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Being a single collegiette can be tough in this day and age. Guys you meet at the bar often just want to know the next time you’re going out to party, guys you meet in class may be way too focussed on studying, and don’t even get us started on Tinder. However, one of our very own alumni may have some good advice for you.

Graduating with a degree in Communications from the University of Ottawa, Suzie started her blog, “The Single Dating Diva” for fun, after returning to the dating world post-divorce and finding it vastly different from what she remembered. Starting off writing about her own experiences, the blog has become more of an advice column.

If you’re worried about what to do post-grad and think you may not have too many options, Suzie may just have your dream job. She’s now a dating coach, who gives people, mostly adult males, dating advice. Think of her as a professional best friend. Suzie provides advice to those lovelorn, particularly online dating advice. She can work one on one or you can head to one of her workshops.

So, what does the expert have to say? We asked Suzie to hit us with some of her best advice, and here are her go-tos:

While it may be a little old-fashioned, Suzie says that the guy should pay on the first couple of dates, but make sure that you always offer! The first date should be a ‘pre-date’, where you decide if you like the person before you commit to any more involved outings. According to Suzie, this shouldn’t cost more than $20.

Focus on the dating process, not the outcomes. There are many of us out there that have gone home from a great first date dreaming of white picket fences with that lucky guy, but Suzie reminds us to not look at forever and focus on the now. Dating shouldn’t be a job, it should be fun! Just enjoy it for the experience it is, Suzie says: Take it slow and enjoy the ride!

In terms of what to look for in a significant other, Suzie says that the top priority should be consistency - everything they say should be paralleled with what they do. If it’s not, that’s a definite red flag. Here are some others.

We often think of the word ‘single’ as an ultimatum to being alone, but luckily Suzie reminds us that single isn’t a bad word. As long as you’re fulfilled single, you’re good. If you’re not fulfilled single, you won’t be any better off trying to find your other half in a relationship.

Honesty has long been drilled into us as being a key component of any relationship, whether platonic or romantic, and Suzie is a big believer in being honest with your date and honest with ourselves. If someone wants to be with you, they’ll go out of their way to be with you. If not, they’re really just not into you, and being honest with yourself about that can make the dating process less upsetting.

So, what should we avoid? Suzie’s top three are oversharing, not dressing appropriately and not being authentic. Don’t tell your date everything about your life on the first date. Instead, let the conversation flow naturally. You don’t have to get too dressed up for a date, but definitely dress nicely. In terms of being authentic, make sure that you’re being yourself, being honest about your likes and dislikes, and that your manners and etiquette are on point.        

We asked Suzie a couple of questions that we thought our fellow collegiettes out there might want some professional advice on.

“What’s your take on friends with benefits?” - While friends with benefits can seem temptingly low-maintenance in university, Suzie says that the chances are you won’t be able to handle it. If you’re consistently hooking up with the same person, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll develop feelings for them. So how to move past the friends with benefits roadblock? Ask them to do something outside of the bedroom, Suzie says. If they don’t want to hang out with you one-on-one without fooling around, they’re probably just committed to the idea of friends with benefits. Here’s the link to Suzie’s first-hand advice.

“What about this whole Tinder thing?” - While not a huge fan, mostly due to the fact that the app objectifies people, Suzie does concede that it has its merits. It’s a useful app for the under-30 age bracket, and can definitely be fun for casual encounters, Suzie warns against taking it as  a serious dating website.

 And of course our perennial favorite, “Should I order salad on the first date?” - Not necessarily, Suzie says. Order something that’s not too expensive, but is easy to cut that you can easily make conversation while you’re eating it. Don’t worry about coming across as low or high maintenance over a meal.

And there you have it, collegiettes! From the Single Dating Diva herself, the expert on all things dating. If you need some more advice or just want to check out her informative and entertaining blog, head over to http://www.singledatingdiva.com or follow her on twitter @SingleDatingDiv!


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