10 Commandments Of College Dating
from a soon to be graduate, to soon to be college freshman.
Thou shall not date where you live.
Sure you might have just run into the cutest person alive across the hall, but dating them and breaking up with them can increase the amount of drama you have to deal with in your living space real quick. Do you really want to deal with the possibility of walking past an ex everyday for the rest of the academic year? No? Then DON’T date anyone on your dorm floor.
Thou shall realize real quick that your high school relationship is going to become irrelevant.
Even if you loved your high school boyfriend or girlfriend, you’re going to start finding it really difficult to connect with them on any level anymore because your lives are going to be totally different. I won’t tell you whether to break up with them or not, but do realize it is going to become harder and harder to find time to communicate and integrate each other into each other’s lives now that you’re apart.
Thou shall understand that hook ups are hook ups and don’t mean much more than that.
Don’t try to parlay one casual hook up with someone you’ve been crushing on into a relationship. Casual hook ups are just that in college, casual. If you’re looking to get into a serious relationship, going home with a rando on a Friday night isn’t going to be your best bet.
Thou shall try talking to someone for a bit, before dating them
Straight up just getting to know someone is your best bet for starting a serious long term relationship in college. By this I mean, you don’t have to not have sex with someone you’re trying to date (that would be absurd) but your entry point to a serious relationship isn’t going to be the sex you have, it is going to be how well you know each other and how compatible you are outside the bedroom. So just try getting to know the people you are interested in. Or get interested in the people you know.
Unchain thyself from phone calls with your high school sweetheart at night.
Stay present and in the moment. If you spend all your time talking to your high school sweetheart on the phone you’re going to miss out on a whole wealth of college experiences, and you might isolate yourself by missing opportunities to develop friendships and a support network at school.
Thou shall try not to drunk text your exes or ex hook ups.
We’re all guilty of it, but it’s best to try and avoid these types of interactions as much as possible. If you’re new to drinking heavily, which most new college students are, create a safety plan for the drunken nights you will inevitably have (not just for avoiding drunk texts, but also for your actual safety too). When I was afraid I’d end up sending drunken texts, I always gave my phone to a trusted friend who would be with me throughout the night. She’d hold onto it, making sure I physically couldn’t get my hands on my phone. It saved me so many embarrassing moments.
Thou shall find time for thyself (er…thouself? How does this work?).
Try not to spend all of your precious years of college worrying about dating. Don’t forget that the reason you’re at college is to get that degree! Spend time exploring your personal interests outside of romantic relationships.
Set thy boundaries and enforce them.
College is probably when you’ll have your first very serious relationship if you haven’t had one already in high school. No one ever told me I could have boundaries in my relationships. For a long time, I didn’t know that if I needed space I was entitled to ask for it, if I wanted to spend time alone or with my friends without my boyfriend, I was allowed to. It is important to set and maintain boundaries in any relationship, don’t let your significant other dictate how you live your life.
Manage thy time like a boss.
There’s a joke that while you’re in college that you only have time for two out of these three: sleep, homework, and a social life. Add a dating/sex life to the mix and you’re in way over your head. I went through long periods of time in college wondering how in the #*&% people had time for a sex life or a significant other. For some people it is possible, for others, it just isn’t. My advice is to prioritize. Whatever is more important to you, put it at the top of your to-do list, whatever you don’t get to (whether that means sacrificing a couple weekly responses to relax or go on a date) leave it be. Remember: grades aren’t everything, but neither are boys.
Thou shall chill out and have fun.
It’s college. It’s four short years of your life that go by faster than you could ever imagine. If a relationship starts to get too difficult to manage, drop it real quick, and move on. This is the one time in your life when you can literally do whatever you want. Don’t waste it crying over people who won’t matter in ten years.