Who you should date if you’re a languages student
Who has a certain je ne sais quoi
According to my mathematician friend there is nothing more attractive than a bilingual man. “Imagine,” she said, “he could romance you in a million different languages whilst whisking you off to exotic places and secret haunts. The linguist is the dream.”
How well matched are the mathematician and the linguist, though? Would the linguist be better suited with the philosopher? In a quest to quash your romance woes, we bring you a comprehensive (and scientifically researched, obv.) guide to dating as a modern languages student.
From the first sign of butterflies to the bitter end, we’ve got it covered…
The marriage of an English student’s mind and a linguist’s is a beautiful one. Quintessentially (and somewhat stereotypically) romantic in their nature, this relationship should be full of passion and well-written love letters.
Your culture vulture love affair would see you spend your Saturdays mooching around dusty vintage bookshops and watching old French films. For a while, it would be the dream.
When the end comes for you too though (if it comes, of course) it’s somewhat messy and goes like this…
“Oh, shut up, won’t you? All you have to do to get a degree is talk about your hobbies for 10 minutes in an exam.”
They like detail, precision, and concrete answers. You like interpretations, nuances, and possibilities. They like structure and routine. You like spontaneity and fluidity.
If you’re willing to accept your academic differences, this could be an excellent meeting of two very different minds. If not, you’ll just spend your days making passive aggressive remarks about one another’s degree.
It will all end acrimoniously when the engineer gets a 2:1 after spending 23 a day at the library all exam season and you breeze a 1st. At least you won’t bump into each other on your vac scheme, eh.
You’re a match made in academic heaven and a romantic dream. You discuss Sartre, Beauvoir, and Descartes together as you fall more and more in love.
The trouble is, you’re both so clued up on your favourite books that you can’t agree to disagree. You debate until the bitter end. It can go either way. You’ll either end up being the hottest couple around or you’ll just bicker until you realise it’s better for everyone that you just move on.
Their lives are fast paced, their grades are competitive, they spend their days learning to win, and they like nothing more than to pick arguments apart. At first, you find their tenacious nature sexy. The fire in their eyes excites your laissez faire attitude. However, in the end, it gets exhausting and you just cannot be bothered to argue back.
Maybe it’s best you allow them to change the world whilst you travel it and find yourself.
You whisper sweet nothings to one another in Italian, discuss existentialism on the Seine in French, and spend your summers mooching in Spain eating the best tapas in restaurants filled with locals off the beaten track.
Your shared love of abstract concepts and cultural nuances means that your DMCs and romantic ramblings over long lunches are just blissful. You think you’ve found your soulmate as you look lovingly into your beau’s eyes explaining the etymology of your favourite verb. They neither complain or judge you. They understand you and embrace your nerdy quirks.
Until your oral exam comes around and you get a better grade than them or you go to the country of your target language and suddenly, their competitive edge is exposed. You want to out do one another, seem more fluent, and blend in with the locals. Eventually you realise it’s time to let them conquer their fear of the subjunctive on their own and so, you bid them adieu.
At first, you thought it could work. They tell you about their favourite modules on astrophysics and you cite French poetry to them about the constellations. They are the ying to your yang and the differences between you are magical. You vow to take them to restaurants you found on your year abroad in Italy as they talk you through their inspirational plans to research.
Eventually though, the cracks begin to show. You begin to get irate about the fact they never really have time for you. In return, they make passive aggressive comments about the fact that your degree only has 4 contact hours a week. They fail to feign sympathy when you moan about your workload. You think you can salvage the situation until it hits you that actually, your science loving honey thinks that you’re a little bit dim and that your degree is a joke.
They are the heroes of society and you think it’s the sexiest thing ever. Seen as they are at uni forever, they’ll be there waiting for you when you come back for your 4th year after Erasmus. It makes the one year long distance relationship whilst you’re in Spain all the easier to cope with and means you two go from strength to strengh.
The challenge comes however, when the stress kicks in. Your medical student boyfriend/girlfriend will either think it’s fabulous that you’re a polyglot or they’ll resent the fact that you get to sit around learning verbs and drinking espresso whilst they train to save lives. Things get even tougher for you two when the junior doctor strikes flare up and only the strongest power couples survive.
It might work, it might not.
On paper, you two have a lot in common. You appreciate society and culture. You like to talk things through and see things from different points of view. You like to travel, discuss and engage in debate. Your politics studying lover helps you through your coursework on 20th century dictators in Europe and in return you talk them through some Latin.
You’re a dream team, a cosmopolitan duo, and you’ve both got ambition in your eyes. That is, until you find out that he/she lied to you and actually voted ‘Leave’ in the EU referendum. End of the big romance. You love Erasmus more than your wannabe politician.
You go to their shows, read all of their rave (and not so rave) reviews, and absolutely love their appreciation of a good playwright. Their zest for life and their vivacity enraptures you and quite quickly, you become their biggest fan. That is their energy and drama gets too much and all you want is a quiet life of good coffee and chat. Being their groupie gets to be exhausting and their high maintenance nature is all too much for you, particularly when you’re on your year abroad.
The chances are, your eyes met over the Latin textbooks in the library as you did some research into the etymology of your favourite words. At first, things were great. You both love history and museums. You both appreciate the roots of civilisation and want to travel the world together and appreciate them.
All is going well for you until you realise that actually, your Classics studying bae doesn’t actually give a shit about Homer. They chose Classics because they needed a degree but didn’t really know what to study and just wanted to enjoy three years away from home. You’re patient with them for a while but eventually you part ways.
They’ve got a plan. They’ve got ambition. They’ve got ideas. You love their drive and gritty determination.
You knew it wouldn’t last when it started. You said you’d casually date whilst they were here from Venice for the year. You helped them with their English, took them to the best restaurants, and introduced them to your friends. You fell for their Italian charm, loved their enthusiasm, and couldn’t help but enjoy when they cooked for you. Of course though, this love fest always had an expiry date and you both knew it. Eventually Maria has to go back to Venice and you feel your heart break somewhat.
You vow to stay in touch as you wave her off from the airport. At first, you do. You Skype, you maintain a streak on Snapchat, and you promise to plan a trip to Italia in the summer. After a while though, the sparkle is sparse and all you know of your Italian lover is what you see on her Facebook feed. It’s sad but let’s face it, you always knew it would happen.
Someone you met on your year abroad
The same goes for dating someone whilst you’re on your year abroad. It’s a sad reality but let’s be honest, dating the hot guy you sit next to in your French exchange uni is unlikely to last. Yes, he’s charming. Yes, he’s called Louis and has a summer house on the Cote D’Azur. Yes, you really, really fancy him.
You know it’s a bad idea but you let yourself fall for him anyway. He’s like a pedagogical boyfriend who will definitely help you get a first in French grammar. He’s like a built in teacher with benefits.
Take it for what it is, honey, a glorified holiday romance that will make your Instagram look like a dream and eventually break your heart. He probably won’t come and visit you in your fourth year at uni but if it makes you feel better for now, believe it.