The Dbag Dating Guide to Ivy League Guys


Ivy League guys are like Céline prêt-à-porter: you don’t know how great it is until you try it, after which it becomes next to impossible to go back to high-street basics. After dating a well-educated man this past summer, I discovered the beauty of conversations that reach further than the latest Supreme collaboration (the hipster equivalent of football) and have been hooked ever since. Just like designer gear, Ivy Leaguers demand a certain finesse and refinement, mixed in with cool factor for good measure. Here are some tips!

Personality is key. Keep in mind, these guys spent their high school years studying, instead of developing personalities. After this, they spent all of college surrounded by chicks who had spent their own high school years studying, instead of developing personalities. By the time they finally emerge from this brainiac oasis, they tend to appreciate a bit of street zest and a great sense of humor… Which is where you come in!

Don’t act too impressed. For the love of God, do NOT act as if they are the next leaders of the Free World, which is what they have been told by their parents and teachers for the past 20+ years. In truth, they are just one in a sea of Ivy League graduates, available on Bumble at a dime a dozen (If you haven’t downloaded this thing, stop whatever you’re doing and get on it!) He went to Harvard? Mention that your ex went to MIT. Old neighborhood rivalry never dies!

Appear well-rounded. Social malfunction aside, these are still extremely smart people who are usually surrounded by other extremely smart people. Read those damn news. Watch that Democratic debate. (Note to self: practice what you preach.) Intellectual conversations will inevitably come up and you will need to add in your astute two cents, particularly in front of his family and friends.

On that note..

Have opinions. I recently made the mistake of telling a Columbia graduate I’m occasionally seeing that I don’t vote. My reasoning? I don’t really care much for politics. Big mistake, huge. Apparently, if you want to play Switzerland, you better have a clear justification and “I don’t give a rat’s ass” simply doesn’t cut it. According to my know-it-all niece (is there anything more annoying than prep school seniors?) “I don’t feel connected to the American system because I lived half of my life in Russia and Europe” sounds far more acceptable.

Give him the occasional reality check. Because, trust me, when shit hits the fan, he will throw that academic disparity in your face. Instead of feeling inadequate, give him a swift, real-life kick in the ass. Shameless-inspired “I grew up in the slums fending for ten siblings” stuff is ideal, but if you don’t have a bio to back it up, “I had to work two jobs through college and am now paying off my loans” isn’t bad either. Don’t make yourself a charity case, just wake him up a bit. Warning: this only works for the kids who were born with silver spoons in their mouths, leaving them forever questioning whether they have any organic survival skills to rely on.

Bring the street smarts. Having spent most of his youth in the library, he’s probably scared of a street fight. Well, guess what? You’re not (and I’m certainly not!) and that’s what makes you cool. Be careful, though, as I once had a lawyer with a double BAR almost pee in his pants when some street kids started picking at us by Les Halles (the Parisian equivalent of Alphabet City). At that moment, I realized that I would have to protect him if shit went down, which felt weird.

Excel at something. There has to be one thing you are much better at than him (besides those street fights). Personally, I am riding the “I have a French Master’s and speak three languages” pony to my grave. Hear that? FRENCH MASTER’S! THREE LANGUAGES!

Look the part. Ever heard of Harvard Club? Well, that’s his chill spot, so be ready to stock up on kitten heels and not in the ironic street style way. You must have outfits that work for occasions that most people only see on TV, such as benefits, silent auctions, pony races and all that other very productive stuff. Luckily, there is always Zara, or the brilliant Russian buy & return method! Side note, Harvard club doesn’t allow jeans.


    • Options:
      THROUGH FRIENDS: Make ONE Ivy League graduate friend and domino effect will follow.
      BOSTON. Park yourself anywhere by MIT and Harvard and pick’em nerds up! Warning, the do not look as delectable as the dude in the picture.
      SILICON VALLEY. If you want to go together, hola!
      BUMBLE. The first 20 guys that Bumble pulls up in central Manhattan are usually hot Ivy League guys.
      Oh and apparently….DBAG DATING! Check out EV Guy, should I hook you guys up?!

      • There’s also Ivy Plus: which has events in major cities for Ivy Leaguers and schools of that ilk (not sure how it is determined). I do second all of Marina’s suggestions, they’re pretty spot on.

        Of course, if a well-educated man is what you’re looking for, you don’t necessarily have to to go Ivy League. Lots of smart guys out there from other schools or walks of life!

  • Wow!!! All of your posts are self deprecating and witty, i love them…My friend showed me your site yesterday and I’ve read almost every post so far….at work ( addicting but counterproductive). Good luck with everything, you are fabulous!

    P.S. Who is this EV guy!?!?! He seems smart and helpful…You should date him yourself or I might try! Xx

  • Ummm. Spent his life in the library? That kid gets rejected from the Ivy League schools (80% of valedictorians who applied to Brown got turned down, for example).

    Kids who get into Ivy schools are hyper achievers. In addition to having great test scores and grades, to get in, they must have achieved something incredible outside of the classroom, like being an All-American athlete or raised a fortune for a non-profit (or maybe started one).

    What you’ll find with graduates of the Ivy League are highly-driven people who are always busy and typically overcommitted. They will be smart, but there are countless smart people.

    Are they impractical? Not generally. The hypernerds don’t usually get in. Afraid of a street fight? Bear in mind that these schools have huge athletic programs, with 30+ teams, and that about 20% of the class are recruited athletes.

    Well-spoken? Almost always. Arrogant? Often.

    Rich? Not necessarily. These schools have enough money to give anyone enough money to go if they get in. They have among the highest percentage on financial aid in the country.

    The question you can ask yourself is, can you keep up with this pace? And will he have time for you? Most are pursuing high-powered careers.

    A better idea is to choose boyfriends based not on schools (there are plenty of people who fit the mold that I’ve just described who didn’t go to an Ivy League school), but based on whether you click with the guy and have common interests, rather than a great pedigree.

    — from an Ivy grad who has been interviewing prospective applicants for 35 years.

  • Are you ready for a secret? As aardvark noted above, Ivy Leaguers are often hyper achievers. And hyper achievers are often quite genius. The secret? There is a very thin line between genius and crazy. A line that, in my experience as an Ivy League undergraduate, many of my fellow students (perhaps myself included) were precarious perched upon. But hey, if you want a little genius/crazy in your life, take one for a spin. The best places to meet us are at the bars around campus. Just strike up a conversation with one of us, we’re usually pretty easy to spot.

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