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.