Dating in College: Expectations vs. Reality

College should be every single girl’s dream—dating at the perfect age when you have no curfew and few responsibilities, which means plenty of time to socialize and meet up with the cutie who literally lives two floors down from you. You’re at a daring and adventurous point in your youth, so your romantic life should be a whirlwind of flirty gazes and first dates, right?

But when you actually try dating in college, you find out it’s not as fun as Greek made it out to be. Here are a few disappointing situations you may deal with when you realize the guy you’re dating is more of a pong champion than a Prince Charming.

Expectation: Going out to romantic restaurants and stealing bites of his teriyaki lamb and fried calamari.

Reality: Going to Chipotle twice as often and saying yes to guac whenever he pays for you.

Expectation: Exploring the wonderful city you call your second home and the attractions beyond your college campus hand in hand with your beau.

Reality: Arguing over who’s going to whose dorm that night because it’s a long walk and neither of you wants to put pants on.

Expectation: Receiving flowers, chocolates, jewelry and little surprises on the regular because he can’t stop thinking about you.

Reality: Receiving a booty-call text at two in the morning because he can’t stop drinking about you (we mean, thinking about you).

Expectation: Talking about your favorite authors over a hazelnut latte at a trendy coffee shop, because that’s what intellectual bonding looks like.

Reality: Telling a guy what your major is for the third time over a red Solo Cup of jungle juice because the music’s so loud and he’s most likely drunk.

Expectation: Pouncing on each other as soon as his apartment door shuts and ending your romantic date with a steamy, Hollywood-esque hook-up that would put Brad and Angelina to shame.

Reality: Awkwardly waiting for his roommate to leave and eventually falling asleep to the soundtrack of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.

Expectation: Going on double dates with other couples and expanding your friend circle.

Reality: Intruding on one huge bromance every time you visit his frat house and expanding your knowledge of drinking games.

Expectation: Driving downtown to the hottest venue on a lively Saturday night because he bought two tickets to see your favorite band play.

Reality: Walking a mile to the closest McDonald’s because you’re poor, hungry college students without a car and the public transportation is about as reliable as on-campus printers.

Expectation: Gushing to your friends about how perfect your new guy is and trying to set them up with his single friends.

Reality: Hearing from your friends about all the girls your new guy has hooked up with before because the campus is that small and everyone’s a gossip.

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Expectation: Watching the sun set in the quad and telling your date that you never expected to fall so hard for him.

Reality: Watching the sun rise as you walk home barefoot from your guy’s place, carrying your party heels because you don’t want to risk falling down (again).

Expectation: Meeting new guys every week because there are literally thousands of eligible bachelors around you and college is the ultimate breeding ground for meaningful relationships.

Reality: Recycling old hook-ups and reconsidering guys you rejected last year because, as a single girl in college, your standards are inversely proportionate to your seniority.

But don’t get discouraged, single ladies! Dating is all about trial and error (lots of error), so take advantage of the major opportunities you have while surrounded by other college students who are thirsty for love (or maybe just thirsty). You’ll probably hear tons of cheesy pick-up lines by the time you graduate, so why not embrace the crazy antics of college matchmaking? It’s only a few more years of this dysfunctional dating scene, and who knows—you just might find love at first Natty Light.

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