So, you’re fresh out of high school on your way to college. It’s a time to find yourself, to learn something new, to explore what you’re capable of and of course, to date! Dating in college has been the subject of hundreds of movies you’ve seen since forever.
Maybe you’ve already dated a bit in high school, but college dating can be a whole different ball game. You’d be lying if you said the idea of dating in college hasn’t got you all excited, and maybe a little scared.
You’re not alone. For some people, flirting and dating don’t come all that naturally. Insecurities from high school still linger, and talking to someone new is daunting.
Is dating in college really as dreamy as the movies make it out to be? Will you meet someone you fall in love with or just some no-strings-attached fun with? We’re here to make sure nothing gets in the way of your dating life in college with these 18 tips
Dating In College- 18 Tips To Ace It
Dating someone in college is a mixed bag. You might hit the jackpot, but you’re more likely to realize after a few weeks that this person may not be *the one*. We hope you weren’t setting out to find “the one” while dating in your freshman year of college anyway.
College kids’ idea of romance can range from a KFC takeout to beer any chance you get. The thin wallets result in some truly ingenious ways to get your cheap thrills. If ever there’s a discount on a restaurant nearby, you’re there before the discount boards are up. Let’s get right into things to know about dating in college, so you won’t end up completely clueless:
1. First impressions are important but don’t be too eager to impress
You’ve obviously heard how little time it takes for someone to judge you. And naturally, you’re keen to judge people yourself. After that first day in class, half the kids will already have a solid opinion of you.
It’s important to not seem overly friendly, lest you come off as creepy or a pushover. Similarly, don’t try to be uber-cool by wearing sunglasses indoors to your first lecture.
Related reading: 8 Types Of Boys One Should Avoid While Dating In College
2. Stay true to yourself
You’ll immediately get labelled as the rude one in class if you talk too loudly or belittle someone. Be kind and stay true to who you are. If you’re naturally funny, making a girl laugh will do the trick. If you’re charming, you’ll eventually make good connections. If you’re tall, you don’t get to complain about anything.
3. Don’t get into a relationship immediately
Dating in freshman year of college is usually a gamble since you barely know the person! Take your time, this isn’t a reality TV show where you have to pick your partner before someone else swoops him/her up. You might end up seriously regretting your decision!
4. The college cafeteria is not a date place
Any place, if it’s on campus, is not really a date. For some of you who aren’t hopeless romantics, your idea of romance could use a few tweaks. We know that money is tight for you right now, but the college cafeteria doesn’t qualify as a date. Nobody’s saying you need to splash out the cash to have some fun, but if your partner asks for a date and you think the cafeteria will qualify, think again.
5. Fashion is important
This is especially important for dating in college for guys since their fashion journey goes like this: first year, meticulous planning is involved in the outfit. Second year, maybe people will see the same jeans thrice a week. By the third year, you’re barely making it out of your PJs.
What you wear will tell people the personality you have. Early in your college life, or preferably even before it, pick a style you like and stick to it. Nothing over the top, we hope (don’t wear baggy low-waist jeans, we’re not in 2002). Keep it simple, stylish and clean.
6. Don’t be afraid of flirting!
Don’t spend too much time trying to figure out how to flirt, just send that flirty text. The whole process is exhilarating, including the anxiety you get when you see them typing a response. Flirting is a fun way of letting someone know you like them, so don’t shy away, life’s too short. Plus, you have nothing to lose. You won’t remember these people after 6-7 years, we promise.
Related reading: How To Flirt With Guys Over Text? 17 Tips To Do It Right
7. Be respectful
Just as you should be when you meet anyone for the first time. Never disrespect your classmates, or try to look cool by putting someone down. It’ll just make you seem rude and desperate to appear cool.
Some say it’s easy to date in college for guys, but don’t assume that just because he’s friendly means he’s trying to get in your pants. Treat everyone nicely, you never know when you’ll need to take their notes or beg for the smart kid to help you with your presentation (or just make the whole thing for you).
8. Attend social gatherings
If you want to date in college, socializing is always a good idea. If you’re introverted/shy and tired of the constant “just come, it’ll be fun!”, you should still go but only if you’re feeling up to it. College parties are something you’ll never truly experience again. Pulling an all-nighter after the age of 25 is torture, so enjoy it while it lasts.
9. You’re not a villain if you want to enter college single
If you’re coming to college already committed, it’s perfectly fine to have second thoughts. We’re pretty sure anyone over the age of 25 will tell you high school sweethearts don’t always work. Which is statistically true, at least.
