Whether you're a girl or guy, gay or straight, we all know how it feels to?you know?like someone.

It's that simultaneous feeling of wanting to see them, talk to them, take a long walk on the beach with them?and also wanting to scurry away and hide behind a tree whenever you run into them. In fifth grade, that's pretty much how it was. If there was a girl or guy that you liked, you'd either play with them and tease them, or give them a wedgie and run away.

Now that we're in college, we've gotten a little better at expressing ourselves?we can speak in complete sentences, and play with each other without worrying about getting cooties. These new skills seem like they should make it easier for us to convey mutual attraction: If you like someone, you can simply tell them instead of giving them a wet-willy. If they like you back, great. If not, you're no worse off than you were before.

Unfortunately, Bowdoin social norms get in the way. In the dating and relationship poll recently conducted by the Orient, students reported overwhelming dissatisfaction with the dating scene on campus. Only 37 percent of students said that they have ever asked out another Bowdoin student, and even among the senior class, students who had asked someone out were in the minority.

Instead, most of our sexual encounters tend to be hook-ups?and usually when we've been drinking. In the same survey, more than three quarters of people who have hooked up with someone said that alcohol at least sometimes influenced their decisions.

The reasons for this are not entirely obvious, but for most of us, it seems that dating takes more work, is more risky, and doesn't provide instant gratification. It's also a way to get close to someone without having to be honest about our feelings?basically the college version of a wet-willy.

Some people seem to be content with this kind of interaction, but we wouldn't be writing this editorial if people were satisfied with the current situation. More than half of the survey respondents that aren't in relationships wish they were, and another 38 percent say they're unsure.

Asking someone out on a date is tough, but you might as well give it a shot. Even if you don't do it in college, most of the outside world has moved beyond the drunken hook-up, which means that if you ever want a sexual relationship aside from getting lucky at the office Christmas party, you're going to have to learn how to go on a date. It would be a true tragedy if we all reached adulthood without being able to genuinely express our feelings to others, and had to watch that perfect person walk by while we're hiding behind a tree.

So, umm...you want to go out sometime?

The editorial represents the majority view of The Bowdoin Orient's editorial board, which comprises Nick Day, Nat Herz, Mary Helen Miller and Cati Mitchell.