Students find relationships at parties, hook-ups at bars

Published 2007-08-28T00:00:00Z”/>


Taylor Flores

The end of summer still leaves chances for hot fall flings.

Welcomed by warm nights, long days and new faces, Chico State students have many possibilities for meeting potential partners through multiple venues.

Chico is a “great mating milieu” with incredible opportunities to get involved in the college mating game, said Edward Vela, a Chico State psychology professor.

The majority of college students are motivated toward long-term relationships but are interested in short-term hook-ups, he said.

There is no “perfect person” or “soul mate,” merely several potential “right persons” in multiple locations, Vela said.

Students are finding these relationships, dates and quick nightly hook-ups through three common threads: classes, friends and the bars.

Finding previous relationships through friends, Chico State senior Mackenzie Seaman is staying single while in Chico, she said.

Seaman isn’t involved in the relationship world because “dating in Chico has a way of ruining relationships,” she said.

In a town with “party scene” written in permanent marker across it, there are too many temptations for relationship failure, she said.

“Chico is a party place not a dating place,” Seaman said. “It’s just what you do in college.”

Depending on the bars to find a mate is asking for trouble, but it’s the place to find a quick fix, she said.

But the one-night stand stereotype that surrounds the bars is a turnoff for people who are interested in finding a serious relationship, said Chico State senior Anthony Decker.

Going through mutual friends in a social environment is the most successful method for meeting someone, Decker said.

Meeting at a party gives the opportunity of being introduced to each other, a thing guys don’t normally feel confident enough to do on their own, he said.

“At the bars you meet late, buy a girl a drink and take her home,” Decker said.

At parties you generally have more friends in common and a better chance for good conversation, he said.

While bar hook-ups don’t typically lead to long-term relationships, there are a few exceptions.

Turning a one-night stand into a successful two-year relationship, Chico State graduate Emily Scannell surprised herself by finding love in line for Riley’s, she said.

“I wouldn’t recommend how I met my boyfriend, I just got lucky,” she said.

By meeting in line, they had a better chance of working out, Scannell said.

“I knew we were able to be sober and hit it off without wondering if it was the alcohol talking,” she said.

Turning to classes and meeting through organizations is typically the best method for meeting people with the same interests, Scannell said.

There are a bunch of places in Chico you can run into someone: the park, school, clubs, sport teams and even the grocery store, she said.

Students generally accept the typical summer fling atmosphere they find in Chico, but finding a serious relationship may be easier than people think.

Possible classroom study partners or taking a chance on a blind date are potential ways of finding someone new.

And if all else fails, the bars and social scene are there to give the extra kick of confidence while providing the satisfaction of short-term goals.

“We tend to settle for what will settle for us,” Vela said. “We get what we can get. It’s a compromise we have to make, or we get nothing.”

Taylor Flores can be reached at <a href= “mailto:[email protected]”>[email protected]</a>