Among the many Harvard-related clichés is our lack of dating scene. Dating at Harvard is like a unicorn: you've heard of it, you've read about it, and you’ve probably dreamed about it, but chances are you've never seen it. And there’s probably a reason for that. If you're lucky enough to score one of these mythical "date" things, but quickly discover that the dream turns out to be a nightmare, FM is here to help. Here, we present eight sure-fire ways to get yourself out of this predicament. Fast.
1. The Classic Approach
Get one of your friends to give you a call half an hour into the date with an "emergency." If you are an iPhone owner, consider yourself lucky and make use of the various fake call apps available. UHS is a great name to drop during this phone conversation. Norovirus is another key term. If you are really desperate, take the exaggerated route and put an imaginary best friend in an imaginary car accident. You'll need to go big in order to go home.
2. The Alcoholic Approach
If you're of age and find yourself at a locale that provides liquor, make the bad date worth your while and order a drink—or five. Everyone, including you, gets more interesting after a couple of shots. Who knows, maybe after two rounds of Venus in Furs at Upstairs on the Square, you might actually discover your ability to juggle silverware. Nothing says free entertainment like a drunk girl who juggles.
3. The Dining Hall Approach
Plenty of "dates" at Harvard happen in dining halls. The easiest way to get out of these is to stage a reunion with your blockmates, linkmates, or those random acquaintances you haven't spoken to since freshman year, and have them crash the event: the more, the less painful.
4. The Caffeine Approach
Since Lamont Café seems to be the social center of Harvard, especially during freshman year and exam season, you may find yourself on a bad date here. If this is the case, march right over to the counter and order four espresso shots, citing "midterms" as the reason. Take these in front of your date at lightning speed, and wait patiently until you start shaking like a washing machine and your date starts scurrying toward the door.
5. The T Approach
If the date takes place near the T (think Pinkberry, Starbucks, or Au Bon Pain), slap yourself on the forehead and exclaim that you have forgotten about a "thing" you needed to do in Boston. Hop on the T and get off at Park Street. The beautiful landscape of Boston can wash off the scarring memory of any bad date.
6. The Political Approach
The great thing about Harvard is that people are really passionate about things. The great thing about that is that it is very easy to drive people crazy with opposing views. If your date is a vegetarian member of PETA, casually reveal that you own multiple fur coats and that your bag is made out of stingray leather. Watch them turn purple and rush out the door before you finish that red velvet cupcake.
7. The Crazy Approach
Start talking about your troubled relationship with your mother, your trust issues, and your low self-esteem. Randomly burst into tears. If you can't cry on cue, the least you can do is frown, crinkle your forehead, or fake a few facial spasms to scare your date off.
8. The Shopping Approach
Suggest that your date join you for a quick walk down Brattle Street and stop at American Apparel to pick up some things. If you are a guy on a date with a straight girl, make a beeline for the neon-colored clothing rack and say, "You know, lately, I have been really into neon colors and sequins." If you are a girl on a date with a straight guy, pick out something that is ridiculously oversized, and comment, "You know, I have a really good feeling that this is the year I become a mother."