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Sex + Relationships

4 Dating Lessons You Learn in College

Whoever said, “Love is a many splendored thing” must have known something we didn’t. As collegiettes, we spend a lot of our time looking for a Mr. Right without realizing that maybe Mr. Right doesn’t exist right now. Sure, we’d all like to find the Cory to our Topanga and the Chuck to our Blair, but college is a place for learning and making mistakes. Over the course of our college careers, we learn a few dating lessons that can actually take us a long way.  

Lesson #1: You don’t have to find “The One” in college.

You’ve probably heard about girls who go to college to pursue the infamous “MRS Degree”, that is, girls who go to college specifically to find a husband. But, as much as some of us don’t want to believe it, college isn’t the only dating ground we have left.

Jasbina Ahluwalia, founder and president of dating site Intersections Match, says she believes college is more about self-discovery than finding Mr. Right. “If a girl feels like all of her friends are coupling and she feels left out, she should know that there’s time,” Ahluwalia says. “She’s young; she’s best served by seeing her college years as self-discovery, which will put her in the best position to partner up with the right guy later.”

Sure, you may meet your future husband in your chem lab, but the world isn’t going to end if you don’t end up finding a soul mate in college.

Lesson #2: That random guy you hooked up with at a party will probably not be your next boyfriend.

Wouldn’t life be great if all of our relationships worked out the exact same way that they do in those college party movies? Parties and get-togethers are great for those of us who want to make friends and meet people, but let’s be honest with ourselves and come to terms with the fact that the chances of meeting someone who is boyfriend material at a party are slim to none. “Most serious college relationships start with you two being friends, [like] meeting through mutual friends, a class or a club,” says Iris, a junior at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Lesson #3: Trust your instincts.

Don’t be the girl who finds everything wrong with a guy but still decides to take her chances with him just because he’s cute. If your gut is telling you that he’s not right for you, then he might not be right for you. An important aspect of dating is learning how to trust your instincts and not looking past the red flags.

Lesson #4: Playing hard to get will get you nowhere.

It’s happened to the best of us – a guy sends us the text we’ve been waiting for all week, but we wait a while to respond so we don’t look too eager. Although appearing too desperate may seem like one of our worst nightmares, playing hard to get hurts us more than it helps us.

“I’ve played hard to get with guys before, and in a few cases, it definitely didn’t work out as planned,” says Amber, a junior at Columbia University. “I think I scared a few off, and others just stopped talking to me completely.”  After all, how is a guy supposed to know you’re interested in him if you keep ignoring him?

Playing games can turn guys off, but, according to Ahluwalia, it can also attract them—the wrong ones, anyway. “Playing games can be transparent. It might only attract guys who are interested in the chase,” she says. “But chances are they’ll drop you once they get the ‘prize’ and pursue another chase.”

Dating and handling relationships in college can be fun, but also a bit confusing at times. The important thing to remember, however, is that the ups and downs we deal with are a part of the college experience. We can’t all find our future husbands, but at least we can have a little fun while trying!

Danielle is a senior at the University of Georgia majoring in English and minoring in Sociology. You can usually find her dividing her time between being Campus Correspondent of Her Campus UGA, binge-watching Grey's Anatomy on Netflix and daydreaming about being one of Beyonce's backup dancers. If you want to know more about Danielle, you can follow her on Instagram (@danielleknecole_) or Twitter (@DanielleKnecole).
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