Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Dr. Love’ prescribes healthy blend of relationships, hookups

In the middle of Northwestern’s allegedly dismal dating scene, “Dr. Love” urged students Sunday night to embrace a middle ground between serious relationships and hookups.

Dr. Love, also known as Dr. Wei-Jen Huang, a clinical psychologist and assistant director for outreach at Counseling and Psychological Services, was joined by eight student panelists in McCormick Auditorium at Norris University Center as he attempted to shed light on the relatively unexplored realm of dating at NU.

“I think people here take dating overly seriously,” he said. “We are so afraid that dating, that committing, is to limit your options. We don’t see the reward, we see the potential loss.”

Huang said dating between students does not have to be serious, but rather it can progress slowly in stages.

“I don’t think enough people stand up for just going out and having fun with someone,” said Matthew Barbour, a Weinberg senior and student panelist.

Some of the panelists said people date less at NU than at other schools, because students are focused on their careers and spend a lot of time on other activities.

“It’s hard to prioritize when you sacrifice yourself for a relationship and when you put your own goals first,” said Sarah Creighton, a Weinberg senior.

As a result some people see hooking up as a convenient way to get what Huang called “extras.” He said students also frequently turn to hookups because they are hesitant to open up to someone and risk rejection.

“Hooking up is safe,” Huang said. “To seriously date is kind of scary.”

But it’s necessary to take that risk, Huang said, because the benefits of hooking up are short lived.

“Unless a person is vulnerable, you’re not going to get the joy,” he said. “You’re not going to get the satisfaction.

Huang also cited studies indicating couples who hook up or cohabitate are more likely to experience lower sexual satisfaction, relationship violence and infidelity.

“People are made for long-term attachment,” he said. “When we talk about dating, you need to find out the kind of people you would like to spend your life with.”

So how can NU students find someone to spend their lives with? Huang said on some level, it’s inevitable.

“When you get together a group of young men and young women with romance on their minds, with similar IQs, stuck together in a couple square miles for four years, things happen,” he said.

The panelists had their own advice. Their suggestions ranged from subtly asking to borrow a pen to confronting a person directly.

“I think there’s something really flattering about a direct approach,” Barbour said. “If you don’t have the balls to ask me out, you don’t deserve me.”

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Dr. Love’ prescribes healthy blend of relationships, hookups