SEXetera: The big D

Let’s talk about dating.

I know it’s terrifying. Just the thought of opening up Tinder on a college campus makes me want to never leave my room. But, here are a few simple tips that can help make the experience run smoothly.

Well, as smooth as meeting a stranger at an Applebee’s in a rundown strip mall can be.

Many people will start talking on one of the multitude of dating apps and begin asking what they believe are important questions.

“What’s your favorite hobby?”

“Do you have any siblings?”

“Do you have a secret life?”

“Is a PopTart a sandwich?”

And yes, these are important questions, but when it comes time to ask the questions required for compatibility, they either ignore them, or get too nervous to ask.

I’m going to break down these questions and why they are important.

P.S. if you don’t think a PopTart is a sandwich then we can’t be a thing. Your loss.

Let’s set the scene.

You get most of the way through the date without them asking for pictures of your feet or talking about how they collect human teeth. They haven’t even asked for the waitress’s number and tip her a full 20 percent. They’ve shown that they aren’t actually just wet human garbage.

Great! Maybe this person is an actual contender for a partner. Now that we’ve established this, there is a very important question you must ask them.

“What are you looking for?”

This may seem forward, but I promise it’s not. It’s so important to ask this because if both parties aren’t looking for the same thing, there is sure to be pain and hurt feelings later down the line.

If you are looking for a relationship, you want to find someone else who is looking for a relationship – it’s that simple. Even if you’re super into the person you’re on a date with, you can’t change their wants.

You are setting yourself up for pain if you think that your potential match will “change their mind.” There is nothing worse than stringing yourself along in hopes of something serious, even though your interest clearly stated that they wanted something casual.

It’s also important to not string someone else along, so be clear and upfront with what you want. Don’t say you want one thing when you actually want something completely different. Relationships work best when both parties are on the same page.

Honesty is key.

Say you both are looking for a relationship – there is another question you should ask them.

“How do you feel about monogamy/polyamory?”

Polyamory is the term for dating multiple people – and I don’t just mean sleeping with multiple people – I mean having romantic relationships with multiple people.

This is a romantic practice that is completely OK, and people should not be shamed for it. However, some people are not interested in multiple partners and want someone who feels the same way.

Don’t feel uncomfortable asking these questions. The best policy is to be straightforward. Ask your date what they want, and tell them what you want.

Let them know that a PopTart IS a sandwich.

It is the season of love after all.

[Editor’s note: Due to the unfortunate stigma surrounding women discussing sex, the author of this column has requested to use the pseudonym “Kay Ann.”]

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