College is an interesting time in everyone’s life: new friendships are being formed, new crushes are being discovered, and you are in a completely new setting; it’s a chance to start fresh!
Maybe in high school you had a boyfriend, a girlfriend, someone you were in a casual relationship with, or someone random that would text you out of the blue every once in a while. Or, maybe you were unapologetically fearless and single throughout high school. Regardless of whatever kind of relationship you may or may not have had then, and regardless of who you were as a person back then, everything is about to change now that you’re in college.
In college, navigating relationships is different in many ways and for many different reasons. In many cases, there is a much wider pool of people to meet and mingle with in college. Although you might tend to see the same people every day in class, remember that there are also hidden gems walking around campus that you might only spot every once in a while. In high school you may have had a pretty good grasp on who was who in your grade, maybe in your whole school, but now there is no way that you can know who everyone is. So, how do you reach out to people to meet and mingle with them, and potentially get yourself into the relationship that you might want to be in?
Imagine this: you’re sitting in your dorm room on a Thursday night. Your phone suddenly lights up with an Instagram notification. It says, “X sent you a message.”Maybe the name on the screen belongs to the cute boy in your English class, maybe it’s someone you’ve only ever seen on social media. Regardless, your heart flutters with excitement and anticipation as you think about introducing the unfamiliar into your everyday life. You ask yourself, what will the message say? Where is this going to go?
So, the message turns out to be a typical “hey”or “what’s up”because, you know, what else would it be? However, you remain excited because this is a brand-new person showing you attention; it’s exciting no matter what!
You respond and start a conversation. The chit-chatting continues for a while, maybe a few days, maybe weeks, maybe even months, I don’t know! Maybe you two end up meeting in person, or maybe you never speak to each other when it’s not from the safety of your phone. Regardless, there is something about these interactions that makes you feel giddy, and makes you want to tell your friends every detail about what’s going on.
Now, if you don’t know the person in question outside of the messages you send to them and get from them, and especially if you have no desire to get to know that person in the real world and not just via the phone, you need to ask yourself one question: are the giddy feelings you have for this person feelings of genuine attraction, or are you merely attracted to the attention they give you?
I can’t pretend to have the answer to this question as it pertains to your personal situation, but I urge you to really think about it the next time you are in a flirty situation with another person! There is no shame in liking the attention that someone gives you, but keep in mind that attention from others is not necessary to validate how incredible you already are!