A new report from a UBC researcher offers students some grizzly dating advice.
Earlier this month, Dr. Barry Fuzze, an associate professor in the department of cultural studies, and his research team published a report titled “Dating has become unbearable: A sociological examination of dating practices on post-secondary campuses” summarizing the dating experiences of students at UBC.
Fuzze recommended students ask their potential suit-ors on the first date if they think the boyfriend in Midsommar should have been sewn naked into a bear suit and burned alive.
According to Fuzze, people who say ‘yes’ will make great significant others, but those who say ‘no’ should bearly be on your radar.
“Not one man has invited me to the Swedish countryside for a psilocybin-induced date night. Not one,” Polly A. Morris, a fourth-year shroomology student, told Fuzze and his team. “I’m tired of feeling like I’m running around in circles trying to find my May Queen.”
“Men keep asking me out on second dates, but then cancel an hour before,” said a Scandinavian studies student named Gru Paul.
“If someone doesn’t think the boyfriend should have been set ablaze in Midsommar, then they probably think that being a nincompoop to your girlfriend when she needs your support is acceptable in a relationship,” Fuzze wrote in the report.
In the film, Christian — the boyfriend — repeatedly gaslights his girlfriend, Dani, after the death of her family, including planning to break up with her, forgetting her birthday and ignoring her pleas to end their vacation early after witnessing a falling out.
“It’s all about identifying those red flags,” Fuzze said in an interview with The Ubyssey in his Buchanan Tower office, which featured several bear skins, flower crowns and photos of Hårga.
The feat of writing this revolutionary paper wasn’t just undertaken by Fuzze himself, but with a team of UBC academics, one of whom is Ari Asker, a PhD student in film studies and fond bear lover.
“When you look at the data, it becomes apparent that modern dating requires decisiveness early on,” said Asker. “If you are serious about some Midsommar lovin’, this is the way to go. And if you can’t take the heat — get out of the kitchen.”
Fuzze acknowledged his team’s advice could be polarizing, but urged readers to look past its gruesome nature.
“I’m not telling people to put their dates into a bear suit,” he said, adding he doesn’t even think he’s a respected source of information. “I’m just a guy with a PhD.”
But, student experiences suggest this evidence-backed tip is nothing to hibernate on.
Paul told The Ubyssey he met his boyfriend of four months after following Fuzze’s dating dogma.
“Things are so great. We’re going to Burning Man together this year,” he said. “I’m ready to take this to the next step: moving into a cave along Wreck Beach together.” Talk about blossoming love!
When asked why he recommends students ask such a niche question about a film from four years ago, Fuzze suggested they follow his Letterboxd and pointed to a framed Coursera film studies course certificate on his wall.
“People always say art should imitate life. But why can’t the opposite be true?”
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