May 7, 2014

Post-Grad Dating: Meet the Grown-Up Frat Guy

No matter the neighborhood, bar, or type of event, there are a few constant themes in the men you meet while dating as a post-grad. Walk into any locale filled with young professionals and adult beverages and you're sure to observe them:

  •  The intense sports fan (often screaming at the TV/his phone and knocking over drinks). He was probably very athletic in high school and/or college and is having trouble acknowledging the glory days are over.
  • The I-wear-a-suit-to-work guy. He quotes Barney Stinson a lot, and is usually found hitting on bandage-dresses-are-literally-everything girl.
  • The tech start-up employee. Look for Warby Parker glasses and denim. Always, always wearing denim.
  • And (my personal favorite) the perpetual frat guy.

Why is the perpetual frat guy my favorite, you might ask? Because like that killer pair of stilettos you bought on an impulse, fraternity men get softer and more lovable with age. The traits that you loved-to-hate in college actually translate well to the real world. At least most of the time. I'm not saying these men (boys?) are always the most dateable, but they are often the most fun.

In our post-grad lives, filled with rent and Obamacare and jobs where you actually have to work and not nap (I miss you, Anthropology 101), men that apply their collegiate lessons to the real world are a welcome reprieve. In my experience, the perpetual frat guy has a few consistent traits:

1. Overconfidence. The ridiculous arrogance that was often off-putting in college can give way to a more charmingly sanguine resilience. There's something commendable about surviving the perils of adulthood relatively unscathed. Boss chewed him out this morning and four girls just shot him down? No worries, it's all good.


2. Ambition. Fraternities love to win, and post-grad winning looks a lot like upward mobility at a big boy job. This is not the guy that will want to go Dutch on the first date, if only out of respect for traditional etiquette. They don't flash money (tacky), but people still always seem to be aware that he's comfortably employed.

3. He likes to party. Only now, instead of waking up smelling like stale Natty Light, the perpetual frat boy has graduated to an age-appropriate understanding the finer aspects of liquid courage. Bonus points if he knows his bourbon. You can often observe the grown-up fraternity man in his natural habitat (a bar, festival, sporting event, etc.) re-enacting many of his wild college antics, but with smarter decisions attached. He starts with a beer instead of going straight to Fireball shots, always takes cabs, and would never vomit on you. Let's take a moment to be thankful those days are (hopefully) over.

The great gatspy

4. Charisma. This guy is a great plus-one for all those weddings you'll be attending this summer - also known as the twentysomething jackpot. Honed by semesters as the social chair or sorority delegate, he can enjoy an open bar without humiliating you, charm your weird aunt, and hit you with a devil-may-care smile at just the right times.

5. Male friendships. The high-fiving, shit-talking, drunken I-love-you-man qualities are still there, just perhaps hiding a bit deeper when he is in the presence of women. He has stopped providing sagacious commentary such as "Bros before hoes," but in general....yeah, puts his guy friends before girls that have yet to hold significance in his life. In the post-grad world, where everyone is either (A) desperate/engaged/married/procreating or (B) terrified of commitment, these male friendships are endearing. He has the ability to commit, if only to the same group of guys. Baby steps.

Basically sums up Alpha, Spring 2011. @Jessica Agnor, @Julie DeBonis. I'd be Alan of course.



  1. Ah, I married the "perpetual frat guy" and he is awesome. Your description is spot on. Fraternities, despite their poor reputations, actually produce more well-rounded men than not. I have so much more respect for them after college.

  2. Haha I couldn't stop myself from laughing.
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