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Monday, June 26, 2006

Finding a Mate

A female professor once told a story of a student who asked her out on a date. After she politely declined, the student asked her if she could be his advisor. Apparently it is harder to find a spouse than to get a Ph.D.

Which brings me to a question asked by a commenter on my Two Body post: How is a CS grad student to find love?

I get asked this question surprisingly often, even though I have been out of "the game" for nearly two decades. My best advice: Find some activity you like and join a club on or off campus that matches that activity. For example, concert band, contra dancing, running, skiing, sailing, etc. You'll meet other lonely people who share at least one interest with you.

I was never good at bars, clubs and blind dates. People like us don't always make a good first impression; that's why it's best to have an opportunity to make friends over time before asking someone out.

I missed the whole on-line dating scene. I have known some people who have had great success with them and others who haven't. Sunday the Chicago Tribune highlighted a new dating site Geek2Geek. Only for the desperate.

Does it matter whether you date an academic or not? Not really, just find the right person for you. Making a two-body problem is often harder than solving it.

20 comments:

  1. My best advice: Find some activity you like and join a club on or off campus that matches that activity. For example, concert band, contra dancing, running, skiing, sailing, etc.

    Does it matter whether you date an academic or not? Not really, just find the right person for you.

    But what if you have standards?

    You'll meet other lonely people who share at least one interest with you.

    Or dignity?

    Making a two-body problem is often harder than solving it.

    You don't say.

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  2. > People like us don't always make > a good first impression


    Why is that ?
    I'm missing something ...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I met my wife over the internet, a dating site even. There are many out there... match.com, eharmony, okcupid, the onion personals. The site I used specialized with vegetarians. There are other special sites based on religion if that's an important factor, et cetera.

    Clubs? Bars? Come on dude, that's so 90s. From what I've seen of my fellow UCSD grads, the dating scene does not exist. Even the alpha males need to go online.

    Meeting someone first over email, then IM, then the phone... you really get to know them, even when you've only seen a couple pictures of what they look like. It took me four tries online to find the right one.

    The bottom line: Online dating is for everyone now, not just desperate geeks.

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  4. "A female professor once told a story of a student who asked her out on a date. After she politely declined, the student asked her if she could be his advisor."

    Well, did she agree to be the student�s advisor???

    ReplyDelete
  5. MacNeil is right.

    Lance Fortnow should have investigated the Web-based person-to-person marketplace of bachelors and bachelorettes (like Match.com).

    Thanks for this great blog and thanks to all the commentators.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lance, what about adding an on-line dating page in your weblog?

    ReplyDelete
  7. >>Well, did she agree to be
    >>the student�s advisor???

    I would like to know, also. And if they get together after that... *sigh*

    ReplyDelete
  8. OK, I'll go ahead and throw the first dating profile up here.

    LOOKING FOR MILLIONAIRE WIFE. GOOD LOOKING, VERY HANDSOME, INTELLIGENT, GOOD BULL THROWER, ETC. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS FIND ME, YOU LUCKY WOMEN...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Regarding "People like us don't always make a good first impression":

    People like who? If you mean all computer scientists, then you're obviously painting with far too broad a brush -- and perpetuating a stereotype to boot. You said something like this before about computer scientists "lacking social skills". If you're uncomfortable in social situations, I sympathize ... but why blame it on your profession?

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  10. The suggestion of a CS professor when I was a grad student was "go to Psychology department seminars." I'm not sure that anyone found that to be useful advice though...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Regarding "People like us don't always make a good first impression":

    People like who? If you mean all computer scientists, (...)


    I think Lance just meant all complexity theorists

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  12. BTW, FOCS accepted papers are out on the FOCS homepage.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Can't find it. Why don't you provide
    a link, please.

    ReplyDelete
  14. For what it's worth:

    I tried online dating *and* going to psychology department seminars...

    I met my future wife at an academic conference... You meet a lot of interesting, intelligent people that way.

    (Although if you go to a conference looking for that, I imagine it's almost to best way to guarantee that you won't find it!)

    ReplyDelete
  15. When I was in college I met all the girls I dated (and my now wife) in non-major classes. Of course, a grad student doesn't have to take a bunch of these types of classes.

    So it isn't much more than saying I agree with Lance, join a club or some non-technical group where you can meet people.

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  16. Hey, easiest solution: go in for an arranged marriage :-)

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  17. Hey, the easiest solution ever.

    Singles, let's meet at 12:00 eifel tower (eating bananas) 15 june.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I wouldn't give up on the dating sites quite so easily. I have had great success with one or two, particularly those catering for the geeks.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Meeting someone first over email, then IM, then the phone... you really get to know them, even when you've only seen a couple pictures of what they look like. It took me four tries online to find the right one.

    ReplyDelete