4 Ways to Avoid the Fatal Mistakes of Dating at Business School

So many people go about dating the wrong way in business school.

During the first week, they crush on someone in their section, tell everyone about it, go out with that person and realize he/she is totally crazy, or just not a good fit.  By then, everyone at school knows that you lusted after “so-so” and will have that permanently etched in their mind. Is this really what you want?

Trust me, I’ve heard the craziest stories – from a guy trying to date three girls in his section at one time, to a girl hooking up with a guy and then meeting his “long-time” girlfriend at the winter ball and having to act as if nothing is wrong.  Business school is like high school – people talk and gossip, so don’t think your business won’t spread to the masses.

I do believe dating is possible at b-school.  There are some really cool and interesting people there – just go about it the right way with these tips:

1. Don’t hook up in public locations.  You know – the local bar, the school’s ski trip, etc.  I repeat – DON’T DO IT. Step away from the alcohol.  You will be the subject of everyone’s conversation the next day….and there may be photographs to prove it, too.  Plus, people may not admit it to your face, but they’ll think you are sloppy and put you in the bucket of “non-dating material”…not something you want.

2. Trust a select few.  You will meet a lot of people at business school and you’ll consider them all to be your friends but determine which ones really care about your well being and won’t spread your business.  We all gossip some, but your true friends will keep secret the story about you going on a date with the obnoxious i-banker that everyone hates.

3. Go on dates far away from school….far, far away.  I had lunch with a male friend a couple of times at school and found out that people assumed we were dating.  Imagine if we actually were dating, and we didn’t want anyone to know.  The rumor mill starts so quickly at b-school and people will start wondering if you are hooking up on the down-low when they see you having a drink together.  Play it safe and propose going to dinner at a restaurant on the other side of town.  It’s more relaxing because you won’t be worrying about who from school might see you.  Plus you get to explore the city together.

4. Ask your date for some discretion.   When you first start dating, you are just trying to get to know the other person.  You don’t need people labeling you as boyfriend/girlfriend.  Ask your date to keep things between you until you feel comfortable sharing it with the world.  Most likely, the sentiment will be mutual.  If you decide after a couple of dates that the two of you are not a fit, then you can stop seeing one another without having to explain it to the world.  And if you are a perfect pair, you’ve established a solid foundation to survive b-school.

- From a MBA who found love within the halls of b-school

Photo courtesy of dklimke (Flickr).

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About Love in the Halls

Love in the Halls is a recent MBA graduate who found love at business school. L.I.T.H. enjoys helping people understand that keeping your relationship on the DL at the outset helps it grow in the business school environment.