects you and you die alone with a house full of cats? What if? With all of this negativity swirling around in your mind, it can be hard to come off cool and confident and someone worth spending an evening with. In an attempt to inspire you to go out and kill it during this step of the dating process, let’s talk about lions for a moment. A lion, one of the most powerful, fast and just plain badass animals out there, only needs to have about a 30 percent success rate of kills to survive. So say a lion asks 10 gazelles over for dinner, and only 3 oblige — the lion is still going to survive. The lion isn’t afraid of rejection. The lion was rejected 7 times, yet the lion is as cool and confident as it gets. Rejection is just a part of the circle of life. Take the chance, talk to them. Channel your inner lion. School is one of the easiest settings to communicate in. If they’re sitting next to you, ask them if you can borrow a pen, even if you already have one. Or drop your pen and have them pick it up, for crying out loud. Do something and open up the interaction for communication. If you meet them somewhere on campus, ask what they’re studying and begin a conversation that way. If you’re standing in line at the bookstore, ask them what textbooks they’re buying and for what class. Ask for a piece of gum if you can’t think of anything else. My favorite icebreaker (which tends to have a higher success rate than a even a lion’s 30 percent) is asking someone if they’d like to study together sometime. That opens up the conversation for a phone number. And once you have a phone number, the ice has been broken and the waters of conversation can flow freely.

Part Two: Communication

So you’ve secured a phone number and endured your “Circle of Life Percentage of Rejection.” Typically it’s time to utilize your resources and get to know this person. An entire manual could be written on what can be expected from two people trying to get to know each other with all of the different mediums we have available to us. A good rule of thumb is to refrain from Facebook stalking them into the wee hours of the night, but hey, we all end up doing it. In order to avoid the awkward “what’s up” and “not much” texting banter, try to determine what level of communication you can handle with this person. First there are formalities: things like how old they are, what they’re studying in school and what their interests are. The second tier of conversation is fun facts: things about yourself, quirks, extracurricular activities, etc. And finally, if the conversation is going well enough, feel free to move into the third tier: personal life. Talk about your family, hopes and dreams, whatever you feel like. This is a good time to stress the importance of being you while interacting with this person and letting the conversation flow naturally. It’s easiest during the early process of texting and Instagram/Facebook/Twitter stalking, to suggest a time to meet up and talk in real life. Once you have a day set, it will free up the conversation more leading up to the date and also after, as (hopefully) you’ll have experiences and jokes to reminisce about.

Part Three: The Date

Once you determine a day when your schedules line up, all that’s left to decide is where to go. Which often results in an “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” conversation that could impact the potential for your person of interest to respond positively to your request. Therefore, I have done the work for you: Here are three places in Salt Lake City where you can attempt to get to know someone based on your level of dating or interest in that person.

Beginner: One of the simplest, most non-invasive ways to ease into someone’s life is to ask them to coffee. Tulie Bakery on 7th South is tucked just below campus and is a quick and easy way to meet up, have a pastry, converse and then return to class fulfilled at the prospect of seeing them again. Or, if it went badly, it wasn’t an entire night chained to them with money spent and hours lost you’ll never get back. Either way, Tulie is an easy-going, comfortable environment with plenty of desserts to choose from, sure to please any palate.

Tulie Bakery
Mon – Fri: 7:30 a.m. — 6 p.m.
Sat: 8 a.m. — 6 p.m.
Sun: 8 a.m. — 5 p.m.
863 E 700 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84102

Intermediate: Should you feel you can stand to spend an evening with this person but maybe aren’t quite sure how well it will go, 9th and 9th offers a charming evening filled with Gelato from Dolcetti followed by a walk down the street and maybe even a movie at The Tower Theatre. Dolcetti’s gelato is the perfect preface to a night of fun in an area of Salt Lake with different shops to visit and plenty of activities to be a part of.

Dolcetti Gelato
Mon – Thurs: 11 a.m. — 10 p.m.
Fri – Sat: 11 a.m. — 11 p.m.
900 S 902 E
Salt Lake City, UT 84105

Advanced: Alright, so you’re interested in this person. Really interested. You’re ready to pull out all the stops and want to make a great impression. Finca is your new best friend. With tapas, asador, cocktails and enough entrées to make anyone melt, Finca is a top-notch evening destination that hardly any potential dates can say no to. Don’t forget to order the Arroz con Leche.

Mon – Thu: 11 a.m. — 10 p.m.
Fri – Sat: 11 a.m. — 11 p.m.
Sun: 10 a.m. — 9 p.m.
1291 S 1100 E
Salt Lake City, UT

With this information you are armed and ready to return to the dating world that used to exist before complications brought about by technology. Be courteous, be respectful, be yourself. And remember, young lion, you are confident. You are cool. And you only need to be successful 30 percent of the time. Enjoy.

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Copyright 2018