Love in college. Recently, I’ve found myself wondering more and more if it truly is possible. I used to be one of those hopeless romantics that thought love would find me anywhere, when I was good and ready and when I was least expecting it. But, college so far has made me quite the cynic. Every time I interact with a man my age or around the college age, I’m utterly flabbergasted by the kind of behavior they think is okay. And it’s not just me. I’ve heard enough stories from college girls about being wronged by college men to know that my experiences aren’t isolated.
So what makes them think they can treat us so badly? And what’s even more upsetting is the immediate reaction of a girl faced with a guy who treats her with basic human decency. It’s like he’s a saint! It seems to me that we’ve almost become habituated to men our age treating us badly, and we almost accept it at this point. So let’s take a step back and discuss why.
Let’s face it, the college dating pool can be kind of limiting at times, especially if you’re at a small school like Emerson. While I’m trying to keep this article broad enough for the whole college experience, keep that in mind. There are so many beautiful, fun and smart girls in college that it’s hard to imagine there are as many decent guys out there. Many of them treat the experience as a marathon to see how many girls they can sleep with. It’s hard to not get all gooey inside when a guy finally gives you some attention when there are so many other great options, but it’s good to remember your own worth. Some of them truly are not worth it!
We’ve all made the mistake of giving a guy-who really didn’t deserve it- our time and energy just to feel bamboozled when he turns out to be scum. Remember what it’s like to be treated like the Queen you are and for a relationship to be mutually give and take, whether it’s serious or not. And don’t just take that guy all your friends hate just because he’s the first one that comes knocking! If we keep this up, they’ll hopefully eventually learn that respect and good manners gets you farther.
Raise your hand if it’s been over six months since you were with someone who treated you right and who you genuinely liked. My hand went up. Raise your hand if you’ve never really been in a relationship where a guy treated you with dignity and understanding. This is one of the reasons why I think we’ve begun to have such low standards. We forget what it’s really like for a guy to be open and communicative and to actually have a conversation with them.
When they actually act like humans with brains to college girls. It can be so damn good. Sometimes this means starting out as friends and not directly jumping to sex. Try to remember what it’s like to really get to know a person. When he’s trying to pressure you back to his apartment, maybe say no. Or tell him exactly what you want from him, ask for what you want, and then it’s up to him to decide what kind of guy he’s going to be. Take control of the situation, that may be the last thing they want to give you but it’s time we took back the reins!
Now, I’m not over here trying to put all the responsibility on us college girls. The men in these situations should know better too. But sometimes it takes one of us to give them a wake up call and let them know how much they really hurt us. Sometimes they really do have good intentions, kind of, but have no idea how to conduct themselves. Men really can be quite dumb. Something that seems so obvious to us, often doesn’t even cross their minds. Remembering this can really go pretty far when it comes to any kind of relationship. Spelling it out, telling them the truth, pointing out what they do that’s upsetting and reinforcing the things they do right. I know I probably sound like I’m talking about training a golden retriever, but didn’t someone once say men are dogs??
Letting go of a guy for college girls can kind of be like fishing. You finally got one, and now you have to throw him back because it turns out he’s the kind you can’t eat. I understand the tendency to do everything in your power to make it work with a guy, I’ve been there. But sometimes that does more harm than good. I get that finding a guy you can be comfortable around and who likes you back is somewhat of a miracle, but trust me girl, you’ll find another one! If a guy isn’t putting in as much effort as you are or he isn’t giving you want you want or need, and you’re working extra hard to make him happy drop him! He’s not worth the months full of pain and wondering, just for him to drop you. Let’s take the initiative shall we?