One of the new, exciting things college brings is the opportunity to date around without your parents’ approval, or even knowledge if that is what you prefer. If you grew up in a small town like I did, you probably didn’t have too much dating experience. I only had one serious relationship in high school and everything else was mere practice. It was hard to find someone to date that hadn’t already dated someone you knew and I was never one to get in the middle of that drama. So most of my dating life emerged once I moved to Boston. This is just some of what dating has taught me.
A charming place to date
Let me tell ya, Boston is a GREAT place to date. There are so many universities in close proximity and so many cute spots to go on dates, during any season. But just because the location is charming, doesn’t mean the experience has always been. This is just some of what dating has taught me.
Don’t rush it
I have to start off by saying to NOT jump into a serious relationship when you first get to college. It is hard not to if you connect with someone right off the bat but you are most likely trying to feel less lonely and cling onto something comfortable instead of having to face this new life experience by yourself. I made this mistake my freshman year and warn everyone against it.
So after this inevitable breakup happened around early November, I began to date around. At first it was terrifying meeting new people and tiring trying to figure out how I wanted to present myself and what I do and do not like in someone. For me it is almost like a side job trying to gather up the courage to get myself out there. I almost wanted to flake last minute every single time. But I didn’t. Even though not every date was movie theater magical, I learned SO much. I learned about other people’s lives: their experiences, origins, habits, and quirks. I also learned so much about myself. It was really fun getting to share different parts of my life with someone and tell them about my roots and form bonds. It is just nice making connections, even if they don’t all end up being Prince Charming or whatever. It was a nice self esteem boost to just get out there. This is just some of what dating has taught me.
But not all my experiences were that light-hearted. I encountered a lot of men that really hurt me and who did not respect me in the way I deserve to be respected. One of the mistakes I made was letting this behavior continue, even when I knew it bothered me. I spent three months seeing someone that obviously did not care about my thoughts or feelings, but I did not want to be alone so I put up with it. It took me awhile to gain enough respect for myself to shut this relationship down. It was painful at first, but once the tears ran dry I felt free. I felt liberated. I was finally in control of myself and my emotions and I swore I would never let a man walk all over me like that again.
Taking a break
I took a break from dating for awhile after this, and focused on myself. This was crucial to developing enough self love to find someone that truly respected me. A little while later I ended up meeting someone pretty fantastic that I am still seeing. He is kind, funny and above all, he respects who I am, inside and out. So go out and date. Get to know others and yourself. But don’t sacrifice your sense of worth in the process. This is just some of what dating has taught me.