10 Common College Dating Mistakes And How You Can Avoid Them

For most of us, college is like a breath of fresh air compared to high school. You’re living on your own for the first time, meeting new people everyday, and (finally) dating real “men”. Ha, that’s a laugh! While it may be true that college guys are slightly more mature than their high school counterparts, they still have a lot of growing up to do. Then again, so do you. And that, my friend, is precisely why it is important to adjust your dating expectations accordingly. Keep reading for common college dating mistakes and how you can avoid them!

1. Bringing your high school relationship with you to college.

You and your S.O. will change over the next four years and you may not necessarily change for the better together. Take this time to be selfish and expand your horizons, like Cher.

Ugh, as if!

2. College is for finding out who you are, not finding Mr. Right.

So many of the young women I have met in college waste their energy on fruitless romantic ventures instead of challenging themselves to be better, learn more, and demand what they’re worth. At our age (early twenties), it is important to focus on oneself and never, ever let a man get in the way of what it is you really want.


3. Following in mother’s footsteps instead of paving your own path.

So many people’s parents met while at school that it has become cliche. It may be a cute story to tell your grand kids one day, but you know what’s more inspiring? Having that diploma hanging on the wall. While I am sure yours parents would be happy to know you’ve met someone who “completes you,” I would wager a bet that they’d be more proud to know that you’ve completed your degree.

4. Don’t date just to avoid being alone.

I understand the appeal of having someone to call when no one’s around, but I think learning to cope with the silence is one of those invaluable college lessons not taught in the lecture hall. You need to learn to enjoy your own company before anyone else can, too. Furthermore, if you’re willing to settle for someone just because you want to avoid having no one, always remember that you are settling. He will not satisfy you in the long run.

5. The guys at the bars are not boyfriend material.

They may seem sweet, complimenting your eyes or offering to buy you booze, but don’t be fooled. They have one thing on their mind and it’s not you’re five year plan. Let’s be honest, you’re not at the bar to meet your fiance either. Appreciate the cheesy pickup lines when you’re in need of a lil pick-me-up, but (to quote the Black Eyed Peas) don’t fall in love at the disco club.

These are the guys you meet at the bars…they look different without your beer goggles on, huh?

6. For the love of god, don’t go dating the cutie in your calculus class.

Trust me, you’ll thank me mid-semester when things go south because you two were on different pages and you now have to see him every Tuesday/Thursday for an hour and a half. I am all for a bit of innocent flirting here and there, some seductive study sessions, but don’t get involved with a classmate until the semester is over and you’ve passed with flying colors.


7. Don’t f*ck with f*ckboys.

Warning: college is slim pickings to begin with so if you follow this piece of unsolicited advice, your dating pool will shrink exponentially. You can’t really avoid ’em until they grow out of it in 10-15 years (and not all men do) but that’s no reason not to date. However, you do not, under any circumstances, have to tolerate their crap. If they say/do/don’t do anything that is not up to your standards, walk away. No explanation necessary. They’ll figure it out, or they won’t in which case they’re too stupid for you anyway.

8. Just looking for a hookup?

Good for you, but don’t expect a phone call in the A.M. I never understood the double standard between men and women having casual sex. Turn your “walk of shame” into a stride of pride and own your decisions. Nobody can make you feel ashamed unless you give them the power to. It’s your personal life and if you need a meaningless* fling to get you through midterms, more power to ya! *Remember, I said “meaningless.”

9. If you do officially date someone while at school, remember that you have other relationships besides your partner.

I cannot stand it when girls meet a guy and suddenly drop everything that used to be important to them. You each had your own individual lives before you got together and you need to maintain those worlds for your sanity. Make time to see your friends without your man there and give him leave to do the same.

Enjoy a get mani-pedi or boozy brunch best friend date!

10. Breakups are not the end of the world.

Not even close. You are so much stronger than the girl that cries into a gallon of Ben & Jerry’s while watching sappy Rom Coms. Accept that if you two aren’t together there’s probably a (good) reason.

11. And even if you and your boo make it all the way to graduation, that doesn’t mean you’re meant to be.

When college ends, don’t give up amazing opportunities for you based on your relationship. If you get a job offer on the other side of the country, take it. Accepted to med school in the city? Go. Don’t hold pack for the sake of having someone to hold you at night. If the two of you really want to make it work you can always try long distance and longterm. But your dreams must always come first, and your relationship should not be a limiting factor.

College is stressful enough with classes, GPAs, and your entire future hanging over your head, who needs boy drama on top of that? Guys will always be there. In fact, they often get better with age (it’s infuriating, isn’t it?). Focus on becoming the best you that you can be right now and worry about men later instead of trying to force a subpar relationship now. Have fun and relax knowing that not everything will be perfect but that it also doesn’t have to be.

Featured photo source: and
Catherine Roddy


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