Pride and Prejudice: Dating @ Brown

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Hello Blogosphere! My name is Isaiah Frisbie and I am honored to be the writer for Pride and Prejudice. As a freshman myself, I came to Brown with a number of questions, many of which were answered within a matter of weeks while others remain open-ended. Perhaps one of the more enduring questions, one that may continue to be answered throughout the entirety of my Brown career, is how my own sexuality will affect my college experience. So, I have taken it upon myself to use this blog to contribute any kind of insight that I can about LGBTQ life at Brown and hopefully, in some way, help any student, prospective or otherwise, put some of those nagging worries to rest.

Yes, we all knew this was coming. So we might as well just accept it and get through it with as few scars and psychological issues as possible. Right?

Dating at Brown…What am I saying? Dating in general…but in special reference to Brown.

I’ve been at Brown now for almost two months and I have already noticed a few things about dating and what is referred to the “hookup culture” on campus. Although I will spare you all the gruesome details-gruesome not as in explicit but rather disappointing- I will admit to the fact that I have, somehow in my short time here, had an experience in the college dating department.

Though it didn’t turn out as I had hoped, I’m nonetheless grateful that it happened because I was able to walk away from the ordeal with a few lessons in mind.

Here are some of the things I learned:

1) There are many…MANY fish in the sea. 

I wasn’t sure how to phrase this without sounding like I was objectifying the entire male student body. Though I’m originally from California, a beacon of progressiveness, I was one of the few openly gay students on campus and thus the dating market was in limited supply. However, this is not the case at Brown. Let’s see, how do I put this? … There is quite a significant LGBTQ population at Brown and so finding someone who perhaps “catches your eye” will not be an issue.

Why do I mention this?

I address this because sometimes, as in my case, the fact that there are now so many people who could potentially show interest in you and you in them is overwhelming. Sometimes it can even delude you into the false assumption that with so many possible individuals with whom something could develop, one might as well start looking.

If you are interested in someone, by all means pursue it. However, dating and finding a possible candidate or candidates for one’s affections is not the sole nor the highest priority once one finds themselves on a college campus.

2) Get to know the person before committing to any kind of relationship. 

A month is not enough time to get to know someone. I will say it again. A MONTH is not enough. To any sane human being, this would seem apparent. If I read something like this, even I would roll my eyes and say “duh!” However, when it comes to developing friendships, bonds can form rather quickly and rather intensely, making it seem as if mutually pursuing something more with another person is absolutely justified.

Of course, the fact that friendships often form quickly here is a beautiful thing. I myself, feel that many of the friendships I’ve formed, friendships that have existed less than sixty days, are not only incredibly strong but will only grow stronger. However, beginning a relationship with someone is an entirely different scenario. No, none of this is meant to scare anyone or say that one’s initial perceptions of someone are always incorrect. I’m only saying that a relationship is a commitment and first impressions can be misleading. In any and all cases, just remember it’s always better to make sure one really knows a person before making such a commitment.

3) You will find someone. 

Look. The college experience in its entirety, especially the transition into it, is an entirely new and potentially, if not usually, frightening time in a student’s life. Especially as a first-year, there are so many obligations to tackle and novelties to decipher that the first few months are already overwhelming enough without adding the stress that comes from balancing a relationship. If it happens and one can balance everything, that’s spectacular and exceptionally impressive. It happens. I’m sure it does. It is completely possible. I’m not, in any way, trying to insinuate that it isn’t.

I’m saying that if you’re one of the perhaps many potential or even current students that want a relationship or don’t necessarily feel that you need one but feel as though you should be feeling this way, take a moment to pause. My warning is not against relationships in the first year or even trying something out with someone you’re interested in. My warning is directed towards those individuals who feel as though dating is something to stress over or feel that they have to consciously look for a relationship because they consider it that important.

Don’t worry. As a first year, there are so many things to juggle that, more likely than not, you won’t have time to legitimately worry about your dating life. However, if you are, it (dating/finding someone) will happen. Don’t try to force it. Don’t focus solely on seeking it out. Focus on the transition you’re experiencing at that very moment. Learn where your classes are. Learn where you like to get food. Learn your work schedule and sleeping patterns. These are all things that are vital to one’s degree of self-sufficiency in college and thus must be understood. Dating isn’t one of those. Yes, it can be very important but it’s also not a bad idea to focus on yourself in the beginning. The relationship you’re craving will come naturally, without you having to consciously dwell or make it happen.

It’ll be okay. My best advice is, please forgive the cliche, be yourself and the right people will gravitate toward you.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about what I should post next, please don’t hesitate to email me at isaiah_frisbie@brown.edu.

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