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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

From one student to another, dating at Penn State can be pretty tricky. I’ve had my fair share of whiplash from the dating scene — but it doesn’t have to be that way.

It took me a while to realize, but the answer to my problem was me. It was up to no one but me to establish my priorities and stand up for myself.

Here are some ways I say no to the drama:

Figure out what is important to you

First and foremost you needed to figure out what was important to you. Do you want something casual or long-term? How much of your free time do you want to give to this person?

If you’re looking for something casual, it’s best to discuss that with your partner to make sure you’re on the same page.

Learn how to say no

Saying no can be hard. But it’s one of the most important tools when entering the dating life.

To be able to safely navigate dating you need to know when to say “no” when you’re uncomfortable or simply just not interested.

Take my advice, don’t get yourself stuck in an awkward situation because you were scared to say no. It’s just not worth it.

April and Andy Parks and Recreation
know your worth

I’ve struggled with this a ton.

Repeat after me: I deserve the best and that is not something I will compromise.

You are worthy of love and respect. If you think you’re getting the bare minimum, you probably are. Never settle for less.

don’t fall victim to the rose-colored glasses

Just like any girl, I was a victim of the rose-colored glasses.

Don’t get me wrong, being in love is a beautiful thing and something everyone deserves. However, do not let the honeymoon phase stop you from seeing the truth.

If you think your friend deserves better because she is not getting what she deserves, why accept that for yourself?

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Take your time

Just because everyone is dating doesn’t mean you have to.

Everyone is on a different path in life. Just because your friend has a partner doesn’t mean you need one.

Prioritize your happiness and only allow things into your life that will add to it. There is no rush.

Recognize your capabilities

Let’s say you’re a big texter who’s with a dry texter (or vice versa). It may feel as though they are not putting in effort, but in reality, that might just be their best attempt.

It is your responsibility to acknowledge that while they may be trying their best, it’s not enough for you and that’s okay. Knowing what you prioritize, find someone who better suits your needs.

charlie and nick on their phones in heartstopper season 2
Samuel Dore/Netflix
Trust your gut

Remember, dating is supposed to be fun. However, when you feel that feeling in your gut that’s telling you “something is wrong”, listen to it.

You know yourself the best and remembering that is going to help you avoid dating the wrong people.

manage your time

Want to spend every day with your partner? I get it.

But one of the most important pieces of advice I can give you is to establish a time limit with your partner.

Have a conversation about what you are both comfortable with. Remember, compromise but don’t settle.

Relationships are not perfect

The three-month mark is very real. Typically, when relationships hit the three-month mark the honeymoon phase tends to dissipate.

This is where problems can develop and the “lovey-dovey” feelings settle down. Don’t let this discourage you —this is normal. Be open to communicate and don’t let bad feelings fester.

Remember, dating is supposed to be fun

Whether you’re looking for something serious or something casual, the experience is supposed to be enjoyable. If your relationship consists of a lot of arguing, disagreements, or fights, it may be time to reassess.

While relationships are hard work, they should not be causing you anguish.

Creating boundaries isn’t easy. But deciding what’s important to you before dating can help your future relationships work out better.