College Dating Advice: 5 Things Seniors Know that Freshmen Don’t

Advice from students who’ve dated in college and survived.

Let’s be honest: dating in college is a lot more complicated than dating in high school. There are new rules, some of which are unspoken and not so obvious. And there are a lot of different types of “dating” to deal with.

Here are 5 things that seniors have learned about college dating; freshmen and freshmen-to-be, take note!

A hookup is typically nothing more than a no-strings-attached agreement

1. Say yes!

When it comes to dating, just say yes! If someone asks you out, it’s a good idea to accept, even if you wouldn’t normally give him or her a chance. Don’t write people off as soon as you meet them. Take a chance and say yes to the girl who’s always reading on the quad. Say yes to the guy who seems quiet and shy.

Opening yourself up to people you wouldn’t typically date or hang out with might surprise you. It’ll give you the chance to meet interesting people – and you’ll definitely go on some memorable dates. Dating beyond your “type” can also lead to new friendships and introduce you to different groups on campus.

2. Have fun – but don’t expect a relationship.

College seniors are well versed in the hook up. Freshmen, however, are usually a bit more reluctant to leave traditional dating behind. When it comes to the definition of dating on college campuses, hooking up is typically much more common. Casual relationships without commitment are what most guys and girls are looking for. It’s all about being free to move on whenever you please.

But be warned: a regular hookup doesn’t mean professing your love for one another is the next step. Girls in particular often expect their hookups to turn into something more – but a hookup is typically nothing more than a no-strings-attached agreement. If you’re looking for a serious relationship, make sure you make that clear from the start.

3. Don’t get involved with a guy (or girl) who’s attached.

It might seem like obvious advice, but getting involved with someone who’s taken is a seriously bad idea. Older guys are notorious for seeking out freshmen girls. Freshman girls often don’t know who’s with who, so sneaky guys can cheat with ease. Getting involved with a guy who has a girlfriend or exclusive relationship can lead to social exile. The girlfriend will find out – and she will get angry. The girlfriend and her friends will brand you with a reputation that might take the next four years to escape.

For guys, it’s an equally bad idea to hook up with another man’s girl. Whether he’s on the football team or not, he’ll come looking for you. It’s better to avoid fistfights and party brawls, so steer clear of any girl that isn’t 100 percent single.

4. Know that long distance relationships are hard.

Long distance relationships aren’t just a college phenomenon. People in all stages of life deal with significant others who are thousands of miles away. But be aware: sometimes long distance relationships just aren’t worth the work. By the time your class reaches its senior year, almost every person who began college in an LDR will have moved on.

Freshmen are often optimistic about turning their high school relationship into a long distance one. Yet seniors know just how difficult it can be to keep things together. Jealousy and trust become huge issues for couples, and miscommunication can quickly turn a conversation into a fight. You’ll feel lonely and depressed more often than not. It can also be hard to really enjoy college with a distant boyfriend or girlfriend weighing on your mind.

5. Avoid dating where you live.

Your dorm might seem like the best place in the world to pick up women (or men)– after all, the dorms are full of hot single girls (or guys.) Unfortunately, jumping into a relationship with someone who lives down the hall is a bad idea. Love seeing the girl two doors down in the bathroom every morning? Think about how awkward it’d be to see her every morning after breaking up with her.

Your freshman dorm is where you’ll meet people who you’ll be friends with for the next four years. Don’t make it your dating headquarters; branch out and choose girls or guys who live in other buildings. You’ll avoid any awkward hallway encounters, and you’ll be able to feel comfortable in your home all year long.

Quick Tips

  • A great place to find a date is in the classroom. Not only will you have something in common with a classmate, but you also have a good excuse to talk to them.
  • Take a break from the campus dating scene every once in awhile. Date people from other schools, or old friends from back home; it’ll give you a chance to broaden your experiences and social circle.
  • Try to avoid spreading rumors about the guys or girls you date. Gossip spreads like wildfire in college, so be careful about kissing and telling.
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