Dating Rules Change When You Get To College

It’s your first year of college. You finally have the independence and freedom you’ve sought for the past four years or perhaps even longer. Girls, you’ve also finally found yourself in the presence of some REAL men. None of those immature high school boys you used to deal with. And as for the guys, you’re now able to seek the sophisticated woman you’ve yearned for instead of settling for girls who spend all of their free time shopping in droves for things they don’t need. To each their own. And when you get to college, the pool of possible partners just went from seriously slim picking to amazingly overwhelming.
But many of the rules have changed too.

Independence equals your own space, away from the watchful eyes of Mom and Dad. No more sneaking your boyfriend in through the window at night or having to get your girlfriend home by curfew. This all sounds great, but there’s a downside too. Some choose to abuse this freedom. Or simply have different beliefs and practices when it comes to dating. While many guys or girls enjoy having a «one and only», there are some who don’t like to be «exclusive.» And then there’s the «friends with benefits» scenario where, true to form, someone almost always develops real feelings and ends up getting hurt.

When I was a freshman, away on my own for the first time, I certainly was concerned about college dating etiquette: what was normal? What wasn’t? What was right and what was wrong? What did I really want?

Well, one night at a party at the men’s lacrosse team house, I met a guy. A cute guy. He was studying business and economics. So, also a smart guy. We began talking and he walked me back to my dorm. Turns out he lived just a couple halls down from me in the same building. We exchanged numbers and decided to hang out again. This was the first guy I’d had interest in and wanted to things to work out or at least see where they went. I remember feeling very nervous. I wanted him to respect me but I also wanted to make sure he knew I was interested. Since he played guitar and I’m a singer-songwriter, we decided to hang out at his place, have a couple drinks and jam a little bit. Well one drink lead to three and we definitely ended up making more than music.

When I left his room, he said he’d call me and we should do this again sometime. Did he mean we should hang out again? Or was he just interested in the physical portion? Either way, when I got back to my dorm room and talked to my roommate about what had happened, she told me she’d heard through a few people about this guy, and that he’s notorious for hooking up with multiple girls. I have to say, I wasn’t entirely disappointed because it’s not like we’d been actually dating for months or anything, but I still felt sort of fooled.

Moral of the story: No one can tell you how to live your life or dictate the choices that you make. But if you’re interested in finding love and a committed, truthful relationship, do your homework and communicate. More opportunities also mean more opportunities for failure.

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