Modern Dating Isn't For Me

Coming into college, I was excited for the fresh start: new environment, new friends and new romantic possibilities. Perhaps I was disillusioned, but I really thought college would be a place where there would be endless opportunities to meet a romantic interest. I quickly realized, though, that I had entered a dating world that I still do not really understand to this day.

I knew that hookup culture would be a huge phenomenon at college, but I remained optimistic that dating did still exist on campus. When I started my freshman year, I realized that dating apps were also a significant portion of the dating scene here on campus. I do recognize that some people find successful relationships through online dating, but apps are not a dating process that works for everyone. There are also the select few who have long-distance relationships with people from their hometowns. The question I find my single friends and I asking ourselves often is, “What do you do if these dating methods aren’t for you?”

Well, you’re left to thrive in the single life. I want to emphasize that I support being single. There are so many lessons and experiences to be had through navigating life while being single. I think it’s normal, though, to have moments where you wish that there was a romantic interest in your life. Yes, you have to love yourself, but it’s okay to also crave a love story with someone else.

Sometimes, it’s also just nice to have a crush on someone. Since coming to college, my single friends and I have all related to the fact that we have not had a crush on anyone on campus. That can be frustrating to not have someone you would even want to date. Sure, you may see an attractive person in your class or see someone walk by that catches your eye, but you don’t know the person’s name or where you could interact with this individual. We are all essentially anonymous in our classes. Clubs, as well as classes, don’t provide social outlets often outside the meetings themselves. I do also think that hookup culture and dating apps have possibly influenced our college campus to not look for love in our day-to-day lives. Some people just hope to have the courage to talk to someone while being drunk at a party or through an app while being in the comfort of their room. Approaching someone you may like in person is terrifying for anyone. I just think hookup culture and dating apps can act as escape mechanisms for not trying to date in our day-to-day lives.

When I was a first year, I thought I was alone in feeling out of place in this modern-day college dating scene. I questioned if I was being close-minded or if I had unrealistic expectations and standards. As I made more friendships during the year, I realized that I was not alone in feeling the way I did. While writing this, I’ll admit that I kept worrying if I was going to offend someone for saying dating apps or hookup culture are not for me. I decided to keep writing, though, because I wish someone would have voiced this opinion to me at the beginning of freshman year. If you don’t understand the modern dating scene, you are not alone. To give you some hope, I do know a few people who have met someone in person that turned into a romantic relationship. There is a possibility of it happening to you and me; we just both have to be patient.