Dating in college is one of the most challenging, most beautiful, and most confusing time of our lives. The concept of dating in college can, simultaneously, be the best and worst times of our lives.
During this time, the very idea of dating, for most of us, becomes a true reality for the first time in our lives and can be extremely exciting, especially when you think that you’ve stumbled across The One.
However, college relationships have their ups and downs, so, to ensure you make the most out of this amazing time in your life, here are 12 essential tips you need to know!
1. Only date people who are good for you.
Usually, the saying ‘they’re good for me on paper’ makes me feel a little ill, but there is some truth to this age-old saying. If you find that since dating the person you’re with has made you see life in a more negative light, gives you headaches, or makes you feel like you’re not yourself anymore, the chances are that they’re not right for you.
2. Avoid early relationships.
Starting college for the first time is an exciting and sometimes overwhelming time in your life. It’s going to take a while to get used to it so jumping straight into a relationship is going to make things 10 times for exaggerated.
By all means, speak to other people and get to know them, but if it’s meant to be, there’s no rush, right?
“The first few months of college is all about making friends, meeting new people and settling into your classes. If you jump into a relationship with someone so soon, you’ll probably end up spending a lot of time on them, ensuring that you miss out on more important things!”
3. People change.
If you and your partner were together over the summer months or in your previous school and you now go to the same college, expect change. College is a whole new experience, and you’re both going to meet new people, and you’ll both start to experience new experiences.
If one thing’s for certain, you can be sure that both you and your partner are going to change, even if it’s a little bit, so make sure you’re prepared. Sometimes it will work and sometimes it won’t. You might not even notice the changes until months down the line. As a rule of thumb, listen to your gut instinct.
4. Don’t let your partner hold you back.
Being in college is now is, quite possibly, going to be the only change you’ll get to enjoy it, especially before you earn your qualifications and head off into the big wide world of work and responsibility.
If you’ve got any plans during your college years or experiences that you’d like to try, such as studying abroad, if your S.O is holding you back and trying to convince you not to go, they’re not the sort of person you want to be with, at least not right now.
5. Love, not love.
Some people you meet in college might be amazing and perfect, and it might feel like they steal your heart. However, there’s a huge difference between being in love with somebody and thinking that you’re in love with somebody. As a rule of thumb, when you know, you know.
“If you’re the sort of person who sees someone in the street and can, in a few seconds, envision your entire life together, this is a point you need to be very wary of. Love the person, not your perception of them.”
6. Long distance is tough.
This is a given but trying to make long distance relationships work while you’re trying to focus on all the aspects of college is going to be extremely difficult. Unless both you and your partner’s heart are fully involved in the relationship, it’s not going to work.
However, long-distance relationships have a habit of continuing on far longer they should, especially if you’re waiting to have that ‘face to face’ conversation. Be honest with yourself and your partner when it comes to the crush.
7. Loving should be easy.
If you’re finding it difficult to love somebody else, and you find that there’s always challenges, arguments or you’re even trying to make things work, but life always seems to be putting obstacles in your way, the chances are that it’s not meant to be.
When you love somebody, the love you share is the easiest thing you’ve ever done, and any obstacles that come before you are accepted as a challenge to prove that love to one another, not a drag that makes you unable to get up in the mornings.
8. Love yourself.
It’s both physically and mentally impossible to love somebody else until you’ve learned to love yourself. If you’re waking up in the morning, feeling sad about who you are, anxious about yourself or in any other way don’t like who you are, your relationships are going to suffer because of it.
There’s no reason why you can’t love yourself know. Always remember that you are who you are and you should always love that about yourself.
Of course, if you want to change certain things, like your weight or your love for reading, you can, but at your core, you should first always see yourself in the best light before you try sharing your love with somebody else.
9. Never change yourself.
If you find that the person you’re with is changing who you are, the fact you’ve even noticed this change is a red light. Whether it’s the way you speak, the way you dress, the things you do or the people you hang around with, if you don’t like who you’re becoming, even if your partner hasn’t intentional changed you, you’re going to be unhappy, and it’s going to ruin the relationship.
10. Go for good people.
If you’ve ever watched a teen comedy or a rom-com, you’ll already know that girls go for the jerks and the guys go for the bitches. Why make the same mistakes when you’re in college?
Instead of trying to date the person that everybody loves and is renowned for being the life of the party, why not date the person who gets the life of the party home safely.
11. Breakups hurt, but they get better.
You’re probably sick of hearing sayings like ‘time makes everything better in the long run’, especially if you’ve just broken up with someone recently but this saying couldn’t hold more truth.
Of course, any relationship with someone ended is going to hurt. After all, you’re actually ‘breaking’ a relationship’, both physically and mentally. However, people move on. Sometimes it happens really fast, sometimes it happens really slowly, and sometimes you’ve broken up with them before it’s even over.
Just remember, things always get better.
12. Never settle for anything less than you deserve.
This point is quite self-explanatory. Never settle for anything less than you want. This is your life. This is the only life that you’ve got. If you find yourself spending time with your partner just for the sake of it and you’re not truly happy, don’t settle for this being the norm. Do something about it and live the life that you want to live.