College is a time for new experiences: going to new parties, meeting new friends, learning new things, and dating new people, of course.
The college-dating scene can be hard to figure out. Here are some tips on dating for both guys and gals:
Be afraid to take chances. If you don’t think a person is your type, give them a shot and you might be surprised. Step out of that comfort zone and make room for new experiences. The “types” you never gave a second-glance in high school might become those that you get along with better in college. Embrace the changes.
Be afraid to approach a person that you’re attracted to and ask them out. Almost everyone has been rejected at some time or another. Many people are caught off guard by an outright date proposal before they have had a chance to get to know you, so consider being friends first. Worried about the “friend-zone?” It doesn’t exist. A person wants to date you or they don’t. Be respectful of their wishes, and if it’s hard to be around them when the feelings aren’t mutual, it’s time to make some new friends.
Have too many expectations out of someone after a first date. It’s never good to put the weight of a long-term relationship on someone’s shoulders if the feelings are not quite mutual. Keep the communication flowing between you and your guy/gal; talk it out.
Be careful with your heart as well as your body. Use protection! Parenting or STDs are probably not on your agenda of fun experiences to be had while in college. If you put yourself (and your partner) in the position to be surprised, then anything is possible. If your partner won’t use protection, it’s time to have a serious talk or show them the door!
Watch out for “friends with benefits.” Most everyone has some experience with them, whether from their personal life or a friend’s. If you don’t like the sound of the term, and are looking for a different kind of relationship in your life, be honest with the person of interest. Don’t waste your time or feelings if it’s not what you want. Maybe that person needs some time to do their own thing before they’re ready to be all yours, and hey, by that time you may have moved on to other hot pursuits.
Find someone who wants to have fun! Even serious relationships can be fun. If you’re not happy, find someone that makes you feel great and vice versa!
Try to fix someone. You don’t have that kind of authority. If the person doesn’t fit your needs, understand that people are the way they are for multiple reasons unbeknownst to you. Give them the courtesy they need and hang onto your dignity, and possibly a nice friendship. Now go forth and do your own thing!
Ultimately, college-dating is about having fun, being respectful of others and testing new waters. And if you’re still unsure, just make some really kickass new friends along the way.
Samantha Reardon is recently engaged and has closet life coaching aspirations. Follow her @pinsandplats