Dating in college: perks and pitfalls

Relationships and dating can be a sticky situation for anybody, especially in the college setting. 

People can range from “crazy stage five clingers” to heartless manipulators and then there is everyone else in between. 

I’ll admit, I am slightly jealous of those hopeless romantics that instantly fall in love and ride off into the sunset just like in the movies, but what about the rest of us? Like any other aspect of college, relationships are all about trial and error.  With all of the other components of being a student, is there really time for awkward first dates and possibly heartbreak?  

Right now we are at the point in our lives where we should be selfish with our time and focus on ourselves more than anything. Don’t get me wrong, love is beautiful and should be handled with the utmost respect. However, love will always exist; all unit cap jokes aside, will we always be in college? 

This is a once in a lifetime experience where we are meeting all of these new people and learning so much about ourselves and how the world around us works. How are we supposed to dodge the heartbreaks and find “the one” while we are still trying to find ourselves?

Students are already under enough stress with school, work, clubs and sports as it is. I don’t think we should cram something else into our schedules that can possibly make things harder and more awkward when it can wait. Relationships need time, patience and effort from both sides in order to work. More power to you if you can handle all of that, but it’s not for everyone right now. 

I’m not saying it is impossible to date and find someone truly special in college. I’m saying now is the time to figure yourself out first, so when you are ready to start settling down, you know what you want. That makes more sense to me than being in a dull, dead-end relationships that are essentially wasting your time and energy. 

Some students have been lucky to find someone they consider worthwhile in college. A couple I know met at the end of their freshman year and have been inseparable ever since. They feel that it is important to grow with each other and share this experience  of college rather than growing separately during this time and joining together later when they would be “ready” by societal standards. They go through the usual quarrels from time to time, but both say that they are fully committed and will do what it takes to make it work.

This scenario is sadly not in the cards for most people, especially at this young age. Many of us have already broken some hearts or even worse gotten our own hearts broken. I don’t want to deter people from stepping out into the dating scene, but I think right now is the time to focus on building friendships rather than relationships. 

Take the time to have fun and be yourself. You will never get this time back so you might as well enjoy it.