One of the best things about going to college is meeting all kinds of people. Sometimes, you meet someone and you think, “Hey, this person would make a really rad romantic partner!” Be warned that dating in college is a whole different ballpark, my friends. Since it’s officially spring, otherwise known as the season of love, here’s a few do’s and don’ts for those of you who are new to the college dating scene.
- Do go on actual dates
Repeat after me: Going to someone’s dorm room and watching a movie does not constitute as a real date. You deserve someone who actually takes you on real dates. At least for the first date, you should leave your residence hall and do something fun. My standard go-to date is getting coffee at the State Street Starbucks and then, if the weather is nice, going for a walk down by the Bayfront.
- Don’t be afraid to utilize technology
There seems to be this weird stigma attached to online dating, almost like it’s embarrassing to admit you’ve met someone on the internet. We live in a day and age where we use technology for everything, from doing taxes to checking bank statements. It’s no surprise that dating has also moved into the technological world these days. Apps like Tinder or OkCupid can help you meet students from other schools and maybe get to know them in the future. Just be smart about the situation; always make sure your initial meeting with someone is at a public place!
- Don’t DTR too soon
Defining the Relationship: probably three of the most anxiety inducing words in existence. In college, dating is a lot more casual. You hang out with a person a bunch of times, enjoy their company and then maybe a few weeks down the road you have the “relationship talk.” Even if you are exclusively dating someone, it’s kept on a low profile. You might be bursting to make your new relationship “Facebook official,” but give it time with your partner before you define anything.
- Do bring your potential partner home
By “home,” I mean “to your college roommates.” Before you make anything serious with your main squeeze, make sure they pass the roomie test. A lot of the times, your roommates pick up on any weird vibes you might have missed when meeting your significant other. Plus, they’re more likely to be brutally honest with their opinions than your mom or dad. We can be so blinded by infatuation with a person that an outside opinion can help us achieve an accurate judge of character.
- Don’t put so much pressure on yourself
There is a lot of pressure to find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with during your years at college. This is especially true once you see those couples who have been together since the dawn of time finally get engaged. But like I said before, dating in college is extremely casual. Instead of looking at every new person you date as “The One,” just focus more of having fun. You’re still really young, save all that wedding stuff for after graduation.
- Do spend time apart
It’s important to have a life outside of your relationship. Otherwise, if that relationship fails, you will be completely lost. Join a couple of campus organizations (like Gannon Paranormal Society!) or consider living in a separate residence hall than your significant other. That way, if the worst case scenario ends up happening, you’ll still have people to support you.
- Don’t stick to “your type”
In high school, I had a thing for flippy haired boys who looked like they hadn’t slept in five years. If I had stuck to that archetype in college, I would have missed out on meeting some pretty amazing people. In college, it’s important to go out of your comfort zones. That goes for college dating as well. It’s more important to look for a partner based on shared morals or beliefs than appearances, anyway!
- Do stay true to yourself
You might want to impress the person you’re seeing, but you should always, always, ALWAYS speak up when something is bothering you. Don’t allow the other person to pressure you into anything you’re uncomfortable doing. At the end of the day, the only opinion that matters is your own. If the person you’re dating doesn’t respect that, kick ‘em to the curb.