It's Valentine's Day, and Chandra S. Harrell '95 says she and her girlfriend, K. Noelle Tune '94, will probably go dancing tonight.
Tonight, in fact, will be a respite from the day-to-day routine of a Harvard relationship. Harrell says it's a rare night out, though their relationship is close.
"Everytime she looks at me, I can tell she loves me," Harrell says.
Despite the rewards of feeling loved, having a relationship at Harvard isn't always easy, Harrell and other students in relationships say. And it can be especially tough if the relationship, like Harrell's, crosses traditional barriers.
Harrell, for example, says she hasn't told her parents about the relationship, or the fact that she is gay. The hard part about not having told her family, Harrell says is that she is unable to share the woman she loves with the people who raised her.
And while Harrell says most of her Harvard friends are supportive, the lack of privacy can make any College relationship, particularly a gay or bisexual one, trying.
"The main difficulty I think in having a relationship at Harvard is you don't have a private life," says Rachel A. Cohen '94, who is bisexual.
Privacy, however, is only one of the trials andtribulations of having a romantic relationship atHarvard. Students interviewed say they alsoregularly have to deal with annoyed roommates anda lack of time caused by busy schedules.
And some relationships present more difficultproblems--particularly when religion, race orsexuality are factors in the romance.
Privacy and the difficulties posed bygroup living are an almost universal concern amongthose involved in relationships.
Montana C. Miller '96 says she met her fiance,Matthew Paulson '93, in the fall of her firstyear. Although Paulson is in France this year,privacy in the dorms was one of the most seriousproblems they faced last year.
"It [was] annoying to me when [my roommateswere] in my space," Miller says. "And it [was]annoying to them when I [was] never home because I[was] with Matt."
Some roommates are more accomodating thanothers. One of Miller's roommates, CharlotteKaiser '96, says she did not mind the situation.She says that she got along with Paulson and gaveMiller the single.
"Our lives were pretty independent of eachother, but [all the roommates] really liked Matt,"Kaiser says.
And in Paulson's room, privacy was virtuallyimpossible, Miller says.