During the years of high school, I was not one of those girls that many guys pursued, which was totally okay. I chose not to date in high school so that I could focus on my grades and keep up with my many extracurricular activities. There were many boys that had caught my eye, but I never chose to pursue or if they showed interest, I kindly turned them away. I did not have my first relationship until the second semester of my senior year. The relationship only lasted a month and it ended for good reasons. You know when the relationship is right and when it isn't, but it's up to the individual to decide to stay or not. I had not yet reached the level I needed to be in order to cope and grow with the guy I had been dating. He was ready for a long-term, possibly leading to marriage type of relationship, whereas he was my first true boyfriend.

With that being said, I decided that after graduation I would just go out on dates and meet new people and hopefully make new friends in the process. That summer did just the trick and helped me get comfortable and settled into the dating world enough to finally be ready and open to a relationship. About a month into my first semester of college, I went dancing with a guy I had met in the Liberal Arts building on campus. We immediately hit it off and kept hanging out, then we got serious incredibly fast. Too fast. There are many signs that can prove to you that this is not the person you should be with, and most can recognize them sooner or later.

In the dating world today, the main way people meet is either on campus or on some form of dating site or social media. Tinder and Bumble are the most popular dating sites used, but these should also be used with caution. Whether you're looking for a serious relationship or friends, you definitely need to make that clear. For me, dating in college has been rough, but I think that's mostly due to the fact that I was just getting the hang of things.

Recently I have gone out on a few dates, some of them good and some of them bad. There were guys who were really sweet and made me laugh, which to me is very important. Then there were others who ended up lying to me about themselves, such as age and marital status which is a huge factor to consider. A plus side to dating is that it sometimes leads to new friendships, cause maybe a relationship with that person was not what God had intended for you. Sometimes it's hard to remember that there is a plan for your life and you don't really know what it is yet.

Through my personal experience, I've learned to really get to know someone before actually going out with them. That was learned the hard way. Perhaps the biggest piece of advice I could give is that you must love yourself before putting yourself out there. If you don't love yourself, then you risk getting into a toxic relationship that will do more harm than good. Turning to God really helped me start to believe in myself and helped me gain my sense of independence. I just decided that I would start to put more trust in Him and believed that if He was going to put me through it, then He would get me through it.

Present day me is currently looking to make new, lasting friends and if I meet someone, great! If I don't, that's perfectly fine as well. I am making more time for friends and making sure to go out more instead of just staying at home all the time. Overall, dating is an absolutely weird and awkward process.