Hi there! Totally valid question! We get this type of question every once in a while and I think the most helpful thing would be to read the posts with the dating tag. Several interns have written thoughtful reflections on dating at Bennington. For me personally, the male to female ratio at Bennington has not posed a problem and I hardly actually ever notice it. I think that, like any school, you can find whatever you’re looking for in terms of relationships at Bennington.
We get a question like this every couple months, and while I’d mention that it really depends more on who you are than where you are, the “dating” tag will have more info for U
Now, I’ve been at Bennington for almost two years, and I’ve only heard whispers about these “bois”. Cryptozoologists claim that they do in fact exist, albeit on the very fringes of our society.
Being a skeptic, I don’t listen to or believe anything anyone tells me ever, not even my dad, so I went out today to find some PROOF that “bois” are real and inhabit our Bennington College US Campus.
Here’s what I found:
they’re out there….. u just need to know where to look……….
kagan “i am also a boy” ‘16
Your daughter sounds fabulous! Perhaps your insider administrator thinks so too and is trying to steal her away from Bennington to attend her college?
It seems like you are asking two questions. Do you mean that she will not fit in socially because Bennington is such a diverse place that she will not find others like her (single, straight, girls who like to date)? Or are you concerned that she will not find single, straight, boys who like to date?
We’re still working on the single, straight boy calendar (male objectification these days is such a problem), but they’re here.
And here’s some advice from a straight, formerly single girl:
“Just relax, it’ll all work it out. Whatever you want is here. I didn’t date anyone my first two years here and it didn’t affect my Bennington experience negatively.” – Glennis ‘15
In short, we’ve got both here. Your daughter will be fine, should she choose to come here. And if she chooses not to identify herself by those terms anymore, well that’s cool too.
Resident Dating Guru
P.S. He went here:
Honestly, it’s about what you’re looking for. If you’re interested in going to college to find a relationship you should be able to find one in some way or another, it just may not pan out in a way that you initially expect. My advice would be to come to college with an open mind. You may arrive at school convinced that you want to find an immediate long-term relationship and realize, once you’re involved with activities and academics, that that’s not a priority anymore. On the other side of the coin, you might come to college thinking that you’re definitely going to spend four years unattached, and you end up finding someone that you feel a serious connection with. Even in the small population that is Bennington, all of the above is absolutely possible.
- Rachel ‘14
As the only female in the office right now I feel this is my responsibility to answer. First, I should qualify that my experience at Bennington is very male. I study math, computer science and 3D (industrial) design so in my classes I tend to be the minority (I only had 1 female faculty member last year.) So, I would consider myself qualified to say that there is a wide variety of boys on this campus and whatever type of relationship you want you can find. If you want a boyfriend the option is there. If you want something more casual the option is also there. Even if you just want some awesome friends that are dudes the option is there. My advice is to all you ladies out there is to be open to whatever comes.
So admittedly dating in any small community is always a little interesting, but here’s my thoughts on Bennington romance.
As with any community, there is a pretty broad variety of what people are looking for as far as commitment and level of seriousness, so it definitely pays to be upfront and honest about what you’re looking for.
I think probably the roughest part is breakups because it’s a small enough place that there’s really no way to “escape” each other, but as long as you’re mature about it, it’s not a big deal.
There’s plenty of fish in the sea. Like dating anywhere, if you’re mature, honest and considerate it should be about as smooth sailing as romance ever is. Just remember that a lot of people are experiencing a kind of freedom they haven’t experienced before and be aware of the way that might influence their decision making.
I’m pretty sure Micky D’s is at the top of that list, but besides that, there are a bunch of great restaurants where you can get a nice intimate table. I’m particularly partial to some cheap burgers at Kevins or a ride down to Williamstown for Indian, but some like to go more upscale/fine dining with Pangea or Allegro.
Beyond the classic dinner date, there’s some really nice opportunities for reminiscing about the high school dating scene. You can take your romantic interest to the movie theatre, the bowling alley, or even to mini golf! There’s also apparently a drive in theatre not too far away, but I’ve never made it there.
If you’re looking to be more innovative, there’s some beautiful hiking, some nice swimming holes, some unique food trucks, some museums, a driving range in the middle of a farm…the list goes on and on.
Just try it with a friend first and make sure it’s all it’s cracked up to be, and remember that if you’re taking an upperclassmen out, don’t assume that you’re the first person to discover THE place for romance in Bennington.
Hey! I asked some folks in the Queer@Bennington group for some of their responses:
"The dating scene depends on really who you are and what you make of it. I have had "luck" here, but I also find that I connect easily with a lot of people, especially women. It is a college and people can be open for interests and some people can be closed and awkward, but I wouldn’t worry about the size or location in relation to dating here." - Alana
"It’s been kinda shitty for me personally, so I can’t really say too much, but after a year I’m just kinda blah about the whole thing. But for incoming students, I say keep your mind open and just try to meet new people. I know plenty of people who have found great relationships. I just have the unfortunate luck of only clicking with straight girls. (Well, plenty of guys too, but I have no serious interest there.) In terms of Q@B, we’re always excited for people to come and do things with us." - Emily ‘15
“I’m fully satisfied with the dating scene; I’ve been in a happy lesbian relationship for eight months—almost since I got here. However, my luck isn’t the usual thing. I’d say the dating scene is not paradisaical, but not hopeless either.
Q@B is a student-run club which mostly focuses on on-campus LGBTQA activism, mostly in the form of education and awareness raising. People of all identities are welcome, and that certainly includes questioning.” - [Name Withheld]
If any other current students want to chime in, feel free to respond by e-mailing me!