The search for the dateworthy frat brother

It seems like a phenomenal concept: young men banded together in brotherhood in pursuit of personal development, academic success and all-around well-being through community service and team sports.

Because of that, every sorority girl fantasizes about dating that ultimate frat boy: He wears his letters proudly as he dominates in sports; he excels in school and has admirable goals and aspirations; he organizes house service events and spends free time enthusiastically helping his house with Homecoming and Greek Week events; at parties he’s charismatic, hilarious and fun. After all, fraternities were created with this guy in mind, right?

That’s why we ladies do what we’re famous for doing. We tan, we hit the rec center, we do our hair, we get dolled up and put our best high-heeled foot forward as we hop around Greektown trying to find him. He must exist. A few lucky girls in each house even seem to be dating such a specimen.

However, this great guy seems to be as elusive as Waldo. Every time we think we see his red-and-white striped hat, it’s just another alcoholic playboy who’s greatest accomplishments include unmatched skill in “Call of Duty 4,” hooking up with four girls last weekend and doing a keg stand after a night of impressive binge drinking.

I’m not here to say the ultimate frat guy is extinct, but the whole Greek system has undergone some changes since its founding, making him harder to track down.

At times, the Greek system seems to be set up to encourage meaningless hook-ups for all. Double standards exist everywhere. Frats are judged on their ability to throw great parties (something sororities are not allowed to do) and getting with lots of attractive girls (something girls get judged for). Sororities are judged purely on looks, but too pretty equals slutty and not pretty enough equals “weird.”

The ladies are trying to work their game in an extremely competitive environment with girls from everywhere, with only a few people they know to back them up, and make a great impression all while trying not to come off as “too hard-to-get” so he doesn’t abandon us for any one of the other girls present or “too-easy” to avoid a bad reputation for themselves and their house. How does one go about building meaningful relationships on such a foundation?

It can be overwhelming. We hand out second chances and “get out of jail free” cards in hope that guys are that exception. I do it. After all, you can meet the greatest guy in the world, but if you meet him at 2 a.m. after shots of whiskey celebrating life with his “brothers” he might not seem like such a catch. But the pledge-hazing, womanizing, beer-guzzling, profanity using, egocentric, immature bar-hoppers give the good guys bad names.

The part we have to be careful about is when he has some of those great fraternal qualities and some of the bad ones. We have a tendency to excuse the bad because of how much we are subconsciously longing for the good when we should be drawing the line. Maybe someday we’ll get them to shape up. Until then, we’ll just keep searching, looking our best and hopefully learning from our mistakes.

And a vacation from Greektown every once in a while couldn’t hurt either.

The above editorial was originally published Sept. 25 by the University of Missouri’s The Maneater. Content was made available by Uwire.