Musical chairs dating
I mean, I’m a Scorpio,” Zheng said, joking about her skepticism.
Reinforcing the prominence of self-promotion, self-protection and partner evaluation that Clark described, the imminent need to uphold a particular image on campus becomes an obstacle for individuals seeking more than just a hookup.
Clark characterized the mutual fear of being vulnerable as one of the primary forces holding individuals back from initiating or pursuing a relationship.
“I feel as if we’re in an environment that just hates labels,” John Klingler ’22 said on romantic culture at Yale.
First, she stressed the prominence of self-promotion, in which individuals “strategically [present themselves] as a good communal relationship partner [in order] to win over the other person.” Clark went on to describe self-protection as a mechanism that prevents individuals from entering social situations and outlines the ways in which they, out of fear of rejection, protect themselves. If you’re willing to risk the pain of not being selected from a group, you have a better chance of forming a relationship. Partner evaluation then presents itself as the final component of the process of initiation, where an assessment on the compatibility of the selected counterpart is made. “Here at Yale, everyone is very focused on themselves and their goals.
Taking the first step, in Clark’s narrative, is crucial. “I’m interested in who’s willing to take the risk and who isn’t,” Clark explained. That’s not a bad thing per se, but I don’t think that is conducive to relationships.
In the fall semester, she taught a popular undergraduate psychology course called Psyc 126: “Attraction and Relationships.” The course explores the theoretical and empirical research on the spark of attraction, as well as the inter- and intra-personal processes involved in the formation and maintenance of close relationships.
“The point of the ‘Attraction and Relationships’ course is to highlight that there are scientific ways of studying these questions about love and relationships and attraction,” Hirsch said.
Devoting a set amount of time each week to Skype calls, Smith addressed the aforementioned sense of self-sacrifice and mutual emotional effort Yalies often avoid when it comes to relationships: “Last year, I had this great car that I bought, and when I decided that I was going to try and have a long-distance relationship, I sold my car and used that money to pay for flights,” she said.
When talking about the sense of obligation and responsibility that comes with being in a committed relationship, Klingler offered an alternative take on this campus convention: “If you’re actually dating somebody for four months and you wouldn’t call it serious, then what are you doing?
” Adding onto Zheng’s perspective on the obsession with personal image at Yale, Klingler reaffirmed his belief in defining a relationship. Not having to run around frantically fighting off others playing the game?
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” has long held individuals back from pursuing what might’ve, could’ve and probably would’ve been their “one true love.” You may think that the abundance of liquid courage flowing through campus would push more students to “shoot their shot,” but a study by Muehlenhard and Miller (1988) confirmed that only 3 percent of its participants would initiate in pursuit of a relationship with an attractive counterpart having no clue what their response might be.