Got any troubles, worries, concerns, or heartaches? Send them to the Dean of Hearts by filling out this anonymous form.
“Dear Dean of Hearts,
I met my tute partner once last term and I really liked them, I think we hit it off. I really wanted this term to be the one to meet someone but now its all remote, how can I keep the conversation moving and lasting until October when I can ask them out for coffee or something?”
They say that absence makes the heart grow stronger. And it seems we have been romanticising the romantic landscape of Oxford, reimagining it as a sort of Jane Austen wonderland. Reader, I urge you to not forgot the trauma that is the Oxford singleton scene. You came to this university expecting to meet Jaime Lang from Made in Chelsea, and instead find yourself on a date opposite the human embodiment of the Churchill dog (minus the helpful personal finance advice).
The sad truth is that coffee shops in Oxford are not playing host to innumerable, romantic dates between future spouses. No, they have one simple purpose: hosting hack coffees. That couple, lovingly sipping flat whites in the corner of TripleTwo? She’s actually trying to slate him. Caffeinated romance is dead. And what’s worse, pretty soon all forms of seated dining will be the intellectual property of student politicians.
Romance on the streets of Oxford died a long time ago. You need to be thinking not of that intangible coffee of a Michaelmas long off, but of poaching their heart from the comfort of your bedroom. Love at first Zoom, so to speak. Tutorials are a breeding ground for sexual tension. There’s nothing more erotic than going head to head in a tute, locking gaze with your intellectual inferior, the thought of “Hey, this idiot’s actually kinda hot!” intruding on the moment. Have you never heard of enemies to lovers? You need to ditch the plan of kindling a small spark and praying it lasts until October. You’ve already got a date lined up. Granted it includes your tutor and is either on Microsoft Teams or Zoom, but hey, the course of true love ne’er did run smooth.
Illustration by Sophia Hambleton-Gray