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Girl Meets the Adult Dating World

When I entered college, I noticed my standards for the dating world graudally changing. I looked more for the guy who would make a great husband instead of the guy who was the hottest by my peer's standards. I was entering the world of dating adults. Now that we have hit college, the guys in our classes have just about matched our maturity levels and we can look at them without thinking "how immature." Whether we meet them downtown at the bar or on campus promoting their fraternity, there's no doubt that eventually we will find one we like enough to date. Now that we consider ourselves adults, the dating world has been changed and altered to match our maturity. We don't consider meeting at Chick-fil-a before school a date, nor do we have our parents giving us a curfew. We have higher standards than to say walking around the mall and eating at the food court is a date. We do things now like have a nice dinner at Applebee's or, if we're lucky, Long Horn Steakhouse, and other things like movie night or day trips to Macon. Now that we are in this world of dating like an adult, we have to change a few things about the way we treat the person we are dating. 

1) Be honest. In order to know if the relationship has anywhere to go, both parties need to be honest about themselves, their interests and hobbies, or the relationship has no place to grow. Without honesty, no one knows what the other person really feels about things, whether they have the same interests or if they enjoy being themselves together. For example, if a girl says she likes monster truck rallys because the guy she's daing loves monster trucks, but she really doesn't like them, she won't be able to participate in any conversation about them because she wouldn't know anything about them nor enjoy watching them. It would end up being an annoyance to talk about them because she does not have an interest in them.

2) Be yourself. If you're not acting like who you really are when you're dating someone, how can you expect to find a suitable husband? I know, you're probably saying, "but I'm not looking for a husband right now," and that's okay! But if you get into a habbit of acting like a mirror of whomever you're dating, then you won't know who YOU really are and you'll have a hard time finding a relationship where you feel comfortable in. You should always feel comfortable with the guy you're dating. After all, you're sharing all the intimate things about you with him and he needs to be able to accept you as you are. In my personal relationship, my guy and I have been dating for almost 3 years and we couldn't be happier. This is because at the very beginning of our relationship, we decided to be ourselves around each other. If you can't do it around anyone else, at least let it be the guy you're really into. This is how they learn what bothers you, what's okay, and what you love. Guys want to find out things about us so they can make us happy. Having a happy girlfriend, one that doesn't complain about everything the guy does, is something guys brag about to their friends. If they know how to make you happy then they will use it! 

3) Communication. This is key in an adult relationship. In highschool, there was an unspoken rule that if a girl texted the guy too often, she was clingy and needy. While there is a fine line between communication and being clingy, there does need to be a good balance of communication for the relationship to work. Guys have admitted they like it when girls text first, so don't be afraid to let your guy know you're thinking about him! However, don't go overboard. Sending your guy 5 texts in a row because he's not responding to you quick enough is not what I'm saying. That crosses the line between sweet and clingy. Just one message is enough until he has an opportunity to respond back to you. 

4) Set Standards. The dating world has changed and matured with you and it may be time to reevaluate your set of standards to cope with the many types of guys you'll meet in college and later in the workin world. You may no longer want the guy with the Justin Beiber hair but one with it cut short and gelled. You may find that the football jocks are all jerks and you want a more sensitive and creative type. Having high standards is not a bad thing, it's actually very healthy. If you know what you want and what you will blend the most cohesively with, then go find your perfect man! But that doesn't mean you can't date any guy who doesn't match up to those standards. The guys you meet before you find Mr. Perfect may help you hone your standards better than if you were to just write them up yourself. You may never know you don't like men who have sweaty palms until you date one. You may not know the subtle charm of an artist or the sexy ruggedness of a cowboy. Dating doesn't have to mean marriage. Dating is all about trial-and-error and learning what you love best. So remember the rules of dating like an adult, and find that guy that completes you. 

I'm a senior here at Georgia College. My major is English, with a concentration in creative writing, and a minor in Marketing. I love to write fiction with dabbles in poetry. I'm happily taken with the love of my life and we have an adorable puppy (that's mostly his, but I like to steal him.) Working with HerCampus has allowed me to get to know some wonderful girls and I couldn't be happier with the experience. 
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