Is It OK To Flirt In The University Library?
Source: Michigan State University
Yes, your university place gives you the chance to learn and gain qualifications you will need to boost your career options. But it does far more than that. It’s a time to develop independence, and learn about a different style of living outside your family home. You’re also sure to be aware that student life is a lot of fun, and many people find partners and start long-standing relationships at university. And whether or not this is your aim, university life will bring you into regular contact with students of a similar age and interests. So there will soon be a strong social side to your university life. That means your number one social induction lesson is likely to be flirting in the university library.
Flirting is fine, between those who want to flirt. But take your time and don’t make assumptions. Most students in your university library are there to work – so they’ll take a dim view of others who are creepy or just want to fool around. Your newly arrived fellow students will also be not too sure of themselves, and will be expecting to meet new people.
Most of these new people will become friends or acquaintances, and there won’t necessarily be any romantic interest. So remember that many of those you meet may just be showing politeness, which you should not mistake for a willingness to have a little fun. However, if someone has the time and wants to chat, then the library may be a good place to find them. And even if the flirting game seems a lot like playing casino online games, you won’t get lucky unless you try.
Breaking the ice
‘Be yourself’ can still be tough advice if you’re not sure how things may go. But you should at least try to be original and keep well away from Neanderthal chat-up lines. You know someone you find attractive is, like you, on a course. So you have some common ground to start with.
Common academic interests will get you started, and give you some idea about how keen the other person is to spend time talking to you. But it’s only when the conversation moves on from the ‘day job’ you both share that you’ll know whether there’s any extra-curricular mutual interest you both may want to explore.
One signal that you may be entering flirting territory is if your would-be love interest is happy to share a coffee with you. Or perhaps may even accept an invitation to go to some coffee shop outside the campus for that coffee.
Interest doesn’t have to mean commitment
If your flirting is starting to be successful, and you’re both beginning to get to know each other beyond the study/course environment, it’s time to remind yourself what you, and that other person, may be looking for. Naturally, you’re probably not going to start off as star-crossed lovers, but you should be aware that people may be looking for different levels of involvement.
A one-night stand, or some related form of brief encounter, is fun while it lasts. But only if it’s a mutually acceptable arrangement. Those who just want to have fun won’t want to be saddled with someone who gets all schmaltzy or intrusive, just as someone looking to form a relationship won’t be impressed by social butterflies who only live for the moment.
As with so many other challenges, take your time and you’re less likely to get burned and end up disappointed.
Friends and lovers
As a male student, you may have several girls in your group that you know very well. They’re fun to be with and may be very important friends. But they are ‘buddies’ and their gender is often (fairly) irrelevant. So if you want to change this kind of relationship to something else, then you need to tread carefully. Don’t just start coming on to her, because she won’t have thought about you in that way. Instead, try to spend some time alone with her so she can start to realise you think of her as a woman, and not just as one of the gang.
The same goes for girls. Your male student friends may be so used to you as part of the group that they are (almost) totally unaware you’re female. So if you want to develop a certain friendship into a bonding, you’ll have to do a little prompting. Work on your charisma and drop the odd remark or two which will make him realise there is something cool about you, and that you may have more to offer than he has realised.
What you want vs what you need
If you’re in the habit of sending out messages you don’t want commitment, that’s exactly what you’ll get. But if you change your mind, or if you’ve always been searching for a special person, take care how you go about it. It takes far more than wanting someone special to get them. So, rather than just looking for love, focus on living a life of fun and fulfilment at university. You’ll be surprised at how often that means love finds you.
Being turned down is part of the game
Try not to take refusals too personally. If someone has the courage and good sense to say they are not ready for an involvement with you, there may be dozens of reasons why. So accepting that not everyone will want to flirt is part of the game, and also helps to avoid any awkward moments as well as the real risk of a more serious rejection when one partner finally realises they have made a big mistake.