So, if you want to enter into your college life single, it’s okay. Even if it means breaking up with your bae “for life and beyond”. In the grand scheme of things, it won’t matter.
10. Some people don’t want anything serious
You’ve found yourself head over heels for someone, only to realize they’re not even looking for a relationship! It’s common for students in college to not want anything serious and just have a bit of fun.
So don’t pin your hopes on finding the person you’ll grow old with, in your college. The idea of finding your soulmate in college seems alluring, but don’t let it blind you. Casual relationships when done right are pretty fun too.
11. Don’t let it take over your life
If you do find yourself dating someone in college, make sure you still have a life outside of it! It’s claimed that when you fall in love you lose 2 close friends. Don’t let that number turn into 20, and please remember that you’re still in college where assignments matter.
It’s okay to skip a few college parties when you’d rather be with your partner but doing that every time someone invites you to one will soon result in no more invites to anything, anywhere. College is an experience you’re never going to get again, don’t let your relationship tie you down.
12. Don’t let your emotions get the better of you
For many people, this might be their first dating experience/relationship. As you’ll soon find out, emotions can sometimes take a toll on you. The fights will get ugly, the problems will get overwhelming, your patience will be tested.
Try to control your anger in a relationship and not knock over everything that comes in your way after you two fight. Be understanding, willing to compromise and a good listener. You’ll learn more about yourself than anyone else.
13. People will talk about you two, don’t let it bother you
Newsflash: college kids are sometimes immature. One of the biggest things to know about dating in college is that it comes with a lot of rumors immature kids will spread. We’re pretty sure there isn’t a single college on earth where that never happens. Don’t let it bother you, they’re just hating because they don’t have anyone to split the cafeteria bill with.
14. Long-distance is a long shot
Long-distance dating in college is extremely hard to sustain. Temptations will come in abundance (if you know what I mean!). You’ll probably make the long-distance relationship mistake couples make. Since you two are just growing up and getting to know yourselves as well, in a couple of years, your relationship will change drastically.
You might even change for the better, but the fact remains that long-distance dating in college is one of the hardest things you’ll do, especially if you’re not completely committed.
Related reading: 18 Long-Distance Relationship Problems You Should Know
15. Try not to do something stupid…but you’ll end up doing it anyway
We guarantee that there’s a 100% chance you WILL drunk text that person you “can’t get over”. And that’s okay, it’s a necessary part of life to go through things that will make you cringe every time you remember them.
Another stupid thing you shouldn’t do: don’t cheat. Just because you’re in college doesn’t give you a hall pass to do whatever you want.
16. Take it slow
We get it, hormones and all that. But for most of you, this might be your first relationship or a bunch of other firsts. If you’re dating in your freshman year of college, you don’t need to rush into anything. Just because you’re in college doesn’t mean you’ve got to lose your virginity. It’s not a race, plus college kids don’t really know what they’re doing in bed anyway.
17. You don’t absolutely have to do date
Even if it seems like everyone around you is in a relationship, it’s totally fine if you don’t want to be in one. Not dating in college doesn’t mean you won’t have fun. Whoever judges you for not wanting to date in college is actually doing you a favor. They’ll be showing you that you need to stay away from their judgmental personality too.
18. Your life is not over just because your relationship is
This is probably the most important dating in college advice we can give you. Your first heartbreak can make it seem like your world is crumbling down around you. You’ve self-diagnosed yourself as depressed and hope is nowhere to be found. If you can successfully keep in mind that this relationship did not define you and things will eventually get better, you’ll be just fine.
Stop feeling sorry for yourself after your breakup and go to that party you’re invited to. In fact, going through breakups will teach you what to avoid, or just how to be in a relationship.
No matter who you ask, they’ll tell you with a look of nostalgia that dating in college is a wonderful experience. It’s filled with lessons and fun, but most importantly you come out of it knowing yourself better. As long as you practice safe sex and don’t do anything too naughty on campus, you won’t get into too much trouble!
In a survey spanning 24,000 colleges, 61% of students reported to have gone on dates. That means more than half of your friend group is probably out trying to impress their date. College is filled with students who’ve just been given a lot more freedom and this statistic proves that they’re just trying to make the best of it.
No, not dating in college isn’t weird! Do you think Elon Musk had time to date around in college? If you want to focus on your studies, that’s absolutely okay. Or for whatever reason you don’t want to date right now, that’s your choice. You do you!
We hate to break it to you, but dating in college statistics say that your relationship has more chances of failing than ending up in marriage. College students usually change drastically in the years to come. The change might spell doom for the relationship but if you really think you’ve found your person, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try.