1) How often do they bring up high school?
A) 1-3 times, and every story about high school seems to serve the explicit purpose of proving that they really had friends.
B) 4-6 times, including every club they participated in, summer job they worked, and the score they got on the ACT.
C) Why would they bring up high school?
2) Did they compliment you when you sat down?
A) Yes, and for good reason. You didn’t brave the sub-zero weather in this denim skirt for no recognition!
B) No, but they did stand up and shake your hand pretty aggressively.
C) Yes; they made weirdly assertive eye contact and praised a two-year-old article of yours that they found online.
3) Do you two have any plans for after this?
A) Yes — assuming this part gets less awkward, you plan to grab J.P. Lick’s tonight.
B) No, but he did bring up an art show that’s showcasing his work. Not sure if that was an invite, though.
C) Not right now, but you’ve both made it pretty clear that you don’t have anything going on after this, so you are definitely keeping your options open.
4) How did you two meet?
A) Tinder — they messaged you something super cute, and you decided to give them a chance.
B) He requested to connect with you on LinkedIn and suggested that you two meet for coffee sometime to chat about your work.
C) He reached out to you via your school email after finding your info on the Harvard Facebook.
5) What are they wearing?
A) Jeans and a pullover — cute and casual, but not sloppy.
B) Khakis and a sports jacket, which wouldn’t be awkward if you were wearing something other than your Harvard Athletics sweatshirt.
C) A button down and pants — pretty standard, but still stylish.
Mostly As - Date. You’re definitely on a date with this person. They might seem a little eager to please, but take that as a compliment! You already know you’re amazing, and it’s about time that you find someone who is this nervous about making a good impression.
Mostly Bs - Interview. Sorry, but there’s a 99 percent chance you have just found yourself in some sort of interview. Take inventory of any clubs you’re a part of: Is there anything this person thinks you could offer them? While this lack of romance may feel disappointing, take heart: As the interviewer, you have the power here. Nothing is stopping you from getting up and leaving right now.
Mostly Cs - Who knows? Okay, this person is hard to read. Maybe they’re looking for romance, maybe they want a new friend, maybe their plans for the summer fell through and they just really need a job. In the end though, does it really matter? This person is clearly interested in you in some capacity, and most dates are just sketchy social interviews, anyway.
Whether you love it or hate it, there’s a good chance you didn’t come to Harvard for the dating scene. If this coffee rendezvous proves unbearable, you can always comfort yourself with the prospect of going back to your dorm room to deconstruct every aspect of the interaction with your roommates. So don’t stress! Sit back, relax, and enjoy the incredibly awkward ride that is Harvard dating.