Minus the City – Robbing the Cradle

Allie Geiger

May-December romances are pretty common on the Colgate campus. There is something easier about dating someone from a different grade, especially as one moves into higher rings of academia.

There are a lot of advantages to inter-class dating, as long as one obeys the “campfire” rule. It’s a lot easier to arrange dates around one thesis schedule and a set of sophomore labs than two senior research projects. Also, most of the Class of ’09 are bored or already know the rest of their class.

Furthermore, the relaxed attitudes of the younger mate can help relieve the angst a lot of seniors are harboring around this time. Most seniors and their younger paramours don’t frequently interact on a day to day basis, as there are probably few shared classes and friends. This helps to avoid some of the “confined” feelings and pressure some people experience in exclusive relationships. Clearly, there are tremendous advantages to dating someone outside your normal age range.

This holds as long as the previously mentioned “campfire” rule is followed: leave everything as you found it. In a relationship with a large age disparity, there is a clear imbalance of power. The older person has to worry about finding a job in this economic shitstorm, finishing a senior thesis and trying to find the guts to finish out a four-year run at a top liberal arts university. In spite of these other distractions in a senior’s life, usually they are the “catch” in the relationship. It can be easy for the younger partner to feel neglected or played in a situation like this.

Thusly, it is important to follow the campfire-esque rules here:

1. Decide before jumping into something like this what the goal of the relationship is. This is not just a naked free-for-all. Whether this is a casual-but-exclusive or just a six month sexual jaunt, it should be decided beforehand. Do not promise anything that you cannot give.

2. Do not prey on freshmen. If you are going to engage with a freshman, you are not allowed to pick them up Monday night at the Jug. You are also not allowed to date any first-years before winter break. By this time, they know what’s up on campus and they won’t be at such a disadvantage.

3. Should the state of the relationship change, inform the other person immediately. Don’t let it fester and then dump the underclassperson the day before summer break. Do not toy with this person. That makes you a bad, bad senior and not worthy of the world you are going to storm in May. Leave no emotional scars.

4. Similarly, be respectful of this person’s body. Most seniors are more sexually aware and experienced than their younger counterparts. It is unfair to push their boundaries further than they want. Do not pressure anyone into kinky library sex. If they are into it, then full steam ahead! But if not, then you need to respect that as well.

5. Use a condom. For the love of everything holy, do not give anyone an STD or a pregnancy. That’s a pretty crappy way to end up freshman year. This is good general advice, and I haven’t harped on it in a while, so there ya go — wrap it up.