College Dating: Expectation vs. Reality

College is full of thrills: parties, friends, internships, and, of course, dating. College dating is different for everyone. Some of us may be looking to find “the one,” while others are just hoping to get to know other people.  Before arriving at school, many people imagine what it would be like to have a romantic, nighttime stroll around campus. Others dream of dressing up to go out for dinner and a movie — having  the night end with him dropping you off at your place with a sweet, perfectly-timed kiss goodnight.

But are these expectations realistic?

Expectation: The Initial Meeting

In your daydreams, you imagine you’ll bump into him at a football game where your dazzling smile and fun personality will win him over. Maybe you hope to meet him at the library where you’ll discuss the finer points of philosophy and English literature over a cup of coffee. Or maybe you dream of meeting him on the first day of a new class – he’ll walk over to the desk next to yours, when you look up shyly he’ll ask, “Is this seat taken?”

Reality: Romance Right at Your Fingertips

As a college student, I rarely hear of people going on dates with people they meet out of the blue. Most college students use the infamous app Tinder, or maybe even the rising app Friendsy, to find possible romantic partners. No shy glances or flirty smiles are needed to start a chat with somebody; all it takes is a mutual right swipe. Does this make dating any less special, though? Think about it this way: if you both have the same intentions and are able to talk to one another, the date is a blast. If either of you have the wrong idea or conversation is slow, it’s so-so, regardless of using an app or meeting by chance.

Expectation: Going Out

You may imagine that your date will surprise you with a bouquet of flowers and pick you up in his car. You might also dream of him taking you out to dinners and movies. Maybe one day you’ll go on a trip to somewhere exciting and new.

Reality: Low Budget Beaus

You have to keep this in mind: most college students, guy or gal, are broke or running off of a very small amount of cash. You can’t expect your potential bae to have the money to take you out all the time. This doesn’t mean you guys can’t make the most of the time you have with each other. You can find free or low cost events to attend on campus, or you can just enjoy nights in watching Netflix. You could even rent a movie from your school’s library and get some popcorn ready for the two of you.

Expectation: Love-Making

You picture amazing, romantic, passionate sex in your college years. It’ll be with a very special person under the best of circumstances. On the other hand, you may want the opportunity to experiment with several people and find out what you like and dislike. Then again, you may also wish to wait for the right person. Whichever way you choose, it’s going to be great!

Reality: Dorm Room Sex and One Night Stands

Think about it; with roommates, work schedules, sports, clubs, study time and classes, finding “alone time” with your significant other may prove to be difficult. There’s nothing more awkward than having your roommate walk in on a steamy situation. Make sure you communicate with your roommate, possibly creating a sticky note system or a text signal to let each other know when you’re “busy.” Also, hooking up is much more common in college. Casual sex is considered normal on most campuses. Sometimes, a one night stand is as far as a fling goes. Something you must keep in mind is that not everyone is doing it. If casual sex isn’t your thing that’s totally fine. You should never feel pressured to do something you’re not comfortable with.

Expectation: Finding “The One”

Here’s the big one. You may be going to college to earn a degree and pursue your dreams, but sometimes those dreams include finding that special someone. This person will be your other half, and others will be amazed at how similar you two are! And after all finals, internships, and graduation requirements are said and done, you dream of being able to have this person as yours and only yours, forever.

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Reality: Find Yourself before Finding Others

A lot of people go to college expecting to find the person they will end up committing to long-term, and many do. It’s great to have this ultimate goal, but don’t let it limit you. College is the prime time to discover what you really want in life and who you want to become as a person. Opportunities will flood in when you least expect them, and you may find yourself falling for your passion instead of falling for a person. You might even find that you’re too busy for a committed relationship.

Needless to say, there’s so much that college life has to offer you. Your dreams may become your reality, but then again, as you go along in your journey, you may find that what you thought you originally wanted is not what you really need.




Featured image source:
Sydney Dawes

Sydney Dawes is an Ohio University student studying journalism. Her passions include writing, social media, Netflix, Pokemon, the color yellow, and betta fish. After earning her degree, Sydney plans on becoming a foreign correspondent for Middle Eastern affairs. Or going to law school. She really doesn’t know. Twitter: @sydneydawes_95, Instagram: @syd_the_kid1995

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