Dear Dr. Lipschitz

Dear Dr. Lipschitz,

There’s this girl I’ve hooked up with a couple of times and have been seeing a lot, and I want to ask her out. But with so little time left in school, is it worth it? I’m really into her, but I’m just trying to weigh the benefits and costs.

—Waffling Until Summer Starts

Dear WUSS,

If you’re weighing costs-benefits, let’s look at this like a freshman in Micro. So if your life is a sunk cost — no, just kidding, I’m definitely taking Major English Poets, not Econ. But from an informal poll of the Davenport Dining Hall, 68% of respondents are optimists and say, “Why not?” Another 18% of respondents are defeatists and choose, “It’ll end in tears no matter what, so why not?” Overall, that’s an overwhelmingly positive reaction in favor of taking the metaphysical plunge.

There is the other option of enjoying each other’s company now, holding one another close in the throbbing sunlight of spring, with the knowledge that it’s short-term and perhaps things will rekindle in the fall. To that end, an anonymous source and SigEp brother confided, “Make sure you break it off though. There’s a 50-50 chance it’ll be you, so don’t suck.” This leaves you free to a summer of romping down cobbled avenues, wooing demure Florentine gymnasts, and shotgunning pizzas in the bliss of singledom.

Not that that ever happens. So if you do want to try a summer relationship, communication, as my ESL tutor says, is key. Be sure that the two of you are sufficiently well-adjusted to sit down and discuss expectations (no hookups on that Vermont cheese farm internship), boundaries (limit your drunk dials to two a week), and rate of progression (instead of letting it fester all summer, get your “I love you’s” out of the way early via tearful confession or over a romantic Wenzel).

Evaluate whether you two have compatible communication needs. Some people want constant texts from their main squeeze. This works if you both enjoy knowing what the other is up to 24/7 and can abide inane back-and-forths of: “how u bbygrl” and “gud papi workin on da vermont cheddar now, how was ur bath?” Otherwise, the wait-1.5x-length-of-time-it-took-them-to-text-back equation is a linear regression toward constant frustration and internalized resentment. Or something. By the time you reach the passive-aggressive read-and-don’t-respond, it might already be too late.

Although this brings up one more caution: avoid the pitfall of taking candid communication too far — that is, staying in and talking about your relationship until one of you throws up. Sometimes flying by the seat of your Nantucket Reds is fun. So, you know, be respectful, keep it in perspective, and enjoy yourself.

Oh, and if you’re a senior, disregard all of this. What the hell are you thinking?

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