The American Word :: Advice A La Mode: Cuddling, first dates

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Advice A La Mode: Cuddling, first dates

 “Advice A La Mode” is a weekly advice column written by Rachael Somerville. To provide complete anonymity to those who submit questions, we created the contact form (which you can fill out below) so you may ask questions without disclosing personal details. You may select a traditional “Problem Summarized in Name” format, tell her you would like to go by “First Name from Place” or she will come up with a name for you. The more information you give her, the better she can address your problem.



It seems like everyone is in a relationship these days. With the colder months approaching fast, I am getting a little melancholy about not having a snuggle buddy. Unless you count my cat and Snuggie…

Any advice for getting over these weather change blues?

-Frustrated Female”


As a fellow cuddle connoisseur (and Southern California native who barely survives the winter months), I feel your pain. Winter is the season for holding hands while ice skating, sharing glasses of hot chocolate and eskimo kisses.

However, for all the single ladies like you and me, it’s also the season for looking great in a new scarf, catching up on your favorite TV shows and maybe even finding someone to cuddle with. My tactic when I’m feeling the cuddle-less blues is calling up a friend and suggesting a movie night. If you’re braver than me, maybe you can find a potential love interest to invite over instead.

My recommendation is to treat yourself extra special this winter and bundle up with your friends until someone special comes into your life. Or consider starting a cuddle club. You’ll have at least one other member!

Keep your friends close and your cuddle buddies closer,


“Ayo Rachael,

I’ve got this girl in my Women’s Gender and Sexuality class who I’m REALLY into. I wanna ask her out and all, but I’m kinda broke at the moment. She has no meal swipes and I hear people go on Tavern and TDR dates.

Is that true? And would she get that it’s a date/how do I let her know it’s one? ‘Cuz I’m not too good at the whole “this is a date,” thing. I feel like just saying it is way too awkward. Or do you have something better? I’m kind of desperate.


Ayo S.A.R.T.M.,

I would caution against on-campus dining dates. Why? As you’ve noted, it’s very hard to send a “this is a date” message. The dining halls are too loud for real conversation. Plus, the high chance of having friends see you and sit down with you makes it a risky choice.

Invite her to TDR or Tavern in order to get to know her better? Sure. But it certainly won’t seem like a date, even if you’re supplying the meal swipe.

Don’t despair, D.C. is full of free and almost-free attractions: every night the Kennedy Center has a free show of some sort; the ice skating rink on the National Mall will open in a month or so; and there are always plays going on at Georgetown or George Washington.

If you want to start things off low key, there’s always the Dav. My opinion (and my friends agree) is that coffee is a minimum. The Starbucks on New Mexico is also a great option. It makes for a nice walk, good conversation vibes and it’s very cheap.

One D.C. local tip—get your hands on the Washington Post’s “Local Living” and “Weekend” inserts, published Thursdays and Fridays. Flip through them and I guarantee you will find a variety of cheap and free date options that will impress her much more than TDR or the Tav.

Some of my best D.C. memories are from events I’ve found through the Post’s publications—and the dorms have free copies, as you likely know. Be sure to check out Carolyn Hax’s advice column while you’re perusing, too—she’s my inspiration.

Good luck mingling!


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