10 Tips For Online Dating In College
By Mary J. Gibson
Dating in college is a whole another league of its own. If you had an active dating life in high school, you might think you got this as you step into your college as a freshman—but fair warning; you are going to get quite the shock of your life. Dates previously meant a movie, a dinner, and a drive but in college, it is more likely to be you and your date sitting in somebody's dorm room watching Netflix and eating takeout and you have a test next day. Or best yet, you end spending time in the Laundromat and call it a date (I'm not saying I'm guilty of this, but yes).
The online dating scene during college is quite fun, but it does come with a fair share of shenanigans. Here are 10 tips for online dating in college:
- Optimize your Dating Profile
If you want more people to right-swipe on your profile then it's very important that you put some efforts on your dating profile. If you use Tinder, make sure you have good Tinder bio, and attractive pictures which will attract more people.
- Time Management
Time is definitely not a social construct once you enter college, and you will learn this nugget of wisdom the moment you are suddenly assigned projects and deadlines. On top of that, you still want an active social life and hang out with your friends. All of this can get quite overwhelming at times and you wonder why you are adding a date or a relationship to this mix. Well, if you are struggling, chances are, so is your date, therefore, I am sure you will eventually learn to master time management and successfully divide your time between study, friends and dates.
- If You're Unhappy, Let It Go
Between classes and studying, it is completely all right to take a break and choose to have some harmless fun—thus, online dating. While it can be quite enjoyable, it can get tough on you if going on dates doesn't make you happy, especially if your date is not open to the limits you put on dating. You may want a hookup or a long-term relationship, but if the opposite party is not with you on the same team, let it be. You can always find someone else who wants the same things as you.
- Don't Do Long Distance
A long distance relationship is not everyone's cup of tea, so only proceed if you are extremely sure things will work out in your favor. If you use a dating app to meet someone, for example, who are only going to stay in your city for a semester, and you catch some serious feelings, make sure to know the person is on the same page as you. As I said, time moves either too fast or too slow when you are in college, so juggling a long distance relationship along with your education can become taxing.
I am not saying it doesn't work and some people have made it work, but it's important to know if it will work for you.
- Learn to Love Yourself First
We often spend much of our life in high school feeling extremely conscious about our looks, our body, and our self-esteem takes a beating by the time we reach college. We are so self-conscious that we feel like nothing about us is good enough to attract people, but we are wrong about this. College lets you meet so many people from so many different cultures and backgrounds and it's not school, where you have spent years with the same people who have watched you grow.
Therefore, you can finally learn to accept yourself, grow and become the person you always wanted to be, and when this confidence shows, you will attract the right people effortlessly.
- Everybody Needs Some Space
Privacy on campus is a massive problem for most couples. Not only do you have your friends and teachers all around you, but you might also run into last week's date while you are on another date this week. The concept of "me" space lacks a lot on a college campus and PDA is off-putting for most people, especially if you decide the library is a great place to meet (maybe please don't schedule dates in libraries). On the other hand, online dating in college means your date knows where your classes are and even at first, you feel nice chaperoned to lunch every day, the novelty soon wears off and maybe you want to spend one lunch with your friends.
- Having Fun on a Budget
Extravagant dates are simply impossible during this time of your life; you have too much on your plate already and if you are working part-time to save up for books, for instance, spending all the cash on dates is just unacceptable. Also, it doesn't matter who agrees to pay on a date, always ask if you can divide the bill and if they insist it's on them this time, you can always pick up the bill the next time. And who says you can't have fun on a budget? When you are young and (kind of) broke, you can get a whole lot creative with your dates.
Meeting in the middle is very important when you are dating in college. Like you, your date may have three assignments and four tests they are drowning under, so if you insist on meeting up despite the other's tight schedule, you stand to sour things between you two. And this can happen vice versa as well, so the most important lesson to learn while online dating in college is to learn how to compromise. With a little bit of understanding and empathy, you can manage to keep things good between you and your date.
- Colliding Worlds
The best way to have fun on a budget is to spend time in groups—sounds like a strange piece of advice, but let me explain. You have your friends; they have their friends, so why not introduce them to each other? This way, you manage to learn more about your date, their hobbies and you may become friends with some of theirs too. And then, when you go out altogether, the bill is much more easy to divide and you get to have fun along the way—I mean, after all, what are college memories without some group date chaos thrown into it?
- Keep Your Mind Open
As mentioned before, college is a melting pot of people with so many cultures, background and upbringings that it will literally blow your mind away. This also means, you are out of your high school comfort zone and new people you meet might not be what you have always expected before. If you're accustomed to X from school looking a certain way and you find Y in college looking the same, it doesn't mean they are the same people. You just need to keep your mind open about these things.
- Sometimes, It's Okay to Be Single
If casual dating is your speed and you are not really looking for the right one yet, then there's no harm in that. So what if your friend's steady relationship makes you think you're falling behind? Relax, you're only in your early twenties! There's so much of life ahead for you to live and who knows, the right one might just bump into you on campus when you least expect it.
Dating in college is fun and an experience. Who knows what will happen to you in the next four years? You may find the right one or you may continue casually dating. But whatever it is that you choose, you will still have a great college romance to talk about in the future one day. So, go download that app and take a break from your Chem assignment for some time.