A Freshman’s Guide To Dating In College
Welcome to your ultimate guide to navigating the crazy world of college dating!
Everyone is going to have SUCH different experiences dating in college and that is totally normal and fine. But there are so many things that I learned the hard way while dating in college that I wish someone had told me before I started college.
Which is what this guide is all about! How to successfully navigate dating in college.
We are going to break this guide down into a couple key areas: meeting new people, what a healthy college relationship looks like, what to avoid , and the future of a college relationship.
This is a long one but I want to make sure to cover as much information as possible and ensure you have every bit of information you need to be successful, safe, healthy, and happy when dating in college.
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Meeting New People In College
Meeting new people is a completely necessary and exciting part of dating in college but it can also be super daunting.
Where do you meet a potential person to date in college? How do you sort through the thousands of people? How do you stay safe? Let’s break it all down!
Where do you meet people to date in college?
Campus activities– this is probably the most commonly advised thing to do to meet people in college and that can be true but maybe not for you. During my college years I worked full time in addition to school so I didn’t have much time for on campus activities much less meeting someone during them!
But a lot of people do get really involved with campus activities which is a great way to meet potential people to date because they quite possibly share your interests and passions.
Working– on campus jobs especially are a great way to meet people to date. Yes, it can get messy to date a coworker but in casual campus jobs that is much less of a problem.
The jobs are usually part time and everyone is a student so the potential messy-ness is much less of a concern than in a traditional, professional setting.
Dorms– if you have a co-ed dorm then this can be a super easy way to meet a potential partner. However, I will warn that you need to be prepared that if you don’t work out you could see them around the dorm all the time and you possibly have a lot of mutual friends. Take that into consideration and approach with caution.
Dating apps– dating apps are another way to meet people that unlike the options above you don’t have to worry as much about what happens if it doesn’t work out and you can meet cool people you may not have ever ran into around campus.
However, I will say you run the risk of a lot more crazy people! So be super safe. Always meet in public. Share your location with your friends and tell them where you are.
Be on guard and be careful when using dating apps!
Parties– you can absolutely meet people to date at parties and I have seen it work out for some people but like dating apps you need to approach this more carefully! Make sure to be safe and be careful who you give your information to when you are drinking.
Drinking can majorly cloud your judgement so before you give your number to someone at a party make sure to have a friend speak with them to, just to make sure your beer goggles aren’t getting the best of you.
What A Healthy College Relationship Looks Like
There are quite a few aspects to a college relationship that you need to consider and make sure your relationship (or future relationships) have:
Trust– at any point in your life trust is the most important aspect of a relationship but it can look a little different in college. For a lot of college students there can be regular drinking and partying that can lead to concerns about the loyalty of their partner.
So if you can’t trust your partner to go out drinking with their friends that is a concern. Even if drinking isn’t involved, it is so important when you are in school that you trust your partner to be there for you if you need them!
Balance– college is a crazy busy time in your life that can majorly impact your entire future.
So it is important to do the right things: get good grades, work, make connections, internships, etc. And that can be hard to balance even before you add a significant other into the equation. But it is doable! You have to work as a team.
A thing that really helped myself and my boyfriend during college was to schedule date nights but be flexible about not seeing each other very much on non date nights! Give each other the space they need to be successful and happy in college while still building a healthy relationship. It is a balancing act!
Goals– having aligned goals is important for a healthy relationship. This does NOT need to mean you agree exactly on having 2.5 kids but being generally aligned with your life goals or at least your short-term goals is essential for having a healthy relationship.
What To Avoid When Dating In College
As much as it is important to have a healthy, positive relationship but it is also important to avoid certain things:
Lack of communication– communication is essential for any healthy relationship but unfortunately college relationships can be more likely to lack proper communication.
If your relationship doesn’t have good communication then you can’t truly have a great and successful relationship.
Mismatched Intentions– if you two are not aligned on what your intentions of dating are then you may end up with hurt feelings (or them) and loss of time (or theirs). So make sure that within reason your intentions are aligned early on in the relationship.
Hurts your education– you are in college to get educated. And if the person you are dating is intentionally or not harming your ability to learn and complete your education then you need to be aware of how bad that can be.
The Future Of A College Relationship
College relationships can have a lot of different results like any relationship but with how drastically your life changes after graduation it adds an additional factor to the future of a relationship.
A college relationship can be your life long relationship! But it doesn’t have to be.
You and your partner determine the future of your relationship. So don’t let anyone tell you that college relationships aren’t real or aren’t sustainable in the real world. There are so many success stories (including my own!) but you also shouldn’t feel pressured to find a life long partner in college.
Follow your dreams and if your partner wants to follow theirs with you then that is amazing but don’t forget your dreams or stop your partner from achieving theirs!
Remember to have fun, enjoy dating in college, and maybe you’ll find your soulmate and maybe not but it’s all about the journey.