Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Why aren’t more Carls dating?

<lass="page section layoutArea column" title="Page 1">

Dating at Carleton is difficult to accomplish: time is always running short, it’s too awkward to ask people out and it’s a small campus.

“I think the biggest thing is that the time isn’t there. If I were to commit myself to a relationship, I’d be giving up so much: friendships, schoolwork—I’ve done the math, and it just doesn’t work with my schedule. You have to put in the time to know if you’re compatible,” said one male student ’18.

“Committing is a huge risk and I don’t want to make those sacrifices when there are other ways I could spend my time,” he said and he’s not the only one with a similar sentiment.

“It’d probably be easy to complain about the Carleton dating scene—to say that all the good people are already ‘taken,’ no one here gives you that spark, or everyone’s a friend of a friend so it’s messy,” said a female student ’18. “I think the more basic problems are that being straightforward is difficult, vulnerability is scary and we’re all really tired, stressed and hungry all the time,” she explained.

Is it possible to find a happy medium between “Carleton married” and hookup culture? How about a simple date? Gretchen Fernholz ’16 and Emma Nicosia ’17 thought there should be a solution, so they set out to solve the problem themselves in the best way they knew how: a matchmaking service called Carl Matches. “I think there’s a common sentiment on this campus that there’s a real lack of formal dating culture on this campus,” said Ferholz.

“We asked our friends and they agreed with us, so we started Carl Matches together and got our first batch of matches,” added Nicosia.

They created a database of potential matches with a Google form, asking questions such as “What is your ideal night?” “In an uncomfortable situation, how are you likely to respond?” and “How many pairs of sweatpants do you own?” Matches receive an email with their date’s name and where they’ll be going: a bar in town, maybe, or Blue Monday for some casual conversation over coffee. Said Nicosia, “Our goal is to normalize dating culture on this campus and make it so we aren’t necessary. We want to start conversations and get people more comfortable with the process of dating, which shouldn’t be a stressful thing. We keep emphasizing low-key, stress-free, fun dates.”

Tinder is another way some students have attempted to get into a dating scene on campus, explained one junior: “I got back from being abroad for a while, and I was single, so I started using Tinder on campus. I chatted with my matches and went on a few dates, but then I ended up meeting someone in real life while I was using Tinder.” The dating app is terrifying to some students because of the probability of running into someone they know, which the student confirmed, “You will definitely see people that you know on Tinder, and you just have to decide how you feel about that. Within my first two days using it, I saw four people I’d either dated or hooked up with. I’m okay with it, but not everyone will be.” This student has been in several casual relationships at Carleton, a rare feat. When asked how she accomplishes it, she replied, “I’m just very forward in my dating style! I don’t feel awkward asking people out, and if I like someone, I’ll go on a date with them. There’s nothing to lose by inviting someone to hang out with you.”

Regardless of the reasons, Carleton has a dating problem that many want to fix. The stress of a committed relationship is too much for some, but they also don’t want to only engage in weekend hookup culture. While Carl Matches is still a young service, Fernholz and Nicosia have hope for the future of Car-eton dating. “We’ve heard some positive feedback, a couple of repeat dates, or people who want to be matched again, but we’re always looking to make new matches,” said Fernholz. “What we’re trying to make is a collection of people who are single and looking! There are so many great people here, and we want them to meet and spend time with each other! Dating should be normal and fun at Carleton.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Carletonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *