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Sex + Relationships

Dating Younger: What Freshman Guys Really Think of You

After two or three years of college, the college dating scene can get a little old. Maybe it’s gotten to the point where you can’t walk across campus without seeing a past hook-up buddy, boyfriend or one of their current girlfriends. If this sounds like the situation you’re in, it’s time to try something new – or, shall we say, someone new.
With the fall semester quickly approaching, we’ll say so long to summer and hello to the new crop of campus cuties: freshman boys. Dating a freshman guy certainly has its advantages. “One of the perks is that it gives you a much bigger playing field of options for dating, and you have more experience as an upperclassman to know what you want physically as well as emotionally,” says Dr. Brenda Schaeffer, a psychologist and sex addiction expert.
“You may also find it easier to share your power rather than give it away to someone older and bolder,” Dr. Schaeffer adds. “You have more opportunities to enter a relationship, be in a relationship and end a relationship, which are important discoveries at this time of life.”

That all sounds good, right? But since you’re older and bolder than he is, he may be looking for you to fill one or more roles in his college life. Read on to find out what they are and how to handle being placed in each one…

Trophy Girlfriend

How hard would it be for you to seduce … err snag yourself a freshy? It’s rumored that a sexy older woman is every guy’s fantasy. If that’s true, you’re his dream girl, and he may put you up on a pedestal … for all of his freshman friends to see.
Yes, you’re fabulous, and any guy should be proud to be with you. But if he’s just looking for eye candy and bragging rights, he’s not respecting you. Make sure the age difference isn’t the defining point of the relationship (i.e., he’s only with you to fulfill his little fantasy).
“When your freshy seems to be spending more time bragging to his friends about the upperclassman who has the hots for him than paying attention to you and your needs, it’s a big red flag,” says Dr. Carole Lieberman, psychiatrist and author of Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them & How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets.
“Does he really know or care who you are, besides that you’re older, smarter and can invite him to cooler parties?” Dr. Lieberman asks. “If he’s not mature enough to appreciate what else you bring to the relationship on a more intimate level, then you need to show him that you’re not willing to just be labeled his ‘sexual conquest.’”

Bad Teacher

He came to college to learn, right? As the older woman, you can probably teach him a thing or two about college life, dorm living and, yes, bedroom activities. If you find yourself in the teacher position, just avoid being presumptuous. It’s easy to be condescending, but don’t assume he doesn’t know anything just because he’s younger.
Ellie Scarborough and Amy Lynch of Pink Kisses say, “A fling with a younger guy can be fun and liberating, and it can even teach you things you didn’t expect to learn. There will likely be an element of instruction on your part, though, so be prepared to guide him a little – both emotionally and physically – and, likewise, be prepared for him to be anything from a model student to a total behavior problem.”

As long as you avoid having a know-it-all attitude, sharing your knowledge with him can be a positive learning experience for both of you. Just keep an open mind, and who knows? You may learn from him, too.

Makeshift Mommy

Incoming freshmen look forward to leaving home and gaining independence at college, but once they get on campus, the reality of their sweet freedom starts to settle in. You remember what that’s like: kind of scary. If you decide to date a freshman, resist mothering and smothering him – it’s very unattractive. He may claim he doesn’t know how to do laundry, make friends, find his classrooms and other various things, but you can’t baby him.
So what if he shrinks all his clothes and accidentally dyes them pink? He just learned a lesson in laundry. You don’t want him to become overly dependent on you. That’s not good for him or you.
“Yes, women mature ten times faster than men, but it’s proven that women drive men away by becoming their mother in relationships,” says love coach Lorna Osunsanmi. “The effect of dating a younger man could be that you practice how not to turn into his mother. You will be forced to come up with creative ways to share what you know while not being a bully or too pushy.”
Just because he’s younger than you doesn’t mean he’s a child, and you shouldn’t treat him as one. If you respect and regard him as the adult (or, at least, college boy) he is, then he’ll appreciate you more for it.


Breaking news: Cougars ‘rob the cradle’ on college campuses across the country. Okay, so older women dating younger men is nothing new. We have our classic example of Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore making it work, and their relationship is in definite “cougar territory.” But if you’re an older collegiette™ who’s worried about the “cougar label,” you should know that a two or three-year age difference doesn’t make you a cougar. The politically correct term is puma, according to dating coach David Wygant.
More specifically, a puma is a young woman “who has sport sex with younger men,” Wygant says. In fact, the puma’s only interest is sex, but we advise that you try to avoid undressing every freshman guy with your eyes. As for negative puma stereotypes, ignore them and be confident in your choices. If you and your freshman guy both realize you’re not looking for anything serious, go ahead and have some safe, sexy fun.
Happy hunting!

Beer Supplier

A lot of bars and clubs won’t admit anyone under 21. That means he can’t go with you and your friends for a night out. While your friends are at the bar, you can stay in and hang out with your younger man. To remedy the problem, he may casually suggest you bring the bar to him (meaning you go buy him beer). Obviously, for legal reasons, you don’t really want to become the beer supplier for him and his underage friends.
Your age difference may bring up more awkward social situations like this. Be upfront and tell him you don’t plan on becoming his beer supplier, designated driver or the like anytime soon. You’re his girlfriend, and that comes with enough benefits.

Yue Xu, dating coach on SINGLEFIED.com, says, “Don’t volunteer to buy him alcohol. If you do, it makes it easy for him, and he’ll assume you like being the ‘beer supplier.’ Also, setting boundaries and letting him know your uneasiness with the situation will keep him from equating you with the role of ‘beer supplier.’”

Collegiettes™, will you be checking out the new crop of campus cuties this fall? Do you think freshman guys are “boyfriend material,” or is it best to just admire them from afar? Let us know in the comments below!
Dr. Carole Lieberman, M.D., psychiatrist and author of Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them & How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets
Lorna Osunsanmi, love coach
Ellie Scarborough and Amy Lynch of Pink Kisses, a website dedicated to breakup recovery
Dr. Brenda Schaeffer, psychologist, sex addiction expert and author of Is It Love or Is It Addiction? www.itsallaboutlove.com
David Wygant, dating coach, “Summer Is Cougar Season” www.davidwygant.com/blog/summer-is-cougar-season/34/
Yue Xu, dating coach on SINGLEFIED.com

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