In honour of Valentine’s Day, I present…

Last Friday my friend bet me a jumbo sized-jar of peanut butter that I couldn’t make someone fall in love with me in seven days.

Earlier that day I’d read this article and had filed it away in my head under ‘Interesting Topics To Bring Up When I’m Lamenting My Lack Of Love Life’. Then wine happened and I became convinced I could make someone fall in love with me (read: make all boys pay for being meanies (see below)). So I loudly insisted that the theory was sound and foolproof and even if it wasn’t what could be the harm in trying? To which my friend replied: “It’s a stupid theory because how are you supposed to convince someone to stare into your eyes for four minutes without them backing away slowly, making no sudden movements?” Only vodka had happened to her, so it was more like: “S’shtupid ‘cos no one wantsh to look at you for agesh.”

This isn’t happening. It’s now Friday; my last option for being social is the Student’s Union, and if there’s one place that’s not conducive to deep and meaningful conversation and unbroken eye contact, it’s the Student’s Union on a Friday night.

But I do think that this could actually work. Not least because it’s happened to me. Way back in early October, when I was still finding my feet at university, I wound up at a salsa taster session.

I hadn’t been intending to go anywhere that night: I’d actually been out every other night that week and meant to go to bed early. I got a text from someone I’d met a few days before the start of term, asking if I wanted to try salsa with her and her friends. I said yes, because I was feeling a little lonely and bored and because it was salsa dancing.

We all danced in a circle, swapping partners every few steps. And then I found myself dancing with a guy who wasn’t exactly the greatest dancer in the world, but who had a cute smile and who seemed happy to talk.

And when they said the session was over, we happened to still be dancing together. He asked if I’d like to dance some more. I said yes. We went outside to talk and found we had a bunch of stuff in common. He bought me a drink. He put his number in my phone and made me promise to text him. We spent half the night making unbroken eye contact and talking about our lives.

Of course, we texted. The next night, I went to the SU. He’d said he’d be there and it’d be great to see me. I found him, we kissed. Nothing more.

After that, things were hectic and we just texted for a few days. Then it tailed off. Clearly, things were going nowhere.

Only by that time, I was convinced that I really liked him. I had a full-blown schoolgirl crush. It lasted pretty much the rest of the term, until I decided that nothing was ever going to come of it and I was only debasing myself if I continued to keep half an eye out for him at every.

Then I discovered the study, and of course I realised what had happened. All that talking, all that eye contact for one night and the floodgates had opened. I was a walking ball of oxytocin. Not least because it had been a while (a very long while) since a guy had paid me real attention.

He was the first but there were more. The upshot is, I came out of my first term a little emotionally battered, but full of fresh resolve to up my social game. No longer will I let guys walk all over me in the vain hope that I might get something more than a few texts and a date out of it. I’m going to be me and if you can handle my personality, you can have a go at getting to know me.


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