Dating in College: What I Would Have Told a Younger Me

"Noretta" -- Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) realize they remind each other of their parents, on HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, Monday, Oct. 24 (8:00-8:300 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Justin Lubin/Fox © 2011 Fox Television. All Rights Reserved.

 

Dating is tricky – especially on a college campus. Although it might seem like you have plenty of options, the social scene can be small – make a mistake and you’re stuck with awkward encounters at parties for four years. If I could go back and do it all over again, I’d do the whole college dating thing way differently. Here are a few tips that I would give my younger self if time machines were real:

 

Keep your expectations low.

Just because someone sleeps with you doesn’t mean that he or she wants to date you. Keep in mind that – especially in the age of Tinder – that there’s a big difference between hooking up and dating.

 

Don’t get into a serious relationship during your first semester of freshman year.

College is one of the most exciting times of your life. You’re suddenly thrown into a permanent sleep away camp situation where curfews don’t exist and options abound. It’s easy to get caught up in the newness of it all – especially when you get swept off your feet by the cutie down the hall. But getting into a serious relationship right away can isolate you – and the first few months of school are critical for meeting friends and getting involved on campus. Spend the first semester establishing yourself and a life before you settle down.

 

Be honest about what you can handle.

If you’re totally cool keeping things casual, then you’re well-positioned for the college hook-up scene. But that lifestyle isn’t for everyone. Make sure you stay really honest with yourself about what you can handle and you’ll save yourself a lot of unnecessary emotional anguish.

 

Stay away from neighbors.

Ever heard the phrase “don’t shit where you eat?” Take it from us and don’t hook up with people who live in your dorm – otherwise, you’ll have a full year of super awkward encounters ahead of you.

 

Don’t settle for less.

Know your worth and that you deserve someone who is good to you. Don’t sit around and wait for an emotionally unavailable guy to “come around,” or chasing the girl who’s more interested in hanging out with another guy. You’re living in a world where there are hundreds – and sometimes thousands – of other fish in the sea. So, go find someone who is a better match for you.

 

Have fun.

You’re young, hot and have next-to-no responsibilities. Go have some fun. (Just don’t forget to be safe doing it.)

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