The secret guide to Netflix and chill

| Senior Forum Editor

Our parents claim that technology has made us lazy and that we expect everything to just be handed to us in the comfort of our homes without any face-to-face interactions. Well, I’m here to tell you they are absolutely, 100 percent, without any shadow of a doubt, correct.

In 2015, we saw the unveiling of self-driving cars, Postmates food delivery and the popularity of the new hook-up strategy, the Netflix and chill. While the first two have their own, uh…problems; the third has been proven so effective that Pi Beta Phi even made a sweatshirt about it.

That being said, there are far too many misconceptions as to how Netflix and chill is supposed to work. Lonely students up too late and at the end of their Kleenex supply simply assume that a text and a short walk later, they’ll be getting lucky. Not so. There are so many subtler nuances to the process that some portion of the population can avoid (ahem, looking at you attractive people), but leave the rest of us frustrated. This Valentine’s Day, when you once again find yourself neglected and online, follow these ten steps to get laid (or at the very least, watch a dope movie).

1. Establish rapport

There’s a mistaken belief around the institution of Netflix and chill that it is only used on prospective partners you don’t know well. False. The only true way that Netflix and chill has any chance at success is if you get to know them a little bit. Don’t just text that guy or girl you met for five minutes on the Circulator and then had to ask a-friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend to get you their number. No one wants to Netflix and chill with that creeper.

2. Don’t establish too much rapport

Here is where the delicate balance of a successful Netflix and chill kicks in. You want to have a credible relationship with the person you’re chilling with, but you can’t have too much of a relationship so that they would see a Netflix and chill invitation to be an affront to common human decency. Just talk about your favorite movies or TV shows. It’s fun, flirty and, best of all, casual.

3. Invest in Netflix

An integral, yet often overlooked step. Most people assume that Netflix and chill just means nominally watching some form of media and then moving on to rest of the night. No, that’s wrong. You can’t Netflix and chill with Amazon Prime or Hulu Plus or basic cable. That’s like going to Harry’s for dinner or your Washington University Student Associates for cake. It’s just a poor decision.

4. Clean up your room for once, please

No one wants to come over to a disgusting room. Move your dirty clothes from the chair, make your bed, straighten something; it all makes a difference. Also, if you have some time, make a Target run and buy nice decorative lights. They vibe with any room, and even better, they don’t give off enough light to illuminate the pigsty you live in.

5. Turn on your TV

Most aspiring Netflix and chillers forget that the major key is not asking if someone wants to Netflix and chill and then fumbling around for something to watch, but actually starting the night without them. Get something going, it really doesn’t matter what it is. As Wash. U. sophomore Lauren—expert Netflix and chiller—said, “I’m usually just watching HGTV, but when I text them I say something really cool and enticing. Pro tip: buy the NFL RedZone package.”

6. Craft your text

Where “Heyyy” might have worked in the olden days, people have now figured out the tricks. There are guides out there explaining what each successive “y” on the word means. Don’t fall into that pitfall. Instead, you want to sound intriguing and mysterious, but still casual and disinterested. Your prospective partner must want to come of their own volition; there is no pressure in a mutual consenting Netflix and chill. Start with a “Hey, I’m watching the new Game of Thrones, have you seen it?” Or maybe, “Hey, just watched the Red Wedding episode and could use a shoulder to cry on?” Or even, “Have you ever heard of Game of Thrones?” It’s a choose your own adventure, but keep in mind the first impression you’re giving off.

7. Send the text

Don’t laugh, many a brave candidate has lost the nerve to send their missive at the midnight hour. If this step can serve to remind anyone having those second thoughts about their Valentine’s Day last resort, then it should remain here. We, the old guard of the Netflix and chill, support you in all your endeavors.

8. You hear a knock on the door and your palms start sweating. They’re here. You think to yourself, “Oh wow— this is actually working. I never thought I would be the type of person who actually does a Netflix and chill. This is truly a momentous day for me. What do I do with my hands?” At this point, you hear another knock on the door. You realize you’ve forgotten to open the door and had been lost in your own thoughts for an unreasonable amount of time. You begin to panic. What if they walk away? What if they ask why it took you so long to open the door? What if it’s not them at all and it’s your suitemate’s significant other looking to get it on on Valentine’s Day because truthfully that’s only natural? What if…Another knock.

Open the door.

9. Chill

It’s up to you now young Padawan. Watch out for the awkward pauses when Netflix wants to know if you’re still watching. Leave the sound on as a courtesy to your suitemates. And make your move early before both of you get sucked into whatever you’re actually watching. Otherwise, there’s nothing else I can tell you.