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Dating in and around university is a minefield of uncertainty and bad dates. Our diligent reporter solicited tales of dating catastrophe and assembled them here for your amusement: a sure guide to “not finding your soulmate in Halifax.”

During frosh week you can douse your body in flour and egg yolk, drink enough beers until you ride your bike home but find out in the morning you actually rode a goat, or get a ticket for jaywalking. During such a majestic week of wonder when anything seems possible, one might develop the sense that love is near.

Well, it's not. Love left the bar at the moment you hoisted your tender hips upon the shoulders of the nearest pub-crawler and let his friend do a body shot out of your navel.

The thing about frosh week, or university---or may I be so bold to say life in general---is that people don't usually fall in love. Instead they go on embarrassing dates. However, thanks to the sorcery of pseudonyms and I am a brazen journalist, interested in writing to every student, green or ripe. I endeavour to drop a bomb of knowledge that will explode all over the version of you that saw Eat Pray Love in theatres three times (AKA the stifled romantic at heart). Because the truth is, it's fundamentally weird to write a how-to guide for falling in love. But how to not fall in love can be summarized anecdotally in 1,000 words or less.

(All material provided by friends of friends, and with their names being protected, all musings take place in the first person.)

Just the two of us

When your date calls 20 minutes before date night to ask if it's cool to invite his best friend, don't say yes if it's not cool with you. Also, if you're suspicious your date is more into your friend than you it's OK to have the confidence to say when something bothers you. Being a third wheel on your own date night does not rule and it's not the best way to get to know someone. However, your date might be feeling shy, and want to bring a buffer for conversation. If you're not sure yet whether this might be your soulmate and want to give it a fair run, you angel, you, you could always roll with the punches. Call your friend too.

When your date gets arrested during dinner

It will not get better from here. Sorry. It definitely will not get better when you call your friend's mom to ask for advice. It will definitely, definitely not get better when you call your roommate's boyfriend who is in law school. It also totally won't get better when you call your date's brother because your date has sworn you to secrecy. Now, fair reader, I want to be clear this is not about regrets, it's about sage advice. So, here are some potential indicators that your date might get arrested one night during dinner:

1) You met him at Pizza Corner. Pizza Corner (Grafton and Blowers) is a really important place in Halifax's downtown scene where 'za crossroads collide and offer three different late-night options. However, just from personal experience, your soulmate usually isn't waiting there holding a slice of meat lover's at 3:14am.

2) He was not wearing shoelaces when you bumped into him at Just Us! for your morning coffee. What this means is that the cutie pouring non-fat milk into a double Americano spent the night in the drunk tank: a magical place where people travel to in the back of a large van, an honest place where your personal effects get returned in the morning. Shoelaces are considered a risk and are therefore removed before entering.

However, the fair trade French roast is delicious, and your server will definitely be cute.

Speaking of which...

Don't date the clientele

Now this is only a suggestion, experiences differ depending on your workplace atmosphere, your level of comfort and also how romantic it was when you first got hit on at work. But for the most part dating the regulars at your part time job might get awkward, because if they turn out not to be your soulmate you still have to see---and potentially serve them---all the time.

Go local

Sometimes "off-campus housing" means way off- campus and your date lives in Cole Harbour or something. There's nothing wrong with that, but if they're going to get drunk at dinner you don't want them to sleep on your futon for a couple reasons.

It will be weird in the morning and you might not have a crush on them anymore after you have to clean the bowl they threw up in. Just sayin'.

Never feel pressured to let a date stay at your house or dorm if you don't want to. I know you think they might be your soulmate but it's not your responsibility to monitor even your soulmate's alcohol intake. Instead, you can call Halifax Backpackers (2193 Gottingen Street, 431-3170) and see if there's a free bed. One night's stay is about the price of the dinner your date bought you.

Gnar harshers

Last but not least, your ideal mate is not someone who will harsh your gnar. Translation? Stay positive about falling in love, falling in like or falling into a relationship that is decent for three or four months that you learn from and move on. In school, out of school, it's important to remember how young you are. And in this generation of grown-up babies, we're all gonna be young forever, it looks like, so one bad date just isn't the end of the world.

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