10 Tips For Dating In College

10 Tips For Dating In College

A little more complicated than dating in high school.

Welcome to college, where everything you once knew about dating is backwards. Hookups tend to happen before the feels come out, sleepovers are not out of the ordinary and dates include doing laundry together. But with that being said, here are some fundamental tips to keep a healthy relationship during your time in college.

1. Manage your time

Time management is one the hardest skills to master in college, but it basically sums up your four years here. You’re scheduled down to the minute, from classes to going out with your friends. Spending time with your boyfriend is perfectly acceptable, but don’t forget to make room for your friends in your schedule.

2. If this relationship is taking away from your happiness, don’t waste your time

One of the large aspects of a relationship is making the other person feel loved. Constant fighting over little things can lead to belittling the relationship and really hurt the other person. You’re only in college for such a short period of time, so why waste it on a guy who can’t provide you with that affection?

3. Don’t do long distance unless you are set on marrying them

College is all about trial and error, but being in a long-distance relationship limits the waters that you can test out. You don’t want time to fly by and realize they weren't the one and you never had the chance to meet anyone else. With that being said, having someone somewhere else doesn’t mean you have to isolate yourself from going out. If you are 100 percent sure they are the one for you, then keep it going!

4. Find yourself first

I can’t stress this enough!! How can you expect to find happiness in your relationship if you don’t even know how to find happiness on your own? When I say find yourself, I don’t mean have every little detail figured out. My god, we’re only 20! Just come to better understand yourself and how you operate.

5. Giving each other space is OK

Privacy on campus is almost as rare as seeing an engineer during the day. Everyone needs their own “me” time, and you have to respect that. Try not to take it personal.

6. You're balling on a budget

Clearly, extravagant dates are out of the picture at this time in our lives. Personally, I believe that guys shouldn’t have to pay for everything, but if he insists, be grateful. If that boy offers to buy you Zips, keep him around!

7. Compromise

You can’t always have your way. Learning to keep your mind open to their ideas and suggestions will not only expose you two to new experiences together, but you’ll also discover what does and doesn’t work in your relationship.

8. Collide your two worlds

Become friends with theirs, and hopefully they do the same for you. Trust them, and don’t be scared to try new foods or TV shows. You’ll learn more about the person they are today by understanding their past.

9. Keep an open mind

Remember if you’re ever frustrated or upset, try and see it from their point of view. There is always something going on that we don’t fully know about, so don’t be too quick to judge.

10. There is nothing wrong with being single

Single is a lot of fun because you’re only in charge of yourself. Just because you haven’t found the right person yet doesn’t mean you need to settle for someone now. They’ll come along. Who knows, they might be out there now but you just haven’t crossed paths on campus yet!

Cover Image Credit: Kelsie McKenna

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Falling In Love Is Easy But Staying In Love Is Harder

You never see it coming and then unexpectedly, it all catches up, and you eventually realize that there is no turning back.

Over the years that I have dated, I have fallen in love twice and stayed in love once.

The first time it happened, I was naive, emotional, and idealistic. However, in the end, I was left extraordinarily broken and unaware. For the most part, I spent a lot of time thinking about why things did not work out how we intended. It was easy until it was not.

The second time I fell in love was quite the opposite experience I went through the first time I fell in love. I was very cautious, skeptical, and built an emotional fortress for protection. Eventually, it all came crumbling down, brick by brick, until I was back to a familiar place. All that mattered was that he and I were happy and that everything felt right.

That is what falling in love is. It is a natural high, a rush of intense emotions -- anticipation, warmth, euphoria, and fear -- that takes you by force.

You never see it coming and then unexpectedly, it all catches up, and you eventually realize that there is no turning back. When you find yourself at that sweet spot, you think to yourself, "This is where I want to be. I want to stay right here forever."

As we fall in love, our affections effortlessly motivate us.

These feelings propel us to make some of the most irrational decisions or perform unexpected romantic tasks, like staying up all night talking on the phone despite having exams or an important task you have to do the next day or doing anything to spend a day with him or her.

Emotions, especially love, passion, and happiness are our strongest motivators because we will do anything to maintain them.

However, we often fail to realize that it never lasts. What goes up must come down and sometimes, it can last for a couple of months, and sometimes it can last for a couple of years.

We are often blinded by the illusion that everything good is infinite and invincible. Once you come down and reality sinks, it gets a little tricky.

When the feelings subside, we must work twice as hard to maintain and deepen the relationships.

The emotions become less intense until they stabilize into something that is just part of your everyday life. Without the intensity, the motivation eventually fades, and that is when things start to get comfortable.

Once you are in the comfort zone, the relationship either becomes stale and unappealing, or it evolves into a two-player team depending on what you do next. If you genuinely want to stay in love, choose love -- a choice build on the foundations of communication, acceptance, and selflessness.

It means being honest with your significant other while being true to yourself and understanding that compromises are the key to all healthy relationships. It means connecting and sometimes disconnecting, but always discussing your feelings without blame, assumptions, and insults so that you will never have to go to bed sad or angry.

It means knowing that your partner will make mistakes but always speaking before reacting so that the two of you can learn and grow from the experience. It means that even when you do not feel the love at any given moment, you do not give in to the short-term emotions and will instead behave and communicate with tenderness and patience. Share your vulnerabilities and consciously decide to forgive and move on.

In the end, the effort is in the decisions you make.

Deciding on anything is not easy because it requires consciousness and careful thought, whereas emotions can master you without your consent.

Choosing love is choosing selflessness and taking a much higher road -- a task that is not easily done as we are inherently in it for ourselves.

However, if we realize that temporary is easy but forever is hard, we will consistently work for the things and people who are worth fighting for while enjoying the magic and enhancement of all the is finite.

Cover Image Credit: Elizabeth Zamudio

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