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Dating vs. Relationships: The Pros and Cons

Its the ultimate ‘Grass is Always Greener’ dilemma: what’s better? The Carrie Bradshawesque single life of the dating girl
or the comfortable Monica/Chandler style relationship

Here at Hercampus we’ve been there, done that and battled it out for you!

Here’s the pros and cons of each:




1.     Being able to look like crap
. One of the best things about having a boyfriend is that you can meet up in trackies with greasy hair tied into a bun and it’s an unspoken rule that he still has to love you. When you’re dating you find yourself wearing makeup in your Snapchats and straightening your annoyingly not-wavy-not-straight hair every time you meet up, which is a LOT of effort – whereas when you have a boyfriend then he still has to love you when you look like Jonah after he was eaten by that whale.

2.     Being in love. Ok, this is a totally soppy point. Yes, you can of course be in love with a guy and not be his girlfriend (look at Natalie Portman in No Strings Attached), but the love just feels so much more mutual when you have the title of ‘girlfriend’. Gone are the days when you obsess with your friends over what he means when he says “hi” instead of “hey”. You can live in confidence that he appreciates you because you’re a girlfriend goddess, and you can love him to the utmost extent and not be accused of being ‘too keen’.

3.     Being treated like a princess. When you’ve had a god-awful day and you’re curled up in bed watching Netflix, it’s so lovely when a guy texts you something like “chin up, I love you”. Also, it’s a total plus when you can’t be bothered to cook (aka microwave last night’s bolognaise) and he comes over and makes you something… Or, if not, then he’s at least up for ordering Dominos.


1.     Your friends pulling on a night out. It’s not that you want to get with anyone else, but it can feel slightly lonely when one minute you’re in a group of girls on Timepiece Wednesday and dancing to “Shake it Off” and the next minute every single person in your group is playing tonsil tennis with lads on a social.

2.     Fights are awful. When you fight with your boyfriend, it feels like the apocalypse is happening now (OK, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration…). Not even watching One Tree Hill on Netflix can make you feel better – it just sucks.

3.     The fear of becoming a Crazy Girlfriend. Sometimes you feel like you cross the line between ‘loving’ and ‘clingy’. We’ve all been there: the blue ticks on Whatsapp tell you that he’s read your message but he isn’t replying. From there it’s a slippery slope – should you double text him? Should you snapchat him and see if he opens it? Following this trail of thought will make you feel like a crazy girlfriend. So it’s important to remember that whilst having a boyfriend is great, you are greater. You shouldn’t feel jealous or insecure because you’re awesome and that’s why he’s with you.




1.     You get to meet lots of different people! Whether you meet your dates through Tinder or through a mate of a mate, what’s more fun than making new friends, or new ‘more than friends’? The prospect of meeting loads of new interesting people has definitely got to be a plus of not having an anchor, sorry… boyfriend, holding you back!

2.     It’s low commitment. You’re dates aren’t going to care if you don’t text them back within five minutes! Don’t fancy going out tonight, that’s fine, it’s a lot easier to cancel on someone you don’t know than someone who knows your entire schedule, or someone who will definitely rearrange. If you’re not feeling it, it’s a lot easier to break it off than having to break someone’s heart.

3.     More excitement! We all know we love going out for drinks and dinners, and being treated well. There’s nothing better than a guy trying his best to impress you, and in relationships
this ‘honeymoon’ stage can die a slow and painful death, until you’re both left in your pyjamas and greasy hair on a Friday night. Now this might be fun every now and then, but we all know we love getting dolled up for a cute meal! In essence, dating is the honeymoon period.


1.     You might meet some weirdos. Let’s not lie, we’ve all heard our fair share
of dating horror stories, and unfortunately, if you’re in the dating scene, you’re likely to meet a couple of odduns. It’s just the way it is, but at least you’ll have a hilarious story to tell your grandkids, or your next date.

2.     You have to look nice all the time. It’s true, sometimes there’s nothing better than going out with minimal effort, unfortunately one of the downsides of serial-dating is that every new guy needs to see you at your best potential, ergo, a lot of time stressing and getting ready!

3.     No long term boyfriend. Sometimes all we want is a guy we know will come round to make us a cup of tea because we can’t be bothered to move to the kitchen. Unfortunately, you need to have a boyfriend or some reeaaally great housemates to get this kind of treatment! 




I am the new President of Her Campus Exeter. Last year I was a very enthusiastic Sex & Relationships editor, and I hope to be a magazine journalist. I'm slightly addicted to Diet Coke, and running to the fridge is my idea of exercise.
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