College dating. It’s full of situationships, no commitment, meaningless hookups and pretty sh*t communication. As described by some of the college students I surveyed, college dating in a few words is “awful, h*ll, terrible and lonely.”
If any of you know me personally, you’d know I have some of the craziest and worst college dating stories. Going from a long-term relationship in high school to being in multiple three-month situationships has not been the easiest journey.
My storybook of horrendous dating stories ranges from me driving eight hours for a military man, getting told to shut up by a guy’s ex and the guy himself and being ghosted by the same guy… TWICE.
However, I know that my unlucky choice in men does not represent everyone’s college dating experience. I don’t think anyone wants to listen to me complain about Tallahassee men for over 500 words. Therefore, I took to my social media platforms to ask you guys about your stories, dating fails and frustrations.
When asked, “What is your college dating experience?” I got a plethora of different types of responses. One surveyor explained how they’ve jumped from hookups to a long-term situationship, and now they’re happily in a relationship. At the end of their answer, they said, “These past couple of weeks with him have simply been amazing. But I often find myself wondering, ‘where’s the punch line.'”
I feel like lots of us can resonate with that last statement. When we are used to poor communication and zero commitment, it feels weird when someone wants to commit to us.
A common answer given when asked what they disliked about college dating was the prevalence of hookup culture. People also expressed how “nobody wants anything authentic” and “it’s all hookups and no one is genuine.”
Honestly, I can also relate to this as I find that most people are not looking for anything serious. People run at any sign of emotions if you even get to that point. “Dates” are being invited over to someone’s place after midnight. Then maybe you get asked over again, but only just to sit in their bed and die of dehydration because they didn’t offer you water. Pro tip: Be a good host, and at least offer some d*mn water. After all of that, you’ve probably been ghosted and never see each other again.
I think a substantial issue with college dating is that people don’t spend quality time with one another. At this time in our lives, we are so focused on ourselves that we don’t want to work on building a relationship with someone. I don’t think this is completely a bad thing. At our age, we are still figuring out who we are, our interests and our careers. Relationships take effort and work and you have to be willing to commit to that. What I do think is bad is that people dismiss the idea of going on an actual date. We often forget the person on that dating profile is a real person and not just our next hookup. In the words of a college student who took this survey, they wished they weren’t “only being wanted for my body and not my mind.
My mom told me this quote, which I’m sure everyone has heard: “You’ll find love when you stop looking.” I believe this is true. If you’re so caught up in finding someone, you’re not focused on living to be the best version of yourself. However, that is harder said than done, as college can get very lonely sometimes. People crave attention and affection, but also want independence which is why I think hookup culture is so popular.
Like I thought, dating apps are used by almost all college students, especially since the pandemic has started. 80.6 percent of the 31 people surveyed said they have had an account on a dating app and 19.4 percent said they have never had one.
On these apps, users create a profile displaying the best versions of themselves and then aimlessly swipe on others based on the few pictures they provide. Hinge, a popular dating app similar to Tinder, proclaims that it’s designed to be deleted. However, I don’t think Hinge users are truly looking for a relationship. Someone close to me said it best, “Most dating apps really are hookup apps sadly.”
When I set out to make this article, I thought maybe I was just a pessimist when it came to dating, and my negative attitude was just an exaggeration of my bad experiences. However, I learned that collectively most college students all despise the college dating culture.
That said, I recommend leaving with positive takeaways from these heartaches. The situationship that never progressed to be more wasn’t meant to be. And each time something didn’t work out, you grew and you learned.
Trust me, don’t worry too much about finding “the one” just yet. There’s a very high chance your Mr. or Mrs. Right is not in the city of Tallanasty. Just remember, you are enough and there is someone out there waiting for you.
Don’t settle for less.
I wanted to end this article with a few answers to one of the questions I asked. I made this article to represent all your opinions, not just mine. Disclaimer: Even if I didn’t include your response, trust me I read it and most likely empathized with you hard.
What do you wish would change about college dating culture?
- “I wish there’d be better communication skills, and I wish girls wanted to go on dates and that guys wanted to take them.”
- “I wish I could change the fact that many men expect you to have sex with them early on.”
- “Boys don’t know what a date is.”
- “I wish people would be more serious and less shallow.”
- “Dating apps seem so judgmental and I wish it was more laid back.”
- “Guys would care more.”
- “Just be more open about intentions and for people to be honest about what they want.”