Matchomatics is emblematic of Ole Dating Malaise™

Look, I didn’t reach out to my matchomatics matches, and you probably didn’t either. It’s not our fault; it’s awkward to send out what’s essentially a cold email to a near-stranger. Neither compatible astrological charts nor our both being “Holland majors” inspired confidence in me that my matches and I would have any kind of a meaningful connection. 

Matchomatics might have the worst attempt-to-success ratio in creating romantic connections of any matchmaking enterprise on campus, but numbers seem pretty rough across the board. St. Olaf is a college full of people who are, in their own admission on Stoflirts, lonely, sad, and horny, and yet, very few of these lonely Oles ever end up finding each other. Why is that? Aren’t college campuses supposed to be the place for hedonistic hookups? At the very least good Christian colleges like ours are the place for ring-by-spring, right? 

I hope the tone makes it obvious that I don’t really want either of those dynamics to run college dating, but it does seem that Olaf students have a predisposition against actually finding these relationships — against actually sending emails to their matchomatics matches. Even as COVID-19 restrictions fade away and we return to parties and Pause dances, these events are more characterized by cliques of friends bumping into each other rather than any acquaintances — or strangers, if that’s your vibe — ever shooting their shot. 

To give my dime-store psychoanalysis of St. Olaf’s dating scene, it seems that there is a persistent fear of being judged cross-campus for asking someone out or hooking up. You can never really escape someone on St. Olaf’s campus. If one gets a bad reputation among a particular friend group, that could torpedo their chances for attaining the real desire of most Oles: avoiding conflict. 

If you want to seek love on this campus, in our low-social-battery pandemic environment, you can’t just twiddle your thumbs and hope someone will simply fall in love with you. And if you want to create a campus where love is possible, you need to realize that sometimes, when people shoot their shot, they miss, and that’s not always a moral issue. Overcome the conflict aversion and the rumor mill, and go make connections honestly and authentically.

 

graham10@stolaf.edu

 

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Lila Graham
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