Dating for the Girl who Doesn't Date

When most people think back on their first date, they’re usually reminiscing about a time in middle or high school. For me, it started my sophomore year in college.

While everyone else is relatively comfortable with their knowledge of the dating scene, the girls that are still fairly or completely new to the subject can feel extremely overwhelmed. And then it’s even harder to put yourself out there.

You get bogged down by questions like “What if I’m a horrible kisser?” or “What if my inexperience is a huge turnoff?”, and this can be enough to make a girl say no to a date that she may really want to go on because it makes her doubt yourself.

I don’t know how many times I’ve annoyed my roommates in the past couple weeks alone with dating questions, but it’s hard not to. This whole dating thing is still very new and it’s scary not to have a grasp on something that seems to be old news to most people.

Because dating in college is different than dating in high school. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. So based off of my knowledge from a couple bad dates last year and a couple good dates this year, this is what it’s like to date for the girl who doesn’t date (at least in my case):

  • Sometimes you wonder if there’s something wrong with you.

I understand this feeling because I’ve been there, too. And even after going on a couple of successful dates, the thought still sometimes crosses my mind. Which is crazy, because there is NOTHING wrong with you. There’s nothing worse than dating before you’re ready to, and even though I’m sure you’ve been told it just as much as I have, when you’re ready, you’ll know. But it’s so true. You will know when you’re ready to get out there, so don’t make yourself do something you’re not comfortable with yet.

  • You’re a little hesitant to put yourself out there.

Or maybe more than a little hesitant. Deep down I knew that it was time for me to try out this whole dating thing, but I was too scared to really start. It’s hard to put yourself out there when you’re not sure what you’re doing, and yeah, sometimes you’ll get rejected or hit on by someone you don’t actually like, but that’s okay. Move on and try again. Ask your friends for advice and even for a little push in the right direction if you’re ready.

  • You’re a bundle of nerves before the date.

Yes, many people who have dated before are also nervous before a date with a new person, but there’s a different type of panic that sets in when you’re actually stepping into the unknown. The solution that works best for me isn’t finding something to distract myself, but rather sitting with my friends and voicing my thoughts. You’re friends love you and will help reassure you, especially those friends who are already well versed in the dating scene. And while you’ll still be hella nervous, it’s always nice knowing that you have a support system waiting for you when you get back.

  • You’re a bundle of nerves at the END of the date.

So yes, there is some relief knowing that, as your date is either walking you back to your car or dropping you back off at your place, you’ve made it through your first date, good or bad. But then, the closer they get to dropping you off, you wonder what you’re supposed to do. Should you kiss them goodbye? But what if you’re a horrible kisser? Do you just hug? Do you just say goodbye and leave? If you had a good time, should you let them know? Well, not all dates end the same. If you don’t want to kiss them or aren’t ready to, then don’t worry about it. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do. And if you maybe want to kiss them but aren’t ready to initiate it, see what they do at the end of the date. Let them initiate it, and if they don’t, just shake it off and wait for the next date, because not everyone kisses after the first date. And if you had a good time, definitely let them know, because that most likely means they had a good time, too.

  • After the date (if it goes well) you’ll continue to question whether or not they actually like you.

This may just be me, but I always worry that I like them more than they like me. It’s a new experience, this dating thing, and it can take a little while for you to trust that gut feeling letting you know the date actually went well and that person actually likes you. And it’ll be a great relief when that person sends you a text after the date and asks you out again.

  • You may read too much into things/Overthink everything.

Again, this may just be me, but when something's completely new to you, it’s hard not to overthink everything. For a while, it seemed like every little text had an underlying meaning, or if they didn’t respond back fast enough then I’d said something wrong. But as my friends have told me time and time again, breathe, because not everything has a hidden meaning, and if they stop talking to you because you’re being yourself, you don’t need them in your life. So just have fun with it and take it day by day.

  • The second date can sometimes be a little scarier than the first.

This one may seem a little weird, because you figure you’ve made it past the first date with a person and had a good enough time that you’ve agreed to go on a second. But when the second date comes around, you’re not sure if there’s more expected of you. Maybe they’ll want to hold hands or actually give a kiss goodbye this time. You won’t know if any of this is actually going to happen until you let yourself relax and just have fun. Because who knows where it could lead.

            So yes, starting to date in college is scary, but not scary enough that you should keep yourself from trying if you think you’re ready. Have fun with it and take it day by day, and soon you’ll feel like you have a better grasp on this whole dating thing.