The College Dating Experience

Written and Media by Mary Todd Christian. [divide]

When you come to college, you make many new friendships and may even start some dating relationships.  While some ladies have had the honor of going on a few dates in their high school years, there are some, such as myself, who did not have their first “dating experience” until college. Fumbling through this awkward stage during my freshman year was definitely a learning experience. While I may only have 20 years under my belt, I feel that I’ve learned a few things in the world of college dating. Here’s what I took away from my college dating experience.

awkward dating

1.    Don’t make dating your primary focus.
Coming in as a freshman, I built up this image in my head of what my overall college experience was going to be like. I was going to have a huge group of friends, just like back home, and I was going to meet an attractive, Godly, gentleman who I would fall in love with my first semester.  This dream quickly vanished as everyone, not including myself, found a significant other. While this was disheartening at times, I took it as an opportunity to focus more on doing well in classes and more importantly, my relationship with Christ.  In short, don’t dwell on trying to find a boyfriend or girlfriend your first semester (or your first year). As a freshman, you’re still trying to get your feet wet with this whole “college thing.” Why add one more stress to your already confusing and hectic schedule?

2.    Don’t go in with too many expectations.
I agree, it’s perfectly normal to have high standards and to find someone you are compatible with. However, don’t build up so much anticipation that you set yourself up for disappointment. Any date you go on (even if it’s with the same person) is going to be different. Have an open mind, get to know one another, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Which leads me to my next point…

3.    Don’t subject yourself to unneeded pressure.
When I went on my first college date, it was just the guy and me…alone. Don’t get me wrong, he was a gentleman, but I was still anxious to be alone with someone I had really only talked to twice. This discomfort isn’t necessary. Before taking that “big leap” into an actual one-on-one date, go to events and hang out with groups of people. You should get to know everyone, not just one person. Greenville College offers plenty of opportunities for the single to mingle in comfortable environments.

4.    The “October Rule” is real.
If you can help it, try not to date anyone officially until October. It may sound silly, but this is a really good unspoken rule in my opinion. Waiting until October to pursue a relationship gives you some time to get to know someone. It also allows you to take the first month of school to focus on getting into a routine. Not everyone abides by this rule, but the ones who do usually reap the benefits!

Fret not! Everyone’s college dating experience is going to be different. So, don’t compare your story to someone else’s story. You may hit it off with someone right away, or it may take some time. Either way, don’t stress. Enjoy your first semester of college whether you are dating or single!


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