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As a junior at Florida State University (FSU), I have a plethora of experiences that have shaped the way I date nowadays. Something I have grown to understand is that the rules of college dating differ much from dating in “the outside world.”

When it comes to dating college men that solely think with their d****, you must learn how to play their game. Consider me the Yoda to your Luke. The Mr. Miyagi to your Daniel. Or even better, your college-age Samantha Jones. And who is Samantha Jones you may ask? Before there was “Call Her Daddy”’s Alex Cooper, there was Samantha Jones, one of the main characters of the hit show Sex and the City. Samantha is a wildly independent girl boss who, throughout the show, shares both hilarious commentary and amazing yet controversial dating advice.

One of her iconic lines that changed my romantic life is “have s*x like a man.” This provocative metaphor single-handedly broke the glass ceiling in my mind and allowed me to come to an important realization… stop letting men have all the power. This is the moment when I decided to learn how to play this “so-called” game better than any of these men. Dominate your dating life by taking back control. After all, it’s 2021! It’s time for women to dictate this game now. So, if you’re reading this and struggling to win “the game,” get your pencils out because this lesson is about to begin…

Have no EXPECTATIONS UNTIL HE PROVES HIMSELF WORTHY

I learned the hard way to let go of all expectations when it comes to college men. Though words of affirmation are nice to hear, actions are the real deciding factor of whether or not he is really into you. This sounds a bit pessimistic, but it’s easier to move on if you are already prepared for disappointment. If he is different from the others, then he will show you, so don’t believe a word that comes out of his mouth until they align with his actions. Chad in Apple Chi Beta can shower you with compliments all he wants, but if Chad isn’t making any effort to see you then I would move down the roster. Thank you, next.

DON’T PUT ALL OF YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET

Girl, you are single and you have options… embrace that! Don’t cut off communication with your other suitors unless this man is obviously trying to wife you up. When you are out with him at a bar, don’t be afraid to talk to other guys because after all, you are still single. Making it clear to him that he is not the only guy that is pursuing you will reveal his true intentions with you. And if his feelings are strong, I guarantee you he will be extremely threatened and will even rush into turning your situationship into a relationship. Also, if things don’t work out, it’s not like you are left with nothing. Just take one of your roster men off the sidelines.

LET HIM CHASE YOU

Honey, don’t be that girl who is constantly asking him to get together. Making yourself overly available often comes off as desperation to a man, which is not the message you want to convey. When he sees that she is too accessible and has no sense of “mystery,” he will run for the hills. Avoid initiating contact with him to further show that he needs you more than you need him. This will keep him guessing and also “keeps the mystery alive.” Playing hard to get can be seen as childish to some if done incorrectly. But, if you play your cards right, you will find yourself providing him with enough effort to keep him interested while also displaying that you have other priorities in your life. Men are subconsciously adrenaline junkies that are always on the hunt for that new high, and the thrill of the chase supplies men with that high. Remember that oftentimes, men want what they can’t have. So, the less you seem to care, the more he will want you to.

CONFIDENCE IS SEXY

Nothing is sexier than confidence, there I said it! Self-love is a necessity when it comes to finding a true connection. There’s something about pure confidence that is illuminating, and like light to a moth, a confident woman is surely going to attract many men. I, personally, am extremely independent and confident, and when I go out to the club, I strive to make that as noticeable as possible. The smallest things such as having great posture, acting comfortably in your environment, and simply being yourself can go a long way when you are making a first impression with a man. Though strong women intimidate men, they are nonetheless intriguing.

IF HE GHOSTS YOU, GHOST HIM RIGHT BACK

If I could scream this last rule from the rooftops, I 100 percent would… DO NOT TEXT HIM IF HE HAS GHOSTED YOU! Being ghosted is the unfortunate yet unavoidable initiation into college dating. We have all been there, and yes, it sucks. But you will only make the situation worse by texting him. Finding closure within yourself is the healthiest way to move on. Whatever he responds with will be bullsh*t anyway. “I’m just really busy,” “I didn’t mean to hurt you,” “It’s not you, it’s me …” how are these responses really going to benefit your well-being? Since he has now established himself as a ghost in your love life, you need to treat him as such. Bury his lingering presence in your life along with your Snapchat streak. College dating can be scary enough, so no thanks. He had his chance.

Though my dating advice may come off a bit harsh, I promise it comes from a place of love. We all deserve the absolute best when it comes to men, and we’ve been victims of this game for far too long. By taking time to understand the male dating strategy, I have grown to have success in this game. You too can become a professional by taking these rules down in your playbook and into your romantic life starting now.

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Raegan is currently a junior pursuing a career in Public Relations and Travel Journalism. She loves to shop, travel and spend time with her French bulldog Moonpie.
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