Uh oh! Valentine’s Day is approaching. This could be a very happy time in your life where you celebrate your relationship with your significant other. However, it could also be a time for reflection on your dating life and why you’re single yet another year in a row.
If you fall in the latter category, I completely understand how you’re feeling. Dating isn’t simple anymore. With new technology and a faster paced lifestyle, especially in college, the same dating rules that applied in the ‘50s or even the ‘90s don’t apply anymore.
However, I do believe there are some principles from those decades we should bring with us into college no matter how old-fashioned they may seem. If they worked for our parents and grandparents, they are sure to work for us. So next time you meet someone and start dating, try these tips.
1. Go on dates
I know this seems really obvious. You’re “dating.” That means you’re going on dates. However, it does seem to slip the mind of many college students to make the time for actual dates. Many students seem to think watching Netflix, having sex and falling asleep with someone is the equivalent of dating that person. However, those are things you should do after you are already together.
Dates are important because they build the foundation for a relationship. They force you to have a conversation and determine if you can truly connect with that person. They also allow you to demonstrate commitment. By planning and going on a date, you show that you can make time for each other in the future. This way when you’re in a relationship, you will still be accustomed to taking a certain amount of time out of your schedule every week to spend with your partner. After all, love is an obligation. Relationships require making time for one another.
2. Call don’t text
This one always gets on my nerves! Yes, texting is quick and efficient. It allows you to communicate with others while completing other tasks and partaking in other activities. However, it doesn’t allow for the same level of communication.
According to an article by Huffington Post, “Text Messaging: Is Texting Ruining the Art of Conversation?” experts are saying that while there is no problem with texting to keep in touch, conversations are not particularly deep. Moreover, texting has become the perfect way to avoid crucial conversations, according to Joseph Grenny, author of the book “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High.” In these first few weeks of dating, you want to get a feel for this person’s personality. When you’re not physically together, this will be better done voice-to-voice where there is no backspace button!
Additionally, texting is dry and leaves your words up for interpretation. You just met this person! You don’t know each other that well yet. In order to truly get your message across, you should actually speak to them. When you first meet someone, the more direct the communication the better. So, call the person you are dating to ask them about their day and plan the next date!
3. Remember the little things
This is the most important part of dating! You have to show the person you care. They can’t read your mind and they haven’t known you for very long. I know crazy college schedules can get in the way, but it’s not difficult to bring a lady flowers when she’s had a rough day or surprise a man with cookies when he’s done well on a test.
I remember when I first started dating my second boyfriend — who was an amazing artist — he made me a dreamcatcher because he knew how much I loved dreamcatchers. He added his own spin to it by using copper wire. It made me feel special; it showed me he cared about me and listened to me.
Now, you don’t have to shower your significant other with gifts, but do show him or her that you appreciate them. Show them you are truly committed to building a relationship with them.
While these tips may seem simple and obvious, they often slip the mind of busy college students. Don’t get pessimistic if you’re single again this Valentine’s Day. If you remember these tips, I’m sure you will have a more successful year of dating. Good luck